Experts Design Sequencing for Transformative Leadership Towards Central Africa’s Economic Transformation

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Central African economies would make a complete turnaround from the export of raw gems and other commodities to a state of added value and economic diversification, if they awakened to a new paradigm of leadership and change. transformational, involving all segments of society.

A series of high-level debates and group reflections at the 37th session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Senior Officials and Experts for Central Africa (ICE), at the Kintele International Conference Center near Brazzaville, reached this conclusion general, Friday December 10, 2021.

“The deliberations of this session allowed everyone to understand the relevance of broadening our macroeconomic indicators by highlighting the dimension of human capital as an essential factor of growth” declared Jean Luc Mastaki, Head of the sub-regional office of ECA for Central Africa, which co-convened the session with the Government of Congo.

“We have stressed the need to bring together actors from the public sector, the private sector and civil society, building a coalition of leaders to accelerate economic diversification in our sub-region, while bringing into play the important roles of taking into account our vast natural capital and the exploitation of the potential of the sub-region in terms of production and supply of renewable energies ”, he continued.

The ECA Office for Central Africa presented a study aimed at guiding strategies and actions aimed at bringing about the recommended changes.: “A journey towards 2030: fostering leadership and transformative change or economic diversification in Central Africa.

The study broadens the discourse on economic diversification that has gained ground in the sub-region since the adoption of the Douala Consensus at the 34th session of the ICE in 2017.

“The success of industrial policies aimed at promoting economic diversification will depend on strong leadership and appropriate institutions,” argues the report, which quotes the African Capacity Building Foundation’s point of view on the discourse as “less on the leader or CEO and more on the leadership group, drawn from the political and management segments of the state, private sector and civil society who are able to steer change towards desired results. ”

“The key change needed is to move from directing short-term gains for a narrowly defined special interest group to directing long-term gains by the whole of society,” said Desta Mebratu of the University. de Stellenbosch, who along with Mark Swilling, Anton Cartwright and others worked closely with ECA on the study.

Mebratu listed the following six points as essential to bring about effective transformational leadership in the pursuit of economic diversification in Central Africa: ii) intentionally create “pockets of efficiency” between ruling elites and civil servants; iii) build trusting relationships and institutional mechanisms that enable learning to improve productivity between government bureaucrats and businesses, iv) build partnerships between businesses and civil society, v) build an environment of trust between civil society and state bureaucracies, and vi) promote accountability of ruling elites to civil society to help limit extractive rent-seeking that only benefits the ruling elite or to a particular faction within the ruling elite.

Session rallying call for leadership and transformative change actors

After days of careful consideration of the implications of the study for the economic diversification of Central Africa, including deliberations at one meeting of an expert group on natural capital accounting and another on renewable energies, the following general recommendations emerged:

ECA was invited to develop statistical tools and a multi-partner platform to measure leadership practices and dialogue between the public and private sectors as well as a benchmarking matrix on economic diversification to serve as a signal for alarm to member states.

The Commission was further tasked with rallying the private sector and civil society on the paths of economic diversification, guiding an industrial competitiveness program for the profitable participation of Central Africa in the African common market – the AfCFTA, and help Member States develop natural capital accounting models.

Member States were invited to embark on the transition to green energy and to fully pursue natural capital accounting in order to expand their fiscal space for sustainable development projects.

With their rich biodiversity and ecosystems, Central African countries could easily prosper by rapidly expanding the pharmaceutical industry, but governments must remove the barriers faced by entrepreneurs in the sector and loosen the ground for SMEs to thrive.

Delegates said a private sector-led expansion of economies would be possible if member states decentralize and simplify business incorporation procedures while promoting entrepreneurship mentoring in schools.

In all of these cases, public administrators should be encouraged to render service free from corruption while society at large should work together to collectively eradicate corruption.

In a newly configured social pact towards leadership for economic diversification, the private sector was implored to provide more on the social of enterprises in a responsible manner and to do everything to improve local capacities of building machine tools that would stimulate the making.

It was high time that the regional economic communities, notably CEMAC and ECCAS, created a consortium on the exploitation of natural capital accounting to stimulate economic diversification and industrialization with the private sector at the center.

The RECs were also called upon to convince the central banks of the sub-region, in particular the BEAC, to ease the financing conditions for the industry. This, while also promoting economic diplomacy to facilitate the creation of cross-border special economic zones and to inspire financially endowed captains of industry to make transnational investments and shape regional value chains.

There was no more time to waste for the free movement of goods and people, delegates said, noting that swift action in this regard by the RECs would accelerate the results of economic diversification.

With its important role in raising awareness of all segments of society in the leadership coalition, civil society actors were called upon to improve their own leadership to be able to better probe the ethical dimensions of economic diversification processes in the region. sub-region, which promote sustainability and inclusiveness.

ECI session chair, United Nations system coordinator satisfied

“The rich content of this 37th session of the ICE has very clearly marked the direction in which we must all go together to bring Central Africa safely to Destination 2030 through leadership and transformational change, ”said Franck Corneille Mampouya M’Bama, Director General of Planning and Development of Congo and President of ICE for the coming year.

United Nations Resident Coordinator in Congo Chris Mburu said the theme of the meeting was “an important subject for the UN in more ways than one, due to the key role that leadership plays in the implementation. of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. “

He pledged the continued commitment of the United Nations system to work together in the sub-region in general and in the Congo in particular to promote “effective and agile leadership which means the careful formulation and implementation of public policies and the provision of public services to meet needs and aspirations. citizens, leaving no one behind.

The 37th session of the ICE for Central Africa was co-opened by the Congolese Minister of the Economy, Planning, Statistics and Regional Integration РIngrid Olga Ghislaine Ebouka-Babackas, and the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ECA РVera Songwe, in the presence of the Minister of Industrial Development and the Promotion of the Private Sector of Congo РAntoine Nic̩phore Thomas Fylla Saint Eudes.

It brought together more than a hundred senior officials, including government ministers; experts in leadership, natural capital accounting and renewable energy economics; as well as delegates from development organizations and regional economic communities.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

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