VP: LDCs need to forge strategic partnerships

VICE- President Dr Philip Mpango has pleaded with the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to effectively embark on policy, institutional and regulatory reforms aimed at growing their economies, stimulating private sector development as well as attracting investment and green technologies.

Dr Mpango made the call in his address at the fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) which kicked off on Sunday in Doha, Qatar.

He said in order for the countries to arrive at the Doha resolutions, it was critical to invest in each sector, citing them as youth and women led agri-businesses, manufacturing, mineral beneficiation and tourism, human capital development, skills development, health and infrastructure notably power, railways, ports and ICT.

The five-day meeting is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to accelerate sustainable development in the places, where international assistance is needed the most – and to tap the full potential of the LDCs helping them make progress on the road to prosperity.

“It’s critical we  forge strategic partnerships including regional, South-South cooperation, government to government and international collaboration as well as leveraging concessional financing and to a limited extent commercial financing,” said Dr Mpango.

According to him, Tanzania is walking in the same footsteps with earnestness, despite the setback caused by Covid-19 and geopolitical tensions, adding that the country has made significant progress since LDC was formed.

As such, he indicated that the economy of Tanzania has remained solid with a strong recovery trajectory, since the country is one of the fastest economies in Sub-Saharan Africa and among the LDCs group.

“Progress has also been registered on the Human Development Index increasing from 0.41 (2020) to 0.55 (2021).

“Life expectancy has also increased from 60 years in 2010 to 67.2 years in 2022, whereas the proportion of children under five years who are malnourished declined from 42 per cent (2010) to 30 per cent (2022),” noted the VP.

He added that the child mortality rate of under-five children declined from 81 deaths (2010) to 43 deaths for every 1000 live births in 2022.

On the other hand, maternal mortality rate declined from 432 deaths in 2015 to 250 to every 100,000 live births in 2021, while malaria prevalence in children aged 6-56 months declined from 18 per cent (2007/2008) to 8 per cent (2021/2022).

Expounding further, the VP indicated that the free basic and secondary education enrolment rate at primary level increased from 85 per cent in 2015 to 97 per cent (2021).

“We have also leveraged digital finance innovations leading to countrywide use of mobile money services, increased financial inclusion in 10 enabled small, medium and micro enterprises to contribute more towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With all these Tanzania’s graduation from the LDC category is imminent.”

Reports show that the LDCs are in a race against time to deliver the SDGs by 2030. The remaining years need to usher in a new global partnership to ensure the 46 countries benefit from social, economic and environmental development.

Over five days of the LDCs Conference in Doha, world leaders will gather with the private sector, civil society, parliamentarians, and young people to advance new ideas, raise new pledges of support, and spur delivery on agreed commitments, through the Doha Programme of Action.

At the Conference, it is expected that specific initiatives and concrete deliverables will be announced and addressed as LDC-specific challenges.

The Conference will feature plenary sessions, parallel high-level thematic roundtables, and a series of parallel and side events on various thematic priorities of the DPoA. A Summit level meeting of the LDC Group, chaired by the President of Malawi, will be held on the day before the Conference.

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