By Freddy Mambara
Harare – Southern Africa will have two representatives on the Bureau of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Economic Planning and Development after Madagascar and Zambia won elections held on the sidelines of the African Finance Ministers conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last Friday.
Equatorial Guinea is the new Chair of the Bureau, Madagascar is First Vice-President and Morocco is the Rapporteur.
Outgoing Chair of the Bureau of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Ambassador Mohammed Arrouchi of Morocco lauded the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) for strengthening the capacities of member states, particularly in the fields of data, statistics and private sector investment in energy.
Ambassador Arrouchi said, “Even in the context of COVID-19 we have been able in the ECA to turn challenges into opportunities as the Secretariat undertook studies towards estimating the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 in Africa, notably on the basis of fiscal space, debt profile and external debt,” Morocco’s Permanent Representative to the African Union and ECA said.
Ambassador Tesfaye Yilma, Ethiopia’s Permanent Representative to the AU and ECA, said Africa had made robust efforts to tackle the pandemic and reduce its socio-economic impact, but the continent was not yet out of the woods.
“The current access to vaccines could be considered a good start, but by no means sufficient to make a meaningful impact. Africa will have to continue to work together in the spirit of Pan-African solidarity and in collaboration with global partners to improve access to vaccines and make a difference in the fights against COVID-19,” said Ambassador Yilma.