The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Economic Report for Africa has urged countries to improve revenue mobilization.
UEECA’s Executive Secretary, Dr. Vera Songwe, commenting on the report launched during the 52nd Session of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, in Marrakech, Kingdom of Morocco, said Africa needs to improve its tax collection efforts to close the development financing gap.
She said the continent must increase its tax collection from 12 percent to 22 percent, adding that there was also a need for countries to improve on their data collection for policy analysis.
She said, “without data, we can’t do the right analysis. With data, we can do good policies.”
On his part, Head of the Macroeconomics Unit at UNECA, Adam Elhiraika, urged African countries to use fiscal policy as part of domestic resource mobilization to meet the continent’s financing needs.
He indicated that Africa is making progress in social and other areas, but growth varies in different countries and “growth is slow,” he said.
noted that with a financing gap of 11 percent of GDP, and with a GDP of almost $2 trillion, Africa needs an investment of about $200 million a year or up to $1.3 trillion per year to finance the SDGs.
He said Africa also needs to increase in private investments and external trade, adding that the operationalization of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will boost growth on the continent.
Per its regulation, 22 of the 54 countries in Africa are required to ratify the AfCFTA and deposit their instruments of ratification with the African Union Commission to bring the agreement into force.
So far 21 countries have ratified the AfCFTA, with Ethiopia being the latest and 15 countries have deposited their instruments of ratification.
“The AfCFTA can be the game changer,” he said, adding that Africa needs to grow at a minimum of 10 percent.