Summary of the main points made at the SALO workshop on the 2 July 2015 on:
By Fowzia Davids, Research and Projects Intern in the SALO team
“Some of the main analysis and commentary coming out of this dialogue shared by the panellists include;
– Dr Sheldon Moulton providing an update on the FFD negotiations thus far and what to expect from the Addis Conference. He identified obstacles and constraints that may hinder progress, what is needed to reinvigorate and strengthen global financing to achieve development for the post-2015 MDGs. This financing for development requires addressing systemic issues relating to the financial system and the global trade system – and addressing biases between public sector and private sector finance – and moving towards an appropriate balance.
– Ms Chantal Naidoo spoke on climate finance and how it relates to the SDGs. She highlighted some of the urgent and rapid investments needed for this development – but stated that it should be sustainable – which is a complex process. She noted that climate finance in developing countries; most public officials are battling with the negotiation process – as there are many streams of finance to navigate. There is a gap in the discourse – where public officials are overloaded with money for planning on sustainable development, but it comes down to how to use finance as an instrument for change.
– Mr Henry Malumo shared the Civil Society perspective of financing development. He spoke of the importance of transformative and accountable leadership. Leadership that is about change, and answerable to its citizens and partners – this is key to achieving the SDGs and MDGs. He also spoke to the quantitiave versus qualitative content within the MDGs – and gave an example of the goal to increase the quantity of enrolled students as opposed to the quality of the said education – and how it relates to employability. Mr Malumo highlighted the effects of illicit financial flows and how it hampers development within Africa – the continent loses 6 billion US dollars to this, which is more than the aid that it receives. It is in the interest of both the developed and the developing world to address this issue.
Through accountability, development will move from being on paper to implementation. Unless we have reforms, aid will flow into Africa but not change lives.
– Mr Masiiwa Rusare spoke to the differences between the upcoming conference in Addis, and the previous conferences in Monterey in 2000 and the 2008 Doha Conference. The previous conferences had a government-to-government focus, however the upcoming conference is far broader, as it includes the private sector, and how they are going to contribute to development.
– Mr Rusare stated that the challenge for Africa is not the financial gap, but rather the productivity challenge, capacity gap, and employment. Finance can help address this, but partnerships can also address this. It is not purely a financial gap – when we speak about aid – it should be channelled to improve productivity, technology and trade capacity. Africa’s issues are not limited to SDGs and MDGs. Financing for development will not be a solution for all Africa’s problems, and we need to have an eye on other issues as well.
The open discussion has highlighted a shared broad sense of scepticism with the global process and disillusionment. This poses a challenge about the legitimacy of these processes. The role of national governments has been emphasised. But what this calls for, as one speaker noted, is active citizenship to ensure participation, representation and accountability.