CAN AFRICAN UNION (AUDTI, AfCFTA SECRETARIAT, AU-ECOSOCC, ETC.), CSOs AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR PLAY A REPROGRAMMING ROLE?
Using the broken-window scenario as an analogy for destruction caused by natural disasters like Coronavirus that disrupt economic activities, even as the economic effects of natural disasters are varied, depending on where you stand in life.
It is trite that countries are more likely to have GDP fall after a disaster if they have more unemployment, poverty and less effective local, national, regional (RECs) governments and institutions, weaker economic and diplomatic connections.
Countries are more likely to have a GDP boost and recover quickly from a disaster, if (and more likely) they retain a skilled workforce and the ability to mobilize resources for reconstruction; including resources from outside the disaster areas.
On one hand,with special reference to the US economy in the past. Prompt recovery has been attributed to prompt insurance and aid payments, with contrast between Hurricane Andrew and Hurricane Katrina as an anecdotal examples.
On the other hand, slow recovery has been blamed on predatory behaviour, with those unharmed or less-harmed by the disaster taking advantage of those more harmed. Every national governments and private sector actors, are supposed to deploy resources and design programs in preparation for a Post-COVID19 era.
These aspired policies and interventions are not necessarily triggered by coronavirus but a quick pointer to our leadership failures, national, regional and continent-wide insincerity. There is nothing we seek to do now that were not supposed to be done yesterday.
Before the advent of COVID-19 pandemic, actors in socioeconomic and political governance on the continent collectively knew what works and what do not work in Africa.
In most times, the African business community and private sector CSOs amplifiers, often pretends to be an interface with the government as organized private sector and CSOs alliance, whereas they were never organized.
The role of AU-ECOSOCC is to interface with and coordinate African CSOs’ private sector value chain champions and African Business community mainstreaming, whereas most of the intiative of the African Union so far, include by inference CIDO and now AU-ECOSOCC in displaying civility to the African Union which is donor supported, with meager member States contributions.
As an industry expert, and speaking as an investor in the infrastructure and facility management sector on the one hand, as well, as a Civil Society champion on the other hand, because we anticipate that there may be food insecurity, etc., hence empowering programming frame that will support project post COVID19 economic recovering plans.
In most Countries in West and East Africa, we at Africa Industrialization Group Inc., in partnerships with several manufacturing, consumer protection and credit score associations, are busy coordinating stakeholder engagement to ensure Africa’s preparedness.
This is not because we need engagement, but so that funds will be allocated to private sectors; manufacturing, processing, package and other supply chain associations, that will readily provide for the continent essential commodities, including recurrent and current investment in shelter and palliatives to small businesses.
The Africa Union (AUDTI, AU-HRST, AU-ECOSOCC, ACDC, AU-DSA, and relevant AU Organ, etc), AI-Group Inc., African Youth Union Commission and its alliances are also Gender and Youth sensitive or advocates, because our vulnerable women and young people should be captured into a donor fund or continentwide palliatives for support, and this we believe the African Union, via AU-ECOSOCC can play a lead role in CSOs amplification in its African Union mandates, amplifying trade and industry framework of the AU, and by necessity unifying an Africa single market potentials for trade in goods and services, while supporting private sector and CSOs alliances.
There is nothing we are busy doing today that ought not have been done yesterday. Truth is, with a synchronization effort, championed by the African Union Trade and Industry Department, supporting AU-ECOSOCC as key drivers of civil society coordination on the continent will, as Africa’s people focus on what we have seen and what we can gain, or benefit from the process and never too concerned about the unseen of our actions and inactions.
Let us look inward and reprogram our efforts to empower the continent, bringing her up to speed.
By Carl Oshodi,