Senegal has been elected to head the Bureau of the 54th session of the Economic Commission for Africa’s Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (CoM2022). The election took place the 11 may at the opening of the CoM2022 Expert Group Meeting in Dakar, Senegal. The head is Bamba Diop.
The Bureau represents Africa’s five subregions and comprises a chair, three vice- chairs and a rapporteur. Bureau members are elected at the commencement of the first meeting of each session, normally on a rotational basis, according to subregion. The CoM2022 host country, Senegal, was West Africa’s nominee for the Bureau and will oversee the processes of drafting and approving resolutions and declarations at the conference.
Senegal took over the reins from Equatorial Guinea and will be assisted by Madagascar from the East African sub-region and Zimbabwe from the Southern African sub-region. Both countries are now respectively first and second vice-chairs to the Bureau. Consultations are still ongoing to name North Africa’s representative that will join Equatorial Guinea (Central Africa) as rapporteurs to the Bureau.
Accepting the election on behalf of his country, Bamba Diop, Director-General for Planning and Economic Policies at the Ministry of Economic Planning and Cooperation, Senegal, conveyed his government’s gratitude to the ECA for the opportunity to host CoM202. He also thanked Member States for the choosing Senegal as the new Bureau Chair.
Mr Drop immediately oversaw the adoption of CoM2022 programme of work and the constitution of a Drafting Committee, which he said “will review and approve the draft report of the Committee of Experts prior to its consideration and adoption. The Drafting Committee, he added, “will also review draft resolutions and a ministerial declaration that will be adopted by the Conference of Ministers.”
Among the resolutions overseen by the Bureau of the Committee of Experts at last year’s conference was a call for an increment in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to African countries, finding better ways to tackle COVID-19, and technical support for implementing the African Continental Free Trade (AfCFTA) agreement.
UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the ECA, Vera Songwe, said the ECA responded with action to the resolutions approved at the 53rd Session and has been working on their implementation.
“The ECA has continued its advocacy and support to Member States to implement the AfCFTA in collaboration with the African Union Commission. As part of evidence-based advocacy, the ECA developed a tool called the African Continental Free Trade Area Country Business Index (ACBI), a key instrument through which businesses in Africa can articulate to policy makers their main trade challenges under the free trade agreement,”she explained.
Ms Songwe said ECA was advocating for a new issuance of between $500 billion and $650 billion US dollars in special drawing rights(SDRs) for Africa, as well as strengthening member states’ statistical capacity to ensure that key targets and indicators of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 are incorporated into national development plans.
The annual Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (CoM) is the ECA’s largest annual event and provides an opportunity for participants to debate key issues concerning Africa’s development, and discuss the think tank’s performance in delivering on its mandate.