Financing for Development


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Financing for Development: The Abuja Commitment to Action Adopted at the Abuja Conference, Abuja, Nigeria On 22 May 2006


1. African Finance Ministers, along with a number of African Education

Ministers, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, international financial

institutions, UN agencies, development partners, the Archbishop of Cape

Town, Bono and other representatives of civil society met in Abuja on May

21 and 22, 2006. The Abuja Conference, which was sponsored by the

Nigerian Government, African Development Bank and UN Economic

Commission for Africa, symbolized a critical first step by African

Finance Ministers to lead a process that translates financing for

development commitments into action.


2. The conference focused on scaling up efforts to achieve and sustain the

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In 2005, the United Nations, G8,

European Union, African Union and others made a series of commitments

to deliver more and better aid, debt cancellation, reduced conditionality

and more coherent, ‘joined up’ policies in support of development. At the

G8 Conference in Gleneagles, African Heads of State and Finance

Ministers called for an African led process to monitor those commitments

and encourage international development partners to translate them into



3. We reiterate our commitment to accelerating progress towards the MDGs

and to the actions required on our side to achieve them. These include the

ongoing strengthening of governance and accountability through

institutional reforms, and the implementation of ambitious and costed longterm

plans to meet the MDGs. We also recognize the interdependence of

the various MDG targets, and acknowledge the need for scaled-up

investments in all MDG-related sectors such as education, health,

infrastructure and agriculture. We welcome the commitment of our

development partners to provide the necessary resources to fully

implement these plans.


4. In particular, we recognize the special situation of post-conflict nations,

which require scaling up of aid to build stability, and to develop the

institutions for increasing growth and reducing poverty. Support is also

needed for middle-income countries to expand social spending, particularly

in addressing the scourge of HIV/AIDS. We recognize the situation of

countries that are yet to accede to the Highly Indebted Poor Countries

(HIPC) initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI), and urge

an acceleration of their qualification for these schemes.


The Framework for Scaling Up Action to Achieve the MDGs

Ambitious Plans and Budgets

5. A growing number of African countries have national development plans

that outline a balanced set of priorities that will reduce poverty. We will

place much greater emphasis in these plans on achieving rapid and

sustainable growth to underpin poverty reduction. We acknowledge the

importance of these plans being owned by national governments,

parliaments and citizens to facilitate effective implementation. We call on

our development partners to recognize and respect the responsibility of

African governments and citizens to decide, plan, and appropriately

sequence their growth and poverty reduction policies, and partner with us

to achieve their objectives.


6. We commit to integrating national plans and budget processes with

effective mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation, and accountability for

results. National parliaments should establish processes for greater

involvement in the development of these budgets. We will fulfil our existing

international and regional commitments to allocate additional budgetary

resources to achieving the MDGs. We will also use appropriate

consultative frameworks as a mechanism for allocating resources at the

country level and for ensuring mutual accountability.


7. Scaling up action is both critical and urgent if our countries are to meet the

MDG targets. This requires ambitious long-term plans. On education,

many African countries have already produced comprehensive and costed

plans to achieve the education MDGs by 2015. We commit to a total of

twenty (20) countries – Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gabon,

Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique,

Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Swaziland,

Tanzania and Uganda – providing 10-year education plans by September

2006. In addition, Liberia and Sudan have committed to making the

maximum use of partners’ technical support in striving to meet this

timetable. We will write to the G8 setting out our commitments to present

these 10-year plans at the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings in September

2006. The plans will demonstrate how Africa can meet its education

targets with increased resources. We welcome the UK’s commitment to

provide at least US$15 billion over the next ten years starting in April 2006.

We ask our other development partners to meet their share, and allocate

long-term predictable financing through expansion of the Fast Track

Initiative (FTI) and through bilateral programmes. An important signal of

development partners’ commitment and credibility will be an agreement to

fill the existing education financing gap for FTI countries for 2006 and

2007. We look forward to further discussions on financing these plans at

the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings in September 2006.


8. On HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria, we will immediately take forward the Abuja

commitment to develop, or revise, costed national plans in order to

operationalize our pledge to achieve universal access to treatment,

prevention and care by 2010. To support this process, we ask the

international community to use the upcoming Global Fund for AIDS TB and

Malaria (GFATM) meeting to review these plans, and commit the

predictable long-term resources needed to implement them.


9. We recognize the macroeconomic challenges of effectively managing

large resource inflows. We can manage the macroeconomic impact of

scaling up aid. Fiscal space can be opened up. We note that the IMF is

ready to work with us to this end on a country-by-country basis. The

current volatility of aid flows constrains budget planning. We therefore

call on development partners to provide long-term and predictable

financing. Achieving the MDGs will require more effective fiscal and

monetary policies, including stronger linkages between national plans and

budgets. We commit to: improving public expenditure management;

developing long-term costed plans to ensure the productive expenditure of

resources; implement policies to improve growth and competitiveness; and

spend resources in a manner that is pro-poor. Many of us have produced

the long-term strategies and plans needed to provide the platform for

development partners to scale up resources in a predictable medium-term

manner. We believe that the human and economic cost of failing to provide

adequate funding far outweighs the potential risk involved in scaling up



10. Improved plans and strategies that are strongly owned will create the basis

for more efficient use of public resources (domestic and external) to

achieve the MDGs. To this end, we will continue current efforts to

strengthen expenditure management processes. Ten (10) countries will

commit to carrying out analysis of the efficiency of public expenditure

management systems, including expenditure tracking surveys, by

December 2007. This will include expenditure tracking surveys. The

findings of these reviews will be reflected in the implementation of 2008

budgets. We will promote transparency at all levels on the use of all public

resources, and make information freely available to civil society

organisations, within existing legal frameworks, to enable independent

monitoring of progress. We call on non-state actors to establish national

coalitions to support this process. We support the development of improved

statistics, including the development of national statistical bodies, in order

to monitor progress, in collaboration with ECA and other institutions.


Predictable and Effective Delivery of Aid

11.Scaling up will place additional pressures on the aid architecture with its

longstanding structural problems. We recognize the need for a range of aid

instruments and institutions to deliver the commitments to better aid made

in the Paris Declaration. We encourage the development of innovative

financing mechanisms such as taxes on airline tickets being implemented

by the French Government, and the International Finance Facility

(IFF).African Ministers acknowledge the role of the Nigerian government in

supporting them, and specifically call for the continued support that the

Nigerian Trust Fund (NTF) has provided over the years.


12.Selection of aid instruments should also be context specific, and designed

flexibly to reflect the requirements of individual countries and the need for

regional integration. The comparative advantage of the various

development partners should be recognized in this regard. We call for

greater effectiveness of the aid architecture to ensure it is aligned with

national development plans and includes accountability from governments

to citizens. We urge all Donor Assistance Committee (DAC) member states

that have not already done so to announce their own action plans for

operationalizing the Paris Declaration principles, including full untying of aid

and reform of technical assistance. We ask for a progress report to be

submitted at the next DAC High Level Meeting.


13.We wish to express disappointment at the slow progress made in the Doha

negotiations, and call on the WTO to intensify negotiations with a view to

concluding an ambitious deal in this development round. Ministers

welcome the offers of support from the UK, and other development

partners, on the aid for trade package as a complement to the Doha



Coordinated Monitoring

14.Monitoring commitments that have been made by Africa and the

international community, on the basis of mutual accountability, is critical to

ensuring that we stay on track and achieve success. The African

Partnership Forum (APF) is setting up a mechanism for monitoring

commitments. This should include a framework specifying roles and

responsibilities of the various actors involved, including civil society, which

can be a powerful and effective force in monitoring. In this regard, we call

on civil society to co-ordinate their efforts at the national, regional and

international levels. We recognize that an empowered citizenry can also be

an effective monitoring force. We encourage the use of innovative

mechanisms of engagement with communities, individuals and faith-based

organisations. We support these partnerships by upholding transparency

and freedom of information of government financial operations, while

recognizing the need for mutual accountability.


15.These commitments will feed into the development partner communiqué at

the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings in September 2006 in Singapore. We

will meet next year in Ghana, to review progress on these issues.


16.Finally, we urge the G8 to maintain Africa as a priority.

Abuja, 21 – 22 May 2006


Action Points for Governments

1. Provide additional budgetary resources for achieving the MDGs in line with

existing international and regional commitments.

2. A total of twenty (20) countries to provide costed 10-year education plans by

September 2006. Ministers agreed to write to the G8, setting out their

commitments to present 10-year plans at the IMF/ World Bank Annual Meetings in


3. Review and strengthen macroeconomic frameworks in existing and new national

development plans in the context of scaled up assistance from development


4. Carry out an analysis of efficiency of public expenditure management systems in

ten (10) countries by December 2007. Lessons will be reflected in implementation

of 2008 budgets.

5. Make information on government financial operations freely available to civil

society organizations (CSOs) and other stakeholders, within the context of

existing legal frameworks.


Action Points for International Partners

6. We call on partners to deliver on commitments already made, and to provide

additional resources in a timely and predictable manner to achieve MDG targets.

7. Agree to and fill the existing education financing gap for FTI countries for 2006

and 2007.

8. Review HIV/AIDS plans during upcoming GFATM meeting and commit to

increased and predictable funding.

9. IMF to assist individual countries to review their macroeconomic frameworks with

a view to strengthening and aligning them towards scaling up for meeting MDG

targets. The IMF will report on progress during annual meetings.

10. DAC member countries, who have not already done so, should announce their

own action plans to achieve Paris Declaration principles.

11. Provide a progress report on item 10 above at the next DAC high-level meeting.

12. As part of the information needed for mutual accountability, development partner

agencies should publish what is disbursed to non-state actors.

13. Explore the possibility of additional assistance to middle income countries with

specific problems relating to HIV/AIDS.


Action Points for Civil Society

14. Establish coalitions to support process of improving preparation and

implementation of development plans .

15. At the international level, coordinate efforts towards monitoring aid and agree

sustainable framework specifying roles and responsibilities of various actors


16. At the national level, form strong coalitions to monitor progress against

commitments by both governments and development partners including

monitoring the use of domestic resources.

17. As part of the information needed for mutual accountability, non-state actors

should publish their accounts and provide information about the use of funds



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This page was last updated on 10/27/07.