August 2023: On August 30th, during this year’s African Conference on Debt and Development (AfCoDD III), Development Reimagined co-organized a panel discussion with the African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD) on the topic of increasing African borrower coordination in the international financial system. The panel included an incredible lineup of speakers, namely Jason Braganza (Executive Director at AFRODAD), Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi (Executive Vice President of ACET), Daouda Sembene (CEO of AfriCatalyst), Lee Everts (Chief of Macroeconomic Analysis Section at UNECA), Martha Kwataine (Special Advisor to the President of Malawi on Development NGOs) and Mr. Patrick Olomo (Policy Officer at the African Union). The session began with keynote remarks from Professor Aziz Fall (Political Scientist at the GRILA group) and was moderated by Etsehiwot Kebret (Development Finance Advisor at Development Reimagined).
Development Reimagined has been promoting the concept of a Borrowers Club for many years and has in many forums, such as this one, brought together key African experts, thought leaders and development professionals to discuss how African countries can work together to ensure that they receive fair, concessional financing and a great voice in the international system.
The panelists shared their own experiences working in think tanks, government, civil society and intergovernmental organizations and agreed on “nothing for us without us” as mentioned by Ms. Kwataine. The panelists discussed the shortcomings of the Global Sovereign Debt Roundtable and the G20 Common Framework and reiterated the importance of having the African Union or a Pan-African regional body that can represent the continent in important forums such as the G20. Nevertheless, representation is not enough, as Africans need to have a common message to convey to the international community and ensure that our voices are heard.
The panelists came to the conclusion that we need 1. A common African position on key financial issues (one declaration that we can all agree on) 2. We need African institutions to have seats in important global forums 3. Political buy-in is crucial, our leaders need to be fully on board 4. We need to support the good work that is already being done by different African institutions to promote borrower coordination
To watch the discussion, click here (Our session is from 4:57:20)