African Agenda 2063 is a framework formulated for the purpose of guiding Africa’s development in the next fifty years. Organization of African Unity (OAU) focused on decolonization of Africa and performed very well in that regard. African Union (AU) is focusing on development on a broad front, be it economic, social, political, scientific as well as cultural. African Agenda 2063 built on existing African frameworks, programmes and declarations, consultations with a broad spectrum of African stakeholders at the grassroots level, synthesis of 35 national and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) strategic and action plans, situational analysis and study of global mega trends. It was adopted by the African Union Summit in January 2015. Its First Ten Year Implementation Plan (FTYIP) was adopted in June 2015. It predates global Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of September 2015, Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) adopted by the Third Conference on Financing for Development; and end of 2015 Paris COP21.
It should be pointed out from the outset that global Agenda 2030 and its SDGs were heavily influenced by African Union’s Common African Position on Post 2015 Development Agenda (CAP) with Africa being the only region to submit a well-articulated position in writing. UN Open Working Group (OWG) and formal inter-governmental negotiations relied heavily on CAP. CAP was adopted by the AU Summit in Addis Ababa in January of 2015 and promulgated in Ndjamena in February 2015.
The question is: What has transpired since adoption Agenda 2063? Has there been any progress towards its implementation?
I. Domestication for Implementation
Agenda 2063 is a concrete and implementable framework with a clear vision, 7 aspirations, 20 goals, 39 priority areas, there are also targets and indicators. In fact this enables effective results based management. Accountability instrument and architecture have been put in place.
Agenda 2063 is to be implemented at national, RECs and continental levels. As the public and private sectors and civil society were involved in its formulation, so will all three be engaged in its implementation. Each has a niche. In the public sector implementation will be at central, provincial, district and community government levels. Hence domestication missions collaborate with authorities to disseminate contents of Agenda 2063 and to prompt action at all levels of government, private sector and civil society. The mission also works with planning offices to ensure incorporation of contents of Agenda 2063 into the national strategic and action plans and programmes and budgets as national instruments of implementation.
This is a manageable task as stakeholders participated in the formulation of Agenda 2063. It is their product. In addition 35 national and RECs plans were reviewed, synthesized and formed building blocks of Agenda 2063. In this manner elements of Agenda 2063 are already aligned with the contents of most national plans and programmes.
Domestication strategy was reviewed in December 2016 at the stakeholder workshop in Maseru, Lesotho. The workshop took stock, shared experiences and then refined and consolidated the approach to domestication exercise.
Thirty two countries have received domestication missions. Other countries have opted to domesticate the Agenda without reinforcement of the mission from the Commission. Domestication team stand ready to continue with the missions in response to invitations by the member states wishing to be reinforced for that purpose.
II. Reconciling African Agenda 2063 and Global Agenda 2030 and SDGs
Are AU Member States expected to pursue three parallel development endeavors, namely national plan, Agenda 2063 and global Agenda 2030 and its SDGs? Not at all! AU member countries will be pursuing Agenda 2063 whose contents will have been incorporated into national plans and budgets through the domestication exercise.
It was explained earlier that the Common African Position on Post 2015 Development Agenda (CAP) of January 2014 influenced the work of the Open Working Group and later formal intergovernmental negotiating group in coming up with the global Agenda 2030 and SDGs. That is why the seventeen SDGs fit neatly into the twenty goals of Agenda 2063. They are all encapsulated in the 20 goals of Agenda 2063. SDGs scope is confined to social, economic and environmental dimensions. Agenda 2063 is broader in scope, covering social, economic and sustainability considerations in the broad context, political cultural and other African priorities. Hence by implementing Agenda 2063 Member States will ipso facto be meeting global obligations under the SDGs.
Harmony between Agenda 2063 goals and global SDGs prompted Specialized Technical Committee (STC) of Ministers of Finance, Monetary Affairs, of Economy and Development Planning and those in charge of Integration, to direct that there be:
- an integrated and coherent approach to implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Agenda 2063 and SDGs;
- joint domestication;
- one accountability instrument catering for both at the same time;
- Single periodic performance report.
Senior African statisticians teamed up with the African Union Commission Dept. of Economic Affairs, RECs and partner institutions to develop 78 indicators that address both Agenda 2063 and SDGs. They are to be validated by the STC of Ministers of Finance, Monetary Affairs, Economy and Development Planning and those in charge of Integration at the end of March 2017 in Dakar, Senegal. Indicators will enable setting of baselines and accurate tracking of performance.
It ought to be mentioned that there is already in place the accountability architecture for Agenda 2063.
Senior officials of the RECs, AUC, NPCA, UNECA, AfDB and ACBF, assess performance and report to the coordination meeting of Chief Executives (CEOs) of their organizations. CEOs in turn report on progress and make recommendations to the Agenda 2063 Ministerial Follow-up Committee. Relevant STCs would also receive the report on performance and make decisions to ensure deliberate progress. AU Executive Council and the Summit in turn also receive the report and pronounce on the way forward. UNECA as a United Nations organization will report to the Regional Economic Forum and then to the High Level Political Forum in New York on the SDGs.
The High Fives of the AfDB, namely:
- power and light Africa;
- connect and integrate Africa;
- feed Africa;
- industrialize Africa;
- improve quality of life of Africans;
All fit well into Agenda 2063 fast track (or flagship) programmes and projects. They could be considered as a niche for Africa’s premier financial institution within Agenda 2063.
Clearly Africa has only one framework to follow and that is Agenda 2063 as it encapsulate all others.
This simplifies matters for the AU Member States.
III. Progress on the Fast Track/Flagship Programmes and Projects
Agenda 2063 has 13 fast track programmes and projects.
The first is based on Article 19 of the AU Constitutive Act stipulates establishment of four continental financial and monetary institutions to service development. They are the African Central Bank (ACB), the African Investment Bank (AIB), the African Monetary Fund (AMF) and the Pan African Stock Exchange.
Regarding the African Central Bank the agreed timeframe for establishing ACB is between 2028 and 2034. Strategy towards this target has been agreed and await blessing by the 28th AU Assembly. When it comes to AIB Statutes have been adopted. Twelve ratifications are needed to reach the required threshold for activation. The agreed schedule for operationalizing AIB is 2025. AMF statutes have been adopted. Minimum required number of ratifications should be secured punctually for scheduled commencement of operations in 2023. Study has been conducted regarding Pan African (virtual) Stock Exchange to facilitate mobilization and flow of capital for development on the continent. The study is to be scrutinized by Finance and Monetary Affairs Ministers in 2017.
Second, is the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) with the deadline for concluding negotiations set for 2017. Negotiations are ongoing. Formation of Tripartite (COMESA, EAC and SADC) has been a giant step closer to CFTA.
Third, comes the African Commodity Strategy is expected to be adopted by the AU Assembly of 2017. Drawing a Plan of Action will then follow.
Fourth, is the Pan African Integrated High Speed Train Network. In this regard a five year action plan and a roadmap have already been agreed upon by AU and committed partners. Building of railways network is thriving in East Africa.
Fifth endeavor deals with the Single African Aviation Market. In this case draft memorandum between RECs and African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) has been forwarded to the RECs for consideration. African airlines are fully committed to expeditiously implementing the Yamoussoukro Decision of 2002.
Sixth, project is energy generation focusing on the Great Inga Dam. The blue print has been developed. AUC is continuing to support mobilization of development partners and the private sector to get engaged in the project. Nigeria and South Africa have already indicated their intended purchase of the power generated by this project. Construction on Inga 3 is still expected to commence in June 2017. It will take about five to ten years to complete.
Seventh, project involves Free Movement of Persons and the African Passport. Consultations have been ongoing and include AU Member States, to develop and validate an AU Protocol on free movement in Africa. African Passport was inaugurated in Kigali in July 2016.
Eighth, undertaking is the annual African Economic Dialogue Platform aimed at bringing together for dialogue on business and economic issues the African Heads of State and Government (HOS & G), African business community, academia and civil society. Preparations are advanced for the inaugural forum in March 2017.
Ninth, is the effort to silence the guns on the African continent by 2020.Aprican Peace and Security Roadmap spanning 2016 – 2020 has been validated by the Peace and Security Council in Lusaka, Zambia, in November, 2016. It is expected to be considered and adopted by the AU Assembly during this 28th Summit of AU.
Tenth, has to do with the establishment of the Virtual University. Good progress has been made in the preparations. The stage of developing a staffing structure and developing a strategic plan and formulating draft project has arrived.
Eleventh, is the Pan – African E – Network on Tele – Education and Telemedicine (PAeN) The relevant Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Information and Communication Technologies agreed in April 2016 to: (a) put in place the agreed governance and management structures; (b) effect the transfer of operating this network from India.
Twelfth, initiative is that of developing African Outer Space Strategy. The exercise to devise a clear roadmap for he governance of the African space policy and strategy is ongoing.
Thirteenth, plan of action to establish the Great Museum of Africa is being developed by the AUC in collaboration with Algeria, the host.
Clearly there is progress being made on every fast track programme/project. Implementation of Agenda 2063 has definitely commenced.
Most of these fast track/flagship programmes and projects have the quality of not only being development by themselves but also enabling and facilitating development in other areas. They are also development enablers.
Since implementation of Agenda 2063 is involving not only the public sector but also the private sector and civil society, these projects provide a rich field of investment opportunities.
IV. Successful Implementation of Agenda 2063
After witnessing sluggish implementation of previous OAU/AU frameworks where lies the source of hope that there will be successful implementation of Agenda 2063? Lessons of experience prompted the African Union to avoid overlooking factors crucial for meticulous implementation of frameworks.
First, formulation of Agenda 2063 was a bottom-up process. It involved consultations with a wide spectrum of stakeholders. It was participatory and highly inclusive. This means that there is stronger ownership and higher level of commitment.
Second, its implementation is not confined to the public sector but includes private sector and civil society. Private sector and civil society were consulted during formulation. Business Councils and Economic dialogue platform as well as private sector development are empowering African private sector. Civil Society’s Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) has been revitalized and fully operational. African private sector and civil society have a crucial role in Agenda 2063 implementation. Implementation is participatory.
Third, domestication exercise at national and RECs levels means incorporating contents of Agenda 2063 into strategic and action plans and budgets. These are the instruments of implementation. Domestication strategy has just been reviewed and consolidated.
Fourth, clearly stated vision, 7 aspirations, 20 goals, 39 priority areas, targets and indicators lend Agenda 2063 to results based management of implementation. They make Agenda 2063 concrete and therefore very implementable.
Fifth, accountability architecture has been set up already. It includes Ministerial Follow-up Committee.
Sixth, required capacity to successfully implement Agenda 2063 has been assessed. Capacity building strategy to close observed gaps is being developed.
Seventh, risk that may be entailed has been assessed and strategy for navigating safely around during implementation has been developed.
Eighth, Financing strategy has just been revisited, reviewed and consolidated and await validation by appropriate organs.
Ninth, in order to continue building up and maintaining awareness and commitment to Agenda 2063 communications strategy is being developed in consultation with the media, including engagement of African Editors Forum. Two workshops have already been held on this matter.
Tenth, accelerated women’s empowerment, active engagement of the youth in productive activities and inclusion of people living with disabilities, mean that all talent and energy at the disposal of society will be utilized.
Eleventh, all African development partners have been fully alerted to the fact that all development co-operation with Africa should henceforth be within the context of Agenda 2063. They have all pledged to comply with that request.
Clearly several precautions have been duly taken to raise the chances of successfully implementation of Agenda 2063. These are the reasons for optimism.
V. Department of Economic Affairs - Efforts to further strengthen abilities to implement Agenda 2063
- Development of Pan African Investment Code by the Dept. of Economic Affairs of AUC together with partner institutions will facilitate increased, and ensure higher quality, investment in Africa. This investment code awaits validation and approval by appropriate organs.
- Preparation of African Business Directory by AUC Dept. of Economic Affairs which awaits publication will further improve ease of doing business in Africa.
- The private sector development programme of the Dept. of Economic Affairs contributes to the strengthening of the African private sector.
- With partner institutions, the AUC Dept. of Economic Affairs is refining Integration Index. The index will enable monitoring and evaluation of the integration process. Integration remains a crucial strategy for Africa’s development.
- Formulating, implementing and monitoring and evaluating of effective and efficient policies require quality statistics. That means data that is adequate in scope, accurate and punctual. Quality statistics reveal more accurately the “terrain” or “topography” as well as “dynamics” on the ground. Hence the AUC Dept. of Economic Affairs is committed to building requisite capacity in statistics by establishing Pan African Statistics Training Center and the Pan African Statistics Institute at the earliest opportunity.
- The AUC Dept. of Economic Affairs, together with partner institutions and senior African Statisticians, is also updating Strategy for Harmonization of Statistics in Africa (SHASA) and aligning it with Agenda 2063.