Mi­gra­tion, fragility, and ad­dress­ing re­gional pub­lic is­sues

Observer on Saturday - - News -

nother key as­pect of a suc­cess­ful AfCFTA would be good gov­er­nance, cou­pled with a re­gional in­te­gra­tion per­spec­tive, the pan­el­lists said.

Fragility, which leads to the mi­gra­tion of youth and af­fects women and chil­dren the most, would have to be ad­dressed and re­duced.

The is­sue of land con­flicts also sig­nif­i­cantly im­pacts a re­gion’s agri­cul­tural out­put.

ATen­sions

Dr Temi­tope Oshikoya, an eco­nomic strate­gist, said that an ex­am­ple of this was the mi­gra­tion of cat­tle herders from neigh­bour­ing coun­tries to cen­tral Nige­ria, which had led to ten­sions and in­se­cu­rity.

“This needs to be tack­led from a re­gional pub­lic good per­spec­tive,” Oshikoya said, adding that in­cen­tives should be pro­vided to pol­icy mak­ers for col­lec­tive ac­tion.

Other fac­tors – the cur­rent low lev­els of in­tra-African trade and the high de­pen­dence of African coun­tries on im­ports – could also dam­age in­te­gra­tion ef­forts.

Ed­u­ca­tion and skills build­ing were two other key ar­eas need­ing pri­or­ity in­ter­ven­tion.

Re­solve

Sum­maris­ing the dis­cus­sion, UNDP coun­try Di­rec­tor Stephen Ro­driques pointed out that suc­cess­ful in­te­gra­tion would en­tail both na­tional and re­gional re­solve to ad­dress the risks that could im­pede the full im­ple­men­ta­tion of AfCFTA.

“We know that there are mul­ti­ple fault lines and risks... many is­sues are cross-border. Re­gional pub­lic is­sues should be ad­dressed pro­por­tion­ately.

Ed­u­ca­tion and skills train­ing, for ex­am­ple, has to be ad­dressed as a con­ti­nen­tal agenda,” Ro­driques said.

The African Eco­nomic Con­fer­ence, held an­nu­ally, is the con­ti­nent’s lead­ing fo­rum fos­ter­ing di­a­logue and knowl­edge ex­change in the search for solutions to the de­vel­op­ment chal­lenges of Africa. It brings to­gether lead­ing aca­demics, high­rank­ing gov­ern­ment representatives, and de­vel­op­ment prac­ti­tion­ers from across the globe.

This year’s AEC fo­cus was ‘trans­for­ma­tive ini­tia­tives for ac­cel­er­at­ing progress in in­fra­struc­ture in­te­gra­tion that are in­clu­sive and pro­mote eq­uity, in­clud­ing the re­moval of bar­ri­ers for move­ment of peo­ple, goods, and ser­vices across bor­ders.’

The next AEC con­fer­ence will take place in De­cem­ber 2019.

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