Background of the Common African Position

Members of the African Union – High Level Committee on Post 2015 Development Agenda (H.E. Mr. Mohamed Abdel Aziz, President of the Republic of Mauritania and Chairperson of the African Union, H.E. Mr. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of Algeria, H.E. Mr. Idriss Deby Itno, President of the Republic of Chad, H.E. Mr. Denis Sassou Nguesso, President of the Republic of Congo, H.E. Mr. Haile Mariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, H.E. Mr. Alpha Conde, President of Guinea, H.E. Mr. Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of Namibia, H.E. Mr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam, Prime Minister of Mauritius and H.E. Mr. Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa) with Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission
Members of the African Union – High Level Committee on Post 2015 Development Agenda (H.E. Mr. Mohamed Abdel Aziz, President of the Republic of Mauritania and Chairperson of the African Union, H.E. Mr. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of Algeria, H.E. Mr. Idriss Deby Itno, President of the Republic of Chad, H.E. Mr. Denis Sassou Nguesso, President of the Republic of Congo, H.E. Mr. Haile Mariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, H.E. Mr. Alpha Conde, President of Guinea, H.E. Mr. Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of Namibia, H.E. Mr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam, Prime Minister of Mauritius and H.E. Mr. Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa) with Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission
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Decisions of the Assembly on the High Level Committee on Post 2015

 

The Common African Position on the Post-2015 Agenda

Background
 

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) provided an inspirational vision for global development, and helped to spur significant progress in Liberia.
 

So far during the MDG period Liberia has achieved the fastest reduction of child deaths in Africa, an increase in net enrollment in primary school of 42 per cent, an increase in life expectancy at birth of 13 years. These achievements are a testament to the incredible resilience and determination of the Liberian people. By inspiring collective action and helping national and international stakeholders work together, the MDGs helped to provide Liberians with the tools to do the job.
 

As the MDGs are drawing to a close at the end of 2015, a new set of aspirations will take their place. This is the post-2015 agenda.
 

This post-2015 development agenda will matter for Africa. The continent, for the first time in history, has agreed one development framework which will feed into the new global development agenda.
 

The Common African Position (CAP) is Africa’s overarching narrative of what it would like to see in the post-2015 development framework.
 

The CAP was adopted during the 22nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Union in Addis Ababa on January 31, 2014 and published on 28 February 2014 in Ndjamena.
 

The CAP is the product of a series of wide ranging consultations. These consultations generated consensus around six ‘pillars’ of strategic importance to Africa, and Liberia:
 

1.      structural economic transformation and inclusive growth

2.      science, technology and innovation

3.      people-centered development

4.      environmental sustainability, natural resources management and disaster risk management

5.      peace and security

6.      FINANCE and partnerships

 

These pillars contain the common priorities of African countries for the post-2015 agenda. Our shared values can help us realize equitable, sustainable, and people-centered development in a prosperous and peaceful Africa.

 

Finally, these pillars underpin the continent’s overarching priority for the post-2015 agenda: the eradication of poverty in all its forms. We must secure this global pledge to help ensure no one is left behind.

 

While it crafted the Common African Position, the High Level Committee is well aware of the priorities of other regions and will undertake dialogue and negotiations around global issues to reach a universal consensus on human development.

The followings constitute the six pillars of Africa’s vision for a Post-2015 Development Agenda:

 

Pillar One: Structural Economic Transformation and Inclusive Growth
 

Africa has achieved impressive economic performance in the past decade, recording average growth rates of around 5 percent. However, because this growth has been driven by the export of a narrow range of primary agricultural commodities and extractive minerals, the majority of the people did not benefit from this progress.  Often, this growth has been characterized by high level of poverty, unemployment, and rising inequality.
 

Structural economic transformation and inclusive growth that fosters the eradication of poverty is one of Africa’s top priorities for the post-2015 development agenda.

 

The structural economic transformation Africa will undertake will have the following outputs:

 

·         Inclusive growth that reduces inequality

·         Sustainable agriculture, food sufficiency and nutrition

·         Economic diversification, industrialization and value addition, that creates jobs and fosters fair taxation

  • A modern and efficient services sector
     
  • A reliable and robust infrastructure base, in both rural and urban areas, that delivers water and sanitation, connects economies, and creates jobs
     

Pillars Two: Science, Technology and Innovation (STI)
 

New technologies are a major driver in an ever evolving world. Scientific research and access to technology are essential ingredients of development. Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) will make manufacturing and agriculture more productive, and contribute to other sectors such as health. Governments across the continent will commit to funding research institutions, invest in new technologies and ensure that scientific education becomes a central aspect of academic curriculum at all levels of education.
 

Pillar Three: A People-Centered Development
 

The welfare of the people must constitute the means and end of a sustainable, resilient and equitable development.  Gender equity and youth empowerment constitute an essential if not a sine-qua-non condition for social growth.

 

The current youth bulge that Africa is experiencing and which will make it the continent with the greatest number of young people in 20 years must be turned into a demographic dividend, with economic and social benefits for all people.  

 

Africa is committed to eradicate threats to social development such as human trafficking, child labor, early marriage, and all forms of violence against women and children.

 

Access to basic social services such as healthcare, education, water, sanitation, and energy services must constitute the baseline for social equity.

 

African leaders are committed to reduce inequalities and strive to finish the job of the MDGs. All social programs must be the first step towards the eradication of poverty.
 

Pillars Four: Environmental Sustainability, Natural Resources and Natural Disaster Management
 

The future of Africa and the world in general depends on a safe, sustainable environment. This must be central to the post-2015 agenda. The world must take concerted, collective action to protect our planet.

 

In as much as Africa has done very little to cause climate change, we are vulnerable to its effects. Climate change is likely to harm agriculture, affecting our ability to feed ourselves, reducing farmers’ earnings, and tearing at our social and economic fabric. We must tackle and adapt to climate change and other environmental challenges while we strive for economic and social development.

 

Therefore, we are looking at a Post-2015 development framework that will, among others:

  • Improve natural resources and biodiversity management
     
  • Deliver universal and reliable access to safe drinking water
     
  • Stimulate an effective response to climate change
     
  • Spur action on deforestation, land degradation, soil erosion, and flooding
     
  • Manage and reduces risks from natural disasters

With the current political and social realities unfolding throughout the world, Africa can no longer continue to be a crater of natural resources exploited for exportation while its people linger in abject poverty. This old model must come to an end. A new form of partnership needs to be crafted to ensure a fair and equitable world where resources benefit all, especially those who own them.
 

Pillar Five: Peace and Security
 

Africa is fully cognizant that without peace and stability, there can be no development. To ensure peace and stability throughout the continent, new development policies must ensure that the root causes of conflict are unearthed before they explode.

A post-2015 development framework can help sustain our peace and security by:

  • Addressing root causes of conflict such as economic and social inequalities and exclusion
     
  • Promoting open, inclusive and capable governance at a local, national and regional level
     
  • Tolerating diversity, and fighting all forms of discrimination
     

Africa can prevent the outbreak of armed conflicts by strengthening cross-border cooperation and security; implementing comprehensive post-conflict reconstruction programs, including the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) in countries emerging from conflict; securing domestic financing for conflict resolution and stabilization; and through shared commitment to the use of conflict resolution mechanisms.
 

Pillar Six: Financing and Partnership for Implementation of Post-2015 Development Agenda
 

Adequate financing and a conducive global environment are important for accelerating rapid and sustained development. Africa can no longer depend on international aid, as crucial as it may be to certain countries in fragile post-conflict situation. We must create our own resources and revenues.
 

The Post-2015 framework must include:

 

  • The means to generate more domestic resources
     
  • New innovative financing such as strengthening our taxation systems
     
  • The implementation of existing financing commitments
     
  • The improvements in the quality and predictability of external financing
     
  • An accountable, reliable and equal partnerships for development
     
  • An international commitment to fight illicit capital flight.