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The 52nd session of the Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA) Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, will be held in Marrakech, Morocco, next week under the theme; Fiscal policy, trade and the private sector in the digital era: A strategy for Africa.

The March 20-26 conference, according to organisers, will provide an opportunity for the African ministers to examine the fiscal policies necessary for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

This is within the frameworks of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and Africa’s development programme, Agenda 2063, and the critical role of private sector in the era of the digital economy.

The AfCFTA could soon reach the minimum required ratifications to come into effect since 19 countries have already ratified the agreement.

With three additional signatures, the agreement could come into effect.

According to the ECA Executive Secretary, Vera Songwe, discussions during the 2019 Council of Ministers will focus on effective fiscal policy for growth in Africa.

 “With its changing economic basis, Africa needs to renew its fiscal policy in order to align with the economic order and to meet its needs for investments and growth,” said Songwe.

This year’s theme; Fiscal policy, trade and the private sector in the digital era: A strategy for Africa, as noted, recognises the need to improve domestic resource mobilisation on the continent and increase competitiveness leveraging on the strength of digital technology.

The conference in Marrakech will comprise plenary sessions on a series of sub-themes and at least 16 side events on various issues affecting African economies.

Seasoned and high-level panelists from within and outside Africa will guide the discussions.

The annual Adebayo Adedeji Lecture – named after ECA’s longest serving Executive Secretary, Professor Adebayo Adedeji, who passed away last April, is also on the cards with discussions involving experts from within and outside the continent.

Prof. Adedeji, a scholar, thinker and activist who was passionate about Africa’s development, is greatly respected for his leadership and contribution to changing the discourse of Africa’s development agenda.

The Adebayo Adedeji Lecture series, is an

annual discourse on contemporary issues that frame his vision.

It is a commemoration of his contribution to development on the African continent. The New Times

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