BEAC, African central banks brainstorming on financing agriculture, green economy.

The Bank of Central African States, BEAC, is hosting leaders of Central Banks of several African countries for an international symposium. The leaders are meeting to see how the financial sector can contribute to financing agriculture, green economy in the face of climate change, food insecurity and inflation.

The seminar went underway in Yaounde yesterday. It is taking place under the theme: “Impact of Climate Change on African food security and inflation: The role of the financial sector in financing agriculture and green economy”. 

The gathering is being organised under the banner of the Association of African Central Banks, AACB.

The continental gathering will end tomorrow, with the adoption of strategies to address the threats arising from Climate Change on food insecurity and the wellbeing of the African citizenry.

The Deputy Governor of the Bank of Central African States, BEAC, Michel Dzombala, set the tone for the seminar. Dzombala told reporters that given the reliance of African countries on agriculture, it is becoming more challenging to address issues of inflation and yields; given the recurrence of floods and other catastrophes not unconnected to Climate Change. 

Reflections at the Yaounde gathering, he underscored, are to situate avenues through which central banks can step in to minimise the disruptions that are becoming a general threat.

Natural catastrophes, like floods emanating from Climate Change, Dzombala added, oftentimes, affect the environment and the health of the population. 

The consequence, he said, is a disruption in the chain of activities that keep economies robust. Climate Change, he also said, has had a negative impact on Africa’s agriculture.

The BEAC Deputy Governor upbeat that the ongoing seminar will result in innovative resolutions and recommendations on how the financial sector can contribute to addressing challenges that abound. 

Central Banks, he also said, would gain best practices to enhance sustainable development that seeks to protect the environment.

Speaking at the opening of the meeting, the Executive Secretary of the  Association of African Central Banks, AACB, Dr Djoulassi Kokou Oloufade, thanked BEAC’s management and staff for working hard to host the important gathering.

Dr Djoulassi thanked President Paul Biya and the Cameroonian people for making them feel at home to handle issues that touch on the wellbeing of Africans. He saluted the support from the Central Banks of different countries and partners to move the continent ahead.

He said the ongoing seminar, which is an annual event of the AACB, falls in line with the objective of the association to boost conversations around common challenges. 

Dr Djoulassi said recurrent floods across Africa have resulted in increased desertification with disruptions that continue to affect many African economies.

For a continent that relies on 85 percent import to keep its economy going, the AACB Executive Secretary said the inflationary shocks from global shifts have always remain devastating to Africa. 

He mentioned especially the challenge of spiraling inflation. He regretted that economies witnessed economic slowdown in 2022 after signs of relief in 2021.

What Central Banks seek to achieve

The Executive Secretary said the Yaounde session is focused on taking stock of food insecurity in Africa and inflation; coming up with strategies on how the financial sector could roll back inflation and help address rising food insecurity; how financial sector can boost agriculture and the green economy and role of central banks in stabilising prices and financial systems amid climate change. 

He described the ongoing seminar as an opportunity to share knowledge on the impact of Climate Change on food insecurity in Africa and inflation.

Topics under review

Themes being handled are Climate Change, price and financial stability and achieving sustainable food security in Africa, promoting green economy in Africa, role of financial sector in promoting agriculture, financing the green economy and food insecurity in Africa, food insecurity and inflation in Africa and contribution of financial sector to the recovery of the agriculture sector in Africa.

Participants  

Participants are drawn from the European Central Bank, Federal  Reserve Bank of New York, African Union Commission, African Economic Commission, the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa-COMESA, Central African Economic and Monetary Community-CEMAC, Economic Community of West African States- ECOWAS, Economic Community of Central African States-ECCAS, Arab Maghreb  Union-AMU, West African Economic and Monetary Union-WAEMU, Southern African Development Community-SADC, West  African Monetary Agency-WAMA, West African Monetary Institute-WAMI, African Development Bank-AfDB, International Monetary Fund-IMF and the World Bank. 

Representatives from other partner institutions in attendance are from the Making Finance Work for Africa, MFW4A, which supports the stability of the African financial sector. There are also participants from the German Development Agency, GIZ. 

About AACB

The association was created in 1965 by Heads of State and Governments of the then Organisation of African Unity, OAU, now African Union, AU. 

It has as primary objective to drive for a common ground on monetary issues, ensure price stability and make proposals on key economic issues across Africa among others.

In 2002, AACB instituted the African Program for Monetary Cooperation. Its membership today is comprised of 40 countries. 

It has a Council of Governors and other sub organs. It also has a Permanent Secretariat in Dakar, Senegal. It is lodged by the Bank of West African States.

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