27 March 2019. At the 52nd Session of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (March 20-26, 2019), the Committee of Experts assessed progress of African LDCs 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). Participants highlighted challenges to the implementation of the IPoA in the region, including “governance problems, natural disasters, the high cost of energy, the impact of refugee flows, rising debt levels, limited access to affordable and long-term financing, human capacity development needs, low agricultural production, productivity and value addition, and limited economic diversification” (Report of the meeting of the Committee of Experts). The Committee recommended that future action “focus on boosting agricultural production and productivity, increasing value addition and promoting economic diversification. Experts noted that good governance and political stability were prerequisites for attracting foreign direct investment and called on African countries to make every effort to ensure that their priorities were taken into account in negotiations on future programmes of action. They also stressed the need to mobilize affordable and long-term financial resources.” The Committee recommended that ECA undertake a baseline assessment of the cost of energy in LDCs, that Member States support the ratification and implementation of the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area, and that ECA and OHRLLS convene in 2020 a preparatory meeting for the Fifth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries, to be held in 2021, for which ECA should undertake country-level assessments to measure progress and identify challenges.
See also the Progress report.