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Thirteen African Heads of State and governments concluded their one-day meeting in Abidjan  with a strong resolution to accelerate economic recovery from the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, scale-up investments in human capital, and increase their job creation efforts.

They called for a robust twentieth replenishment of the World Bank Group’s International Development Association (IDA20) to support these efforts.

In a joint declaration endorsed at the meeting, the Heads of State emphasized that economic recovery, job creation, and investments in human capital – including expanding access to vaccines – are critical to help people recover from the shocks of the pandemic, get out of extreme poverty, and build a more resilient and inclusive future.

On jobs, the leaders committed to job creation efforts by developing the private sector, with emphasis on improving productivity through broad based digitalisation, mechanisation, African manufacturing - including vaccines, and improved access to finance and better business environment. 

On human capital, the leaders called for education systems that support the acquisition and use of skills needed for the jobs of tomorrow, and resilient health systems, adaptive safety nets and service delivery systems. On economic recovery, the Heads of State expressed their determination to support structural and spatial transformation of economies, through better economic diversification and regional development within countries and regions, coupled with macroeconomic stability with special attention to public debt sustainability, security and peacekeeping issues, as well as  better preparedness to protect economies and populations from various crises. 
Acknowledging the high financing volumes needed to match the level of ambition of their development agenda, the leaders highlighted the importance of maximising both domestic and external financing resources. They observed that with the continent’s additional financing needs estimated at

$285 billion over the next five years, to fight the pandemic, climate change, and accelerate economic recovery, their enhanced domestic resource mobilization efforts would fall short. They therefore called for an earlier IDA20 replenishment of at least $100 billion by the end of 2021 to meet with aspirations for the continent.