Africa needs a new, inclusive and people-centred development model - Mr. Abdoulie Mar Dieye

05 May 2014

imageA section of participants at the conference (Photo credit: Bossman Owusu, UNDP in Ghana)

Director for UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa, Mr. Abdoulie Mar Dieye, has said, “Africa needs a new, inclusive development model that places the wellbeing of the people at the centre of economic growth and development”.

This was contained in a goodwill message read on his behalf by Mr. Lebogang Motlana, Director of UNDP Regional Services Centre during the recent Pan-African Conference on “Inequalities in the Context of Structural Transformation” which took place in Accra from April 28-30, 2014.

Mr. Mar Dieye noted that Africa’s experience over the past decades shows that many people have been excluded from benefiting from the rising economic fortunes of the continent. “The benefits have often been concentrated in a few enclave and limited to narrow segments of society, thus exacerbating poverty, inequality and fragility. A new, inclusive and people-centred development model is therefore needed to bring about broader prosperity.”

He added that this transformative agenda cannot lead to rapid reduction of inequality if Africa does not continuously promote capable private and public institutions supported by effective and responsive governance, inclusive participation, voice and accountability.

Other speakers at the conference also shared perspectives on the widening inequality gap in Africa. An Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations and a Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, Amina Mohammed, noted that weak institutions in many African countries have deepened inequality gaps on the continent.

She said although African countries might be committed to ensuring that each of its citizens get a fair share of opportunities, if institutions meant to ensure that this happens are not properly equipped to do their work, it can derail the efforts. She added that development efforts should be done with an aim of benefitting all segments of society.

The Pan-African Conference on “Inequalities in the Context of Structural Transformation” was a high-level, multi-stakeholder platform where key African constituencies concerned with different aspects of the inequality issue, were engaged in conceptualizing and shaping possible trajectories for African transformation.

It aimed at forging linkages between the ongoing African development debates and the discussions on a post-MDGs development framework and contributing to crafting an African agenda on inequalities, especially in the context of processes aimed at shaping an African vision for the next 50 years – i.e the Africa 2063 agenda.

The conference was opened by H.E. President John Dramani Mahama, the President of the Republic of Ghana and it encompassed high-level panels, framing presentations, innovative plenaries and parallel group discussions to build a common understanding of social, economic and political inequalities and how they might be more effectively addressed within the context of a structural transformation agenda.

The conference brought together over 150 experts from all over the continent including governments, parliamentarians, the private sector and the CSOs to discuss practical issues of inequality, transforming African economies and promoting human development in Africa.

The United Nations (UN) system in Ghana, including UNDP also used the opportunity to showcase some of its work in addressing the rising inequalities in Ghana. The exhibition highlighted the roles and key initiatives of the UN system in supporting Government and other partners to advance inclusive growth and development, promote human rights and ensure environmental sustainability with the overarching aim of reducing existing economic and social inequities as well as geographic disparities in Ghana.