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President Mnangagwa officially opens UNECA conference

Story by Josephine Mugiyo

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says African countries have the weighty responsibility to decisively tackle the challenges faced by their economies.

The Head of State said this while officially opening the 56th session of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development underway in Victoria Falls.

He said African leaders cannot afford to bury their heads in the sand but must seek solutions and look within to solve the economic challenges affecting Africa.

“I challenge you to pursue robust and innovative measures to unlock maximum benefits from our natural resources, which essentially starts with the sharing of ideas through deeper collaborations.

President Mnangagwa emphasised the need for deeper collaboration amongst African nations.”

“As African countries, we have the weighty responsibility to boldly and decisively tackle the challenges faced by our respective economies. We must look from within and among ourselves for solutions.

“Let us capitalise on collaboration as African States to mobilise resources for financing our transition towards inclusive green economies. Furthermore, whilst governments have the mandate to deal with emerging challenges, businesses have the innovation, technology and drive to deliver the solutions we need. Programmes in this regard must be scaled up,” said President Mnangagwa.

The UNECA meeting kicked off in Victoria Falls on the 28th of February and has brought together ministers of finance from the UNECA member states to discuss various issues which include the transformation of food systems, response to climate change and implementation of the African continental free trade area among others.

“As you may be aware, global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise as climate change wreaks havoc on nations that are least responsible for the emissions, putting a significant strain on Africa’s public finances, growth prospects, and employment levels. This is notwithstanding that Africa accounts for less than 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions and has natural capital that reduces the effect of carbon emissions,” said the President.

President Mnangagwa said Africa must take advantage of the economic free trade area for free movement of goods and people.

“African countries should take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement riding on ICTs and new technologies.”

The challenges Africa is grappling with also include limited fiscal resources and limited energy resources.

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