KIGALI. — Africa has been slow to convert its natural resources endowments to tangible development outcomes, because of weaknesses in governance and capacities, a report released on Tuesday showed.
The report, jointly done by the African Union, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the UN Development Programme, examined efforts to improve governance of Africa’s natural resources, especially need to strengthen natural resource governance institutions and frameworks for enhancement of domestic revenue mobilisation.
Natural resource sector offers Africa potential to drive growth and provide the revenue base for financing development, but it is fraught with challenges, requiring all stakeholders — governments, private sector and civil society — to engage in reforming natural resource governance, said the 2018 Africa Sustainable Development Report released at the ongoing African Economic Conference in Rwandan capital Kigali.
“The executive wields significant control over the resources, which also compromises oversight by the legislature, in law and practice, with many countries experiencing unaccountable use of resource revenue, weak budget discipline and poor transparency,” said the report.
Africa’s overriding strategy of exporting commodities in their raw, non-valued-added form has failed to produce sustainable inclusive growth, improve people’s wellbeing or diversify and transform its economies, according to the report.
The key to transforming natural resources into sustained prosperity in Africa is to build transparency and accountability into the decision-making chain and support inclusive decision-making over the long-term, Director of the Macroeconomic Policy Division of the UN Economic Commission for Africa Adam Elhiraika said at the releasing ceremony. – Xinhua