Africa Regional Review: 22 - 26 February 2021 (Virtual)

The Africa Regional Review meeting reviewed the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) in the region. 33 out of 46 LDCs are located in Africa. They face multiple challenges in achieving the goals and targets of the IPoA, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as Agenda 2063. Their structural constraints are compounded by new and emerging challenges, including those posed by ongoing conflict, the climate crisis, COVID-19 and their devastating impacts.  

The Africa Regional Review meeting took place from 22 to 26 February 2021 and was being jointly organised by UN-OHRLLS, UNECA and the Government of the Republic of Malawi. The meeting was hosted by the Government of Malawi in a virtual format.

Due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was previously scheduled to take place in Lilongwe, Malawi, from 11 to 13 March 2020.

 

OBJECTIVE

 

The Africa Regional Review meeting reviewed the implementation of the IPoA in the region, as 33 out of 46 LDCs are located in Africa. They face multiple challenges in achieving the goals and targets of the IPoA, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as Agenda 2063. Their structural constraints are compounded by new and emerging challenges, including those posed by ongoing conflict, the climate crisis, COVID-19 and their devastating impacts.

The Africa Regional Review meeting assessed the structural challenges and emerging issues faced by African LDCs and Haiti in pursuing sustainable development. The meeting provided a platform for peer exchange and learning, and for all stakeholders to gain insight and agree on concrete, targeted and effective cooperative actions and recommendations that would assist these countries to overcome structural challenges, effectively compete in global and regional markets and accelerate sustainable development progress over the next decade. The meeting also provided space for discussion of the current support provided to the LDCs by the international community and generate ideas for its improvement. 

 

OUTCOME 

The outcome of the Africa Regional Review meeting is a political declaration negotiated by the African LDCs and Haiti, which outlines the need for, and the expected components of, a renewed partnership for development between the LDCs and their development partners. The Africa Regional Review Outcome Document is to be endorsed at the ECA Conference of Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in March 2021. This outcome document will also serve as an important background document for the Inter-Governmental Preparatory Committee Meetings for the LDC5 to be held in New York in May and July 2021. 

 

PROGRAMME AND SPEAKERS

 

DOCUMENTS 

 

Outcome Document

 

[EN]
Summary Report [EN]
Concept Note

 

[EN]  [FR] 
Report: Progress in the implementation of the priority areas of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2011-2020 (Istanbul Programme of Action) E/ECA/COE/39/15*
 

[EN]

[FR]

WIPO Deliverables for African Least Developed Countriesfor the Decade 2011-2020:Facts and Figures

[EN]

[FR]

   

Issues Notes

 

Session 1: MINISTERIAL DIALOGUE: LESSONS LEARNED AND BUILDING BACK BETTER

In this session ministers and other high-level participants reflected on the progress achieved during the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action, including remaining gaps, challenges and vulnerabilities. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the LDCs’ health care systems and its socio-economic consequences featured prominently. National recovery plans were shared. Lessons learned were identified as well as policy recommendations for the next decade. 

 
Session 2: BUILDING PEACEFUL, JUST AND INCLUSIVE SOCIETIES

In this session, speakers explored how peace and security are impacting development in African LDCs. Furthermore, participants discussed mutually reinforcing dynamics of peace and development in conflict-affected countries and how to ensure a more integrated approach by the LDCs, their partners and multilateral institutions. Ways to broaden and strengthen the participation of LDCs in the institutions of global governance were also discussed.

[EN] [FR]
Session 3: RETHINKING STRUCTURAL TRANSFORMATION IN AFRICAN LDCs IN THE ERA OF TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT AND INNOVATION

This session explored the potential sources of growth to enable LDCs to achieve accelerated, inclusive and sustained growth and meet the SDGs by 2030. Structural transformation has traditionally been linked to increased productivity through the manufacturing sector. However, the era of technological advancement and initiatives for green growth to “build back better” after the COVID-19 pandemic call for a discussion on alternative sources for sustainable economic development in LDCs. Speakers discussed the role that services such as ICT (including access to broadband internet), tourism or agroindustry can play in this respect and highlighted successful and innovative solutions to enable the African LDCs generate higher productivity and decent employment, especially women and youth.

[EN] [FR]
Session 4: MOBILISING RESOURCES FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICAN LDCs

This session discussed experiences in domestic and international resource mobilization and discusses ways to facilitate the mobilization of the required resources, including innovative finance, to promote sustainable development in the African LDCs and enhance resilience to various shocks. The discussion focused on how to enhance the abilities of countries to leverage domestic resources and take full advantage of international support, such as financial sector reform, domestic resource mobilization, development of adequate financial infrastructure or risk reduction instruments, including South-South cooperation. It also looked at how to increase debt sustainability, especially after the deteriorations due to COVID-19.

[EN] [FR]
Session 5: ENHANCING EXTERNAL TRADE, BUILDING AND MAINTAINING RESILIENT INFRASTRUCTURE AND PROMOTING REGIONAL INTEGRATION IN AFRICAN LDCs

This session explored how improved market access, especially through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, can boost regional and global trade of African LDCs. It also discussed how competitiveness of African LDCs can be improved, including through access to sustainable energy and connectivity.

[EN] [FR]
Session 6: SOCIAL AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT IN THE AFRICAN LDCs - REDUCING INEQUALITY AND ADVANCING WELLBEING OPPORTUNITIES

This session explored the factors contributing to the high prevalence of poverty and inequality in the LDCs and looked into the multiple dimensions limiting their poverty eradication efforts. It discussed how progress towards human development can be accelerated through addressing aspects contributing to poverty and inequality in the African LDCs.

[EN] [FR]
Session 7: BUILDING SUSTAINABLE, INCLUSIVE AND RESILIENT FOOD SYSTEMS IN AFRICAN LDCs

This session discussed linkages between food security and agricultural transformation in African LDCs. It explored key ideas to leveraging agriculture for the structural transformation of the economies of the LDCs. The session also looked at the relationship between food security and nutrition and agricultural development in African LDCs.

[EN] [FR]

Session 8: BUILDING CLIMATE RESILIENCE AND ACCELERATING THE ENERGY TRANSITION IN AFRICAN LDCs

This session discussed the factors affecting the high degree of vulnerability faced by the African LDCs. It explored how adaptation to climate change and disaster resilience efforts relate to the sustainable development of African LDCs and discuss mechanisms and approaches that could contribute to resilience building. The discussion focused on ending energy poverty in LDCs and the important role clean and renewable energy play in building climate-resilient development pathways. It also explored workable solutions and mechanisms that could contribute to a better anchoring of resilience and sustainability issues as part of a new Programme of Action.

[EN] [FR]