MRDE2013: promise and performance

mag MRDEThis sixth joint Review by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), was published on 16 May 2013. It addresses four main questions :

  • What are the main commitments which have been made by Africa and its development partners?
  • Have these been delivered?
  • What have the results been?
  • What are now the key future policy priorities?

Key findings

The 2013 Mutual Review of Development Effectiveness in Africa (MRDE) report was launched at the African Union Commission in the margins of the 14 th Session of the Regional Coordination Mechanism for Africa (RCM-Africa) of United Nations agencies and organizations working in Africa in support of the African Union and the NEPAD programme.

The continent has recovered from the global crisis of 2009 and this should be sustained subject to wider global conditions. Following a dip in growth to 2.7% in 2011 due to factors in North Africa, Africa’s overall growth rate rebounded to 5% in 2012, and is projected to remain strong at 4.8% in 2013 and 5.1% in 2014. There has been a similar recovery in trade performance, driven by demand pressures which have led to a reversal in the long declining trend of real commodity prices. Africa now exports as much to emerging markets as to its traditional trading partners, which partly shelter the continent from global economic slowdown.

Results vary by sub-region, country and goal, but the latest 2012 MDG Report confirms that it is still broadly moving in the right direction. According to the Global Monitoring Report, the region has achieved more than 60% of the progress required to reach, by 2015, goals such as gender parity, primary completion, and stemming the HIV/AIDS pandemic; and access to safe water

There have been some positive developments including a general improvement in the quality of elections, the successful reversal of unconstitutional changes of government, and progress towards restoring stability in Somalia. The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance has now come into force, representing a major commitment to improving and monitoring governance in Africa. The AU and regional organisations have taken a strong lead in rejecting unconstitutional action and promoting a return to democratic government, with support from the international community.

Domestic revenue continued to increase in 2012 to reach an all-time high: Domestic revenue is by far the major source of financing for development. It increased four-fold between 2002 and 2008 to US$509 billion, fell sharply to US$389 billion in 2009 with the bulk of the decline occurring in oil-exports, had recovered to US$531 billion by 2011 driven by strong revenue performance in Africa (excluding North Africa) and rose again in 2012 to reach a new record high of US$598 billion. There has been a significant reduction in the number of countries (now reduced to 9) collecting less than 15% of GDP in domestic public revenue. Issues of budgetary allocation and expenditure effectiveness, however, still need to be addresse

ODA to Africa is estimated to have fallen to around US$46 billion in 2012. This is significantly below the level of the 2010 target implied by commitments in 2005. Major further efforts are needed if 2005 commitments are to be met in full. Progress in delivering the Paris and Accra commitments on aid effectiveness has been slow, and more efforts will be needed to meet the Busan commitments on aid untying, transparency and predictability in the agreed timescale.


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