Niamey (Niger) – The Sub-Regional Office of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (West Africa), in partnership with the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, today held the proceedings of a meeting of West African think tanks and experts launched on the theme: “Generational Economy and Structural Transformation in COVID-19 era in West Africa”.
The choice of this theme is a way for the ECA Sub-Regional Office for West Africa to highlight the particularly acute demographic challenges in West Africa and to risk the close link between population dynamics and the sustainable development goals that countries pursue. to emphasize. that the Covid-19 pandemic could divert efforts from population policy.
Given the many challenges associated with the demographic dynamics in West Africa, exacerbated by the adverse effects of the Covid-19 crisis, the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 2063 Agenda for the future aspirations of Africa a better understanding of the demographic transformations in the region and the policies that are critical to achieving the demographic dividend, such as access to affordable and quality health services and social protection, quality education and jobs for young people.
The purpose of this virtual meeting is therefore to explore the relationship between population dynamics and sustainable development and to identify ways to align demographic change in West Africa with sustainable development objectives. The focus will be on the Covid-19 pandemic and its likely negative impact on population dynamics and the drivers of the demographic dividend.
According to the acting director and head of the Demographic Dynamics for Development (DDD) division of ECA Sub-Regional Office for West Africa, Bakary Dosso, «The choice of the theme” Generational economics and structural transformation in the COVID 19 era in West -Africa “is a way for ECA / SRO-WA to underline the particularly acute demographic challenges in West Africa and highlight the close link between population dynamics and the sustainable development goals that countries pursue; with the risk that the covid-19 pandemic could divert efforts from population policy ».
“The population growth in West Africa is estimated at 2.6% in 2020, more than double the world average of 1.04%. Although there has been a constant decrease in the population growth in West Africa, partly explained by lower fertility rates, progress is still slow compared to other regions and sub-regions of the world ‘, he said.
“Given the many challenges associated with the population dynamics in West Africa compounded by the adverse effects of the Covid-19 crisis, the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 2063 Agenda for the African striving for the future requires a better understanding of the demographic transformations of the region and policies essential for achieving demographic dividends, such as access to quality and affordable health and social protection, quality education and youth employment », said Bakary Dosso.
The Regional Director for West and Central Africa of the World Food Program (WFP), Mr. Chris Nikoi, in turn, stressed the need to share experiences and good practices in responding to the social and economic crisis experienced by COVID-19 and the lessons learned from the various policy responses adopted by countries.
“In the face of a COVID-19 crisis that is as global as it is regional, it is important not only to have a coalition of partners to measure the long-term macroeconomic consequences, but also the social “provisions that are needed in the short term, including responding to the ensuing humanitarian crisis to provide basic social services in the areas of health, water and sanitation, and education,” he said. Chris Nikoi said.
In his opening speech, the Director of Macroeconomic Studies at the Ministry of Budget and Planning of Nigeria, Mr ADEOSUN David, ECA ‘thanked for his efforts to coordinate a joint and urgent response of our countries to the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular the various consultations of the Ministers of Finance for a common position on access to concessional loans from the World Bank Group as well as other private financial institutions “.
Representatives of the local economic communities and intergovernmental organizations in West Africa, representatives of the private sector and representatives of the United Nations system as well as academics are taking part in this meeting.
For more information, contact Mr. Tahirou Gouro Communications Officer at ECA- SRO / WA,