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African experts urge innovative delivery of aid to spur development 

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- African countries should explore modern and technology-driven mechanisms for delivering external aid to help tackle the continent’s pressing challenges like poverty, hunger, disease and environmental depletion, expert said on Tuesday at a two-day forum in Nairobi.

The experts drawn from governments, multilateral agencies, industry and academia who attended the Aid and International Development Forum Africa Summit agreed that a paradigm shift was required to promote optimal utilization of donor funds in Africa.

Gabriel Rugalema, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Representative in Kenya, said harnessing innovations coupled with policy reforms and good governance is key to ensuring external aid reaches the vulnerable populations in Africa.

“We require new and robust approaches to deliver aid and achieve maximum impacts. Africa still requires external aid to accelerate sustainable development,” said Rugalema.

Kenya hosted the forum against a backdrop of declining external support towards humanitarian and poverty alleviation projects in the continent.

Rugalema noted that shrinking overseas development assistance offers an opportunity for African countries to harness domestic resources.

“Development aid from external sources is declining hence the need for our governments to engage the local private sector that can offer finances, skills and technology to help us tackle the burden of diseases, child malnutrition and poor sanitation,” Rugalema told delegates.

He proposed the strengthening of public private partnerships to promote investments in agriculture, natural resources management and climate change response.

African governments should embark on reforming their policy and legislative frameworks, harness a digital boom and abundant youthful skilled labor to enhance delivery of financial aid to vulnerable communities.

Mamadou Biteye, the Managing Director of the African Region Office at the Rockefeller Foundation, said local innovations and strategic partnerships could create maximum impact on financial aid channeled to African countries.

“Effective delivery of development aid requires supportive policies, infrastructure and sensitivity to local customs,” Biteye said.

“Partnerships are at the core of successful implementation of development programs,” he added. 



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