Economic development in Africa

Action taken by the Trade and Development Board 2018
Economic development in Africa
Agreed Conclusions 539 (LXV)
1174th plenary meeting
26 Jun 2018

The Trade and Development Board

  1. Welcomes the Economic Development in Africa Report 2018: Migration for Structural Transformation;
  2. Recalls paragraph 76 (aa) of the Nairobi Maafikiano, “complementing the work of other organizations, continue its research and analysis within its mandate on the impact of migration, including vulnerable migrants, on development and trade capacity, considering its opportunities and challenges”;
  3. Recognizes that safe, orderly and regular intra-African migration is an essential ingredient for deeper regional and continental integration;
  4. Underscores the importance of safe, orderly and regular intra-African and extra-continental migration for the continent’s structural transformation and socioeconomic development, in particular for countries of origin and destination;
  5. Recognizes the need to address the challenges associated with migration, such as brain drain and the outflow of skilled human resources;
  6. Recognizes the launch of the Single African Air Transport Market, the signature of the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons and the signature of the framework agreement for the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area;
  7. Takes note that migration by women is increasingly important in Africa, that women migrants contribute to inclusive growth in both origin and destination countries and that benefits can be enhanced through gender sensitive migration policies that ensure safe and orderly migration, which include educational opportunities;
  8. Recognizes that migration is associated with growth in labour productivity in destination countries, upskilling opportunities and technology upgrading and that migration has a pro-trade effect; however, there remains a need for reducing regional labour market information asymmetries so that prospective migrants can make more informed job decisions, thus matching skills to growing sectors where they are most needed across the continent;
  9. Regrets that the estimated 8.9 per cent cost of remittance to Africa is the highest in the world, and calls on UNCTAD and other stakeholders, including money transfer agencies, to explore ways to reduce transaction costs and expand access to financial services to help countries achieve Sustainable Development Goal 8 and Sustainable Development Goal target 10.c, strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and to expand access to banking, insurance and financial services for all, and notes the target by 2030, to “reduce to less than 3 per cent the transaction costs of migrant remittances and eliminate remittance corridors with costs higher than 5 per cent”;
  10. Observes that migration to and from Africa has been driven by factors such as historical, geopolitical and economic and calls upon the international community to support Africa in addressing challenges relating to migration;
  11. Recognizes migration governance and policies at the regional level as stipulated in the African Union’s revised Migration Policy Framework for Africa and Plan of Action (2018–2027) and the recommendations for policymakers and national actors contained therein;
  12. Recognizes that the development impact of remittances on productive capacity and structural transformation depends on complementary policies, while recalling that remittances cannot be equated to other international financial flows, such as foreign direct investment and official development assistance;
  13. Calls for the strengthening of good governance and institutional mechanisms at the national, regional and international levels regarding migration, border governance and labour flows, in order to better respond to the needs of migrants as they arise and ensure the added value of migration is captured in effective and sustainable ways;
  14. Recognizes that youth and young people play an increasingly important role in migration within and from Africa, and emphasizes the need for national, regional and international policies and implementation of respective action to enhance the education, entrepreneurship and employment of youth and young people, in order that they can use their full potential to contribute to inclusive growth in their home countries;
  15. Requests UNCTAD to continue its research and analysis, within its mandate, on the impact of Africa’s migration, including vulnerable migrants, and on development and trade capacity, considering its opportunities and challenges.