The African Development Bank (AFDB) has presented its strategy for economic governance for Africa – SEGA. The initiative aims to help Registered Member countries better demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and infrastructure development while navigating solutions to help them deal with the present reduction in foreign aid and foreign direct investment.
Much of the lessons learned by the AFDB during the COVID-19 pandemic reinforce the need for countries to enforce active governance especially given the reduced inflow of foreign direct investments. All these come on the heel of Africa generally surviving its worst recession in twenty years.
SEGA aims to promote economic governance by engaging stakeholders and avoiding political control outside its current scope. It replaces the Governance strategic framework and Action Plan (GAP II), which ran from 2014 to 2020. It complements AFDB’s objectives of ensuring accountability and the development of member countries.
SEGA’s primary areas of focus are as follows:
- Ensure that member countries can effectively maximize and manage their public resources through public sector effectiveness.
- Empower public organizations while pushing value chains through private companies for structural transformation.
- Encourage inclusive governance and accountability to assist member countries in reducing corruption, improving stakeholder interactions, and increasing public trust.
This effort also aims to boost public trust in member nations as they develop more robust institutions to combat corruption, enhance accountability, and efficiency, all while building on GAPII’s achievements. It also aligns with the AFDB’s High 5 goals. They are: feed Africa, light up Africa, industrialize Africa, integrate Africa, and improve the quality of life for Africans.
Effective implementation of these strategies will ensure that targeted countries build on measures put in place by the AFDB over the last two decades. In assessing the level of development on the continent, more often than not the issue of corruption comes up. The reality is that corruption can only be defeated when government institutions become accountable, hence the need for these systems to be redesigned for maximum efficiency. Both fraud and perceived corruption undermine investor confidence. And with foreign direct investment at precariously low levels, no country can afford to be ranked negatively on a corruption index.
It is important to note that the AFDB is solely concerned with economic governance, which can be measured over time by other development agencies. Target countries must also be willing to share information with the aforementioned agencies. Furthermore, these agencies can use barometric indices to ensure that countries keep their end of the bargain.
Written by Ogodilieze Osaji-Ugo