ZIMBABWE, a highly aid dependent country has made little steps in implementing measures meant to bail it out of donor dependency, a move likely to shut it out of developmental support from the international community.Zimbabwe was among developing countries that signed a treaty in South Korea in 2011 committing it to implement a raft of measures under a so-called Busan agreement that called for developed countries and donors to start channeling developmental funding to signatory States and move away from humanitarian funding.
Reports submitted at a regional multi-stakeholder forum for East and Southern Africa on development effectiveness last week indicate that Zimbabwe is one of few countries that have failed to implement the Busan agreement.
Collin Magalasi, an executive director with AFRODAD, said Zimbabwe’s situation was different from that of other countries when it signed to Busan. “Busan took place when Zimbabwe had no donors, which was very different from other countries,” Magalasi said on the sidelines of the forum. “I think they are trying to put some systems in place but they are too far away. The fact that Zimbabwe does not have many donors as yet should not be an excuse for them not to put systems in place. They better put their house in order because donors will follow the systems,” said Magalasi.
A director responsible for Domestic and International finance in the Ministry of Finance, Margireta Makuwaza, told the delegates that Zimbabwe was not fully funded and that has contributed to delays in the implementation of the Busan principles.
She however underlined the need for government to review the Aid Coordination Architecture (ACA) policy document administered by the finance ministry to improve its implementation with the aim of aligning the policy document with the new constitution.
ACA was crafted in 2009 under the Government of National Unity (GNU) and its principles are premised on the aid Declarations signed in Paris (2005) Accra (2008) and Busan (2011) with a view of ultimately reducing Zimbabwe’s dependency on donors.
It contains guidelines, principles, structures and objectives for coherent interactions between government and the co-operating partners.
“We are not moving at the desired pace in term of implementing the Busan principles but it is essential to bring in the necessary changes to the ACA policy to align it with the new constitution,” Makuwaza said.
The three day regional consultation forum held in Rustenburg, South Africa from 16-18 October 2013, under the auspices of African Union Commission in collaboration with NEPAD Agency, African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD), United Nations Development Programme and the department of National Treasury of the Republic of South Africa, brought together more than 80 participants, mainly government officials, parliamentarians, civil society organisations and journalists from 17 countries.
The forum was held under the theme: “Leveraging Global Partnership to optimize Africa’s Resources – from Busan to Reality”.
The Busan principles aim at reframing the global aid reform agenda from aid effectiveness to development effectiveness which should result in poverty eradication, reducing inequality, sustainable development and enhanced capacities for developing countries.
It also promises engagement with business towards improved regulatory and policy environments for private investment, and business participation in the design and implementation of development policies.
It also calls for openness, trust, mutual accountability and transparent practices as the basis for accountability.
The 2011 forum on aid effectiveness held in the South Korean coast city, Busan, and attended by over 2500 State and non state delegates from developed and developing countries, including more than 300 civil society representatives, holds all the parties to account with an annual monitoring exercise for the aid industry. It put in place systems for countries to focus on the quality of development assistance given by donors.
Under the Busan principles, States are expected to develop a monitoring framework consisting of 10 indicators that measure progress in improving the effectiveness of development cooperation in areas such as the transparency and predictability of aid, gender equality, participation of civic society and the contribution of the private sector.
Busan, which produced an agenda for aid reform was built on the previous aid effectiveness commitments made in Rome (2003), Paris (2005) and Accra (2008) on the principles on aid ownership, inclusive development, transparency, results and accountability.
Busan also brought on board new players in the aid landscape such as China, Brazil and India. These countries agreed, on a voluntary basis to abide by Busan principles.
But two years on, the global partnership which sounds very grand is at risk of fading away in Zimbabwe because of lack of systems as agreed under Busan.