Migration to Europe a result of failed development policies in Africa
East African Community Secretariat; Arusha, Tanzania; 06 December 2016:
The ongoing migration of people to Europe is evidence that African countries have failed to implement policies that could yield benefits to their citizens.
The East African Community (EAC) Deputy Secretary General (DSG) in charge of Infrastructure and Planning, Dr. Enos Bukuku, said that poverty-stricken refugees were willing to risk their precious lives to cross the Mediterranean and face other risks knowing they could get a better life in Europe.
Dr. Bukuku said the migration provides an opportunity for African leaders, elites and governments to ask themselves pertinent questions on why the continent continues to score poorly on all development indicators.
The DSG said it was ironical that many African countries were at the same level of economic growth with most economies in South East Asia in the 1960s yet the latter had become part of the 20 largest economies in the world even as their African counterparts continue to lag behind in development.
Dr. Bukuku was speaking when he presided over the official opening of the 3rd Stakeholders Meeting on the Sub-Regional Coordination Mechanism (SRCM) for Eastern and Southern Africa at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
The main aim of the two-day SRCM is to bring together UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Sub-Regional Offices, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Inter-Governmental Organisations (IGOs) and UN agencies in order to identify opportunities for joint planning and programme implementation at the sub-regional level and thereby effectively support the work and priorities of the RECs and IGOs in the regions.
Among the RECs and IGOs represented at the meeting are the EAC, Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Indian Ocean Commission. Other organizations with representatives at the meeting are the African Union, United Nations Development Programme, International Labour Organisation, International Organization for Migration, NEPAD, and the Port Management Association for Eastern and Southern Africa.
Speaking at the forum, Mr. Maxwell Mkumba, the SADC Senior Policy Director and Technical Coordinator, on behalf of the SADC Executive Secretary and SRCM outgoing Chair, Dr. Stergomena L. Tax, emphasized the importance of aligning RECs and IGOs key flagship initiatives with the AU Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“We also need to discuss and agree on effective instruments to strengthen our collaboration, synergies and coherence that are necessary to ensure AU Agenda and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are effectively mainstreamed into the regional and national development plans,” said Mr. Mkumba.
Mr. Mkumba said that the SRCM had recorded significant achievements over the past one year when SADC held the position of Chair and cited the development of the Draft Addendum to the Business Plan and the study on the mapping of the SRCM stakeholders.
“However, we can do better than this if we are able to improve on our joint programming processes, allow for more regular interactions and effective information sharing and communication, as well as well as urgently deal with challenges around resourcing of programme implementation,” he said.
“Peoples of the regions we represent are looking up to initiatives like the SRCM to address development challenges, including poverty eradication. The SRCM should serve as the excellent mechanism for achieving sustainable development,” he added.
In her remarks, the UNECA Deputy Executive Secretary, Ms. Gionvanie Biha, said the SRCM was a relatively new and evolving mechanism that needs to be embraced and nurtured by all stakeholders, most of whom were still on a learning mode.
Ms. Biha urged UN agencies to use the SRCM as a platform for sharing information and knowledge and building on synergies and complementarities to support regional priorities, adding that leadership by RECs was key to the success of the mechanism.
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