(Ecofin Agency) - According to Burkina Faso, greater priority should be given to security challenges that threaten development initiatives. While acknowledging the importance of addressing security challenges, the ECA states that for greater effectiveness, development initiatives and security should go hand in hand.
During discussions in preparation for the 55th Session of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning & Economic Development, Burkina Faso’s envoy expressed his country’s views concerning development actions in landlocked countries. The envoy pleaded for greater priority and solidarity for security initiatives and the fight against terrorism.
"We have reviewed all of our development priorities and [decided to focus on] security, which is a constant demand from our population. Can we think of trade, schooling, and hospitals when we are under constant threat of terrorist attacks? Security is our current priority. The same is true for Mali, Guinea, and countries bordering Lake Chad and the Great Lakes. We are appealing for greater solidarity from the international community in that aspect,” he said.
This was Burkina's second speech at the event. During its first speech, the country pointed out that economic and geographic integration could not be achieved while other community members are facing security challenges. Indeed, Burkina Faso is a particularly important country for trade integration in West Africa with two corridors linking its capital Ouagadougou to Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire) and Lomé (Togo). However, like Mali and Guinea -both host important corridors for regional trade in West Africa, it is under ECOWAS sanctions.
In response to the comments of the Burkinabe envoy, the ECA said the points raised on security were important, but security and development should go hand in hand because security challenges are exacerbated by the lack of development. Hana Morsy, one of the ECA's deputy executive secretaries, stressed that the issue raised by Burkina was being addressed as a specific humanitarian component without impeding development objectives.
The committee also stressed that although 2022 was a difficult year due to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, African landlocked and transit countries made substantial efforts to implement the Vienna Programme of Action (VPoA) for their development. However, many of the goals set out in the VPoA have not yet been achieved, mainly due to a lack of financial and human resources and a funding gap. In addition to Burkina Faso, other countries commented on the committee’s conclusions, blaming the difficult fight against counterfeit goods, security issues, and complex issues such as the Grand Renaissance Dam negotiations between Egypt and Ethiopia.