Africa’s chief economist and vice president for economic governance and knowledge management said Africa needed to use its natural resources to accelerate sustainable development.
Rabah Arezki spoke to policymakers and stakeholders during a two-day introductory workshop that began on Monday on the Bank’s financial modeling for the FIMES (Extractive Sector) project. He urged Africa to build capacity to ‘negotiate better agreements and generate the kind of resources needed to finance their development and transformation’.
The FIMES project seeks to build financial modeling capacity to strengthen household income mobilization, institutional capacity and resilience in selected transitional member countries of the African Development Bank – namely Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Madagascar, Niger, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Zimbabwe.
Khaled Sherif, Vice President of the Bank for Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery, called for the implementation of sound natural resource management and stressed the importance of oil, gas and minerals for the state coffers.
“The African Development Bank estimates that revenues from recent oil, gas and mineral discoveries could contribute between 9% and 31% of additional government revenue during the first ten years of production for countries such as Ghana, Liberia and Mozambique,” he said. he said.
Douka Sediko, Commissioner for Energy and Mines for ECOWAS, the West African economic community, emphasized the importance of natural resources for the development of Africa.
“Natural resources play a critical role in economies as they contribute to the well – being of the people, as a source of existence and contribute to GDP,” he said. “The FIMES project is an opportunity for the ECOWAS block to achieve its development objectives.”
In his keynote address, Ismaël Dioubaté, Minister of Budget in the Republic of Guinea, said that financial modeling should be at the heart of Africa’s withdrawal industries to address inequality and ensure that all citizens can benefit from it.
“There is a difference between the abundance of natural resources in African countries and the level of development. About 40% of the population in Africa is still falling below the poverty line, or $ 2 a day, despite significant progress,” he said.
Vanessa Ushie, division manager of policy analysis, at the Bank’s African Natural Resources Center, said that 20 government officials from the eight countries would participate in the pilot training offered by the FIMES project.
The FIMES project is a multinational project funded by the African Development Bank’s transitional support facility and implemented by the Bank’s African Natural Resources Center.
The two-day workshop officially launched the project and provided an update on its implementation in the beneficiary countries.
Gershwin Wanneburg, Department of Communications and External Relations, African Development Bank, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org