All set for the 2021 Conference of Ministers

All set for the 2021 Conference of Ministers

Addis Ababa, 16 March 2021 (ECA) – The 53rd Session of the Commission and 2021 Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development will be held from Wednesday, 17 March 2021 to Tuesday, 23 March 2021, under the theme: Africa’s Sustainable Industrialization and Diversification in the Digital Era in the Context of COVID-19.

This year’s theme embraces the need for African countries to achieve rapid economic growth through environmentally conscious industrialization and diversification while taking advantage of digitalization. Scaling-up digitalization in Africa could be transformational, helping Africa to sustainably industrialize and diversify within a global digital economy estimated to soon surpass $11.5 trillion. Discussions under the theme will explore and consolidate strategies on the way forward to manage the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on African economies.

The specific topic of the AfCFTA will enter into the ministerial, experts and side event sessions as one of the particular tools available to African countries as they chart their recovery from COVID-19. The AfCFTA has long been held as a vehicle for stimulating Africa’s overdue industrialization.

The upcoming AfCFTA protocol on e-commerce is expected to particularly enter the discussions. The Ministers resolutions from the conference are expected to outline the support they would want from the ECA in negotiating and implementing the AfCFTA e-commerce protocol. The side event ‘Report Launch: COVID-19 Impact on e-Commerce in Africa’, will consider options for the e-commerce protocol in the AfCFTA.

As COVID-19 has exposed Africa’s overreliance on international supply chains for medical research, equipment and pharmaceuticals, there will be discussions around how Africa can generate its own pharmaceutical sectors, and the role of the AfCFTA within these. Notable sessions here include:

We have an exciting line-up of confirmed speakers including:

H.E. Mr Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia who will set the tone of the meeting

H.E. Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, Ghana who will frame the discourse of the conference on Africa’s recovery imperative

Baroness Minouche Shafik, Former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England and former Deputy Managing Director IMF who will deliver a keynote statement on what the world can take away from the Covid-19 crisis, Brexit, trade and what should Africa expect

H.E. Ms Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Nigeria who will lead a debate on the preparedness of the multilateral systems to support African countries in dealing with crises like covid-19

H.E. Mr Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance of Ethiopia, who will share Ethiopia’s Covid-19 recovery efforts and the policies that have been put in place to mitigate the impact of the pandemic

H.E. Mr Mohamed Benchaaboun, Minister of Economy, Finance and Administration Reform of Morocco, who will join the big debate and share views on the implication of the crisis for emerging an middle income economies and the macroeconomic fundamentals in mitigating future impact

H.E. Mr. Jose Sele Yalaghuli, Minister of Finance, DRC who will bring a finance Minister’s perspective to Africa’s vaccine imperatives for economic growth and recovery

Tedros Adhanom, Director General of the World Health Organisation and Mr Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank who will lead discussions on Africa’s readiness to finance its own vaccines.