RBA Director Abdoulaye Mar Dieye's Opening Remarks - TICAD VI Ministerial Preparatory MeetingJun 16, 2016
Ministerial Preparatory Meeting
Of Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development
Remarks of Abdoulaye Mar DIEYE
Assistant Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme
Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa
Banjul, Islamic Republic of Gambia, 16 June 2016
Your Excellency Mrs. Neneh MacDouall-Gaye, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Gambia,
Your Excellency Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan,
Mr. Maged Abdelaziz, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Special Adviser on Africa,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in its capacity as co-organizer of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), I would first like to express our gratitude to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Gambia for agreeing to host our Ministerial Meeting. This meeting is preparatory to the Sixth TICAD Summit of Heads of State and Government, to be held in Nairobi on 27 and 28 August of this year.
I would also like to thank the Government of Japan, which has been engaged in this process from the start, for its pioneering commitment and its energetic and active support for the model partnership that the TICAD represents. I would also like to recognize the exemplary collaboration that we have developed, over time, among Japan, the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the World Bank and, today, the Commission of the African Union.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our gathering in Banjul is taking place at an auspicious moment.
First, 2016 is the first year of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, which the international community adopted last September. The policy and programmatic actions that we will take this year will thus determine the path that we would like to define for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
Africa is also at a decisive turning point, having achieved 15 years of sustained economic growth starting in 2000, which were preceded by two decades of lost growth. If the continent is to prevent any reversal of this growth, it must act with urgency and take a forward-looking approach. Africa must create a new, multi-faceted, dynamic development process that will enable it to:
i. Consolidate its achievements, specifically with regard to continued improvements in its political and economic governance;
ii. Strengthen the social contract between the State and its citizens and among communities to ensure an inclusive development process in the context of a climate of peace, security and social stability;
iii. Optimize its human capital and, specifically, its demographic dividend;
iv. Accelerate the reduction of the gender gap, which is responsible today for an annual loss of 3-4% in GDP on the continent;
- Develop and build the resilience of its institutions, including health systems, as we are reminded by the recent devastating effects of the Ebola virus in the Mano River;
- Ensure the structural transformation of its economy through productive industrialization; and,
- Improve its management of risks and uncertainties related to adverse events such as climate change, primary commodity price volatility, unregulated migration, and violent extremism.
This is an ambitious programme which, by the way, is fully aligned with the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
The sixth TICAD and, specifically, the Nairobi Declaration that will be adopted, will, while building on furthering the Yokohama Action Plan, constitute a political commitment and a programmatic framework for action to support Africa in its efforts to accelerate and deepen its development process.
However, if this process is to be tenable, it must be driven increasingly by internal processes that require additional financial resources. Such resources are very limited today in many of the continent’s countries.
And if this process is to be sustainable, it must be more firmly rooted in the development of the private sector, particularly small and medium-sized companies and industries, which provides 80% of Africa’s GDP and 90% of its total employment.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
These are my opening remarks.
I believe that the Spirit of Banjul will inspire us as we prepare the Nairobi Declaration.
I hope that our work meets with great success and I thank you.