African ministers of finance attribute the poor economic performance of the continent to the worldwide pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine at the 55th session of the Economic Commission for Africa. The five-day conference held at the Skylight hotel was informed by a study presented by Djibouti economist Adam Elhiraika (PhD). The 690 million people who are at risk of falling into extreme poverty in Africa and the 149 million that did in the previous year are a few of the woes that mar the economic prospects of the continent. Antonio Pedro who was the active executive secretary suggested a shift from GDP-predicated analysis of economic growth might do some good rather reorienting priorities to the building of human infrastructure. While debt vulnerabilities point to potential systemic risk averaging around 62pc of GDP across the continent, high on the agenda was how to leverage climate finance. The prevailing narrative that the continent contributes the least to climate change while suffering the most was ubiquitous at both this conference and the AU summit a month ago. State Minister for Planning, Nemera Gebeyehu delivered opening remarks championing a bright future for the continent. Greater intra-African trade was further bolstered by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) along with a shift towards more valued exports and enhanced access to finance.
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