Declaration of the Accra Consensus on Inequalities at the 5th International Research Conference of the College of Humanities, UG

A joint declaration of the Accra Consensus on Inequalities was read at the closing ceremony of the 5th International Research Conference of the College of Humanities, University of Ghana on 14th October 2022 by the representatives of Oxfam International, Star-Ghana and the College of Humanities, University of Ghana. The consensus discussed the growing rate of inequality in the African continent, and how the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem. To this end, the partners offered several recommendations to African governments, the African Union, and the International Community to help reduce the increasing rate of inequalities in Africa.

The consensus emphasised how the crisis of inequality can be resolved since the issues surrounding it usually have to do with policy choices. The declaration also argued that only immediate measures to reverse pandemic-related rises in inequalities, strongly reinforced national commitment to anti-inequality policies, and regional and international support, can allow African countries to emerge from the pandemic without a major increase in inequalities and poverty and resume their progress to meeting the SDGs.

Consequently, the consensus gave several suggestions to major stakeholders in the African continent to help curb the problem of inequality in Africa. African governments, for instance, have been urged to reverse the fiscal austerity measures and rather increase spending for health, education, and social protection to achieve the SDGs. Also, the African Union (AU) has been encouraged to establish a robust mechanism to support and monitor the achievement of SDG 10 on reducing inequalities; as well as develop and monitor compliance with regional norms on labour policies designed to reduce inequality, such as union rights, women’s rights, minimum wages, and policies to encourage job formalization. Finally, the Accra Consensus on Inequality urged the international community to mandate the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to ensure that all country programmes and policy advice focus on reducing inequality and contain specific urgent measures to make tax, public services, and labour policies achieve this more effectively.

Per the consensus, it has been noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased poverty and inequality and without accelerated efforts to reduce inequality, it will be impossible to end extreme poverty in Africa by 2030, hence the suggestions and recommendations made to the AU, African governments, and the international community at large.