It has been said that the Least Developed Countries’ (LDCs), including Tanzania, productive capacity is limited and have severe infrastructure deficit and therefore have to struggle by improving human and social development in order to achieve sustainable economic development.
Speaking at the Expert Group Meeting of Independent Partnership for the Monitoring of the Outcome of the Fourth United Nations Conference on LDC IV in Dar es Salaam recently, the group chairman Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya from Bangladesh said LDCs continue to have lowest per capita incomes and highest population growth rates which hinder their advancement.
Dr Debapriya also said that more than 75 percent of LDCs’ population is still in poverty.
“It is a matter of deep concern to the international community that only three countries have graduated out of this category so far in the past three decades”.
He also pointed out that new challenges have emerged-- volatile energy and food prices and ongoing concerns over food security as well as the increasing problems posed by climate change and the loss of biodiversity which affect development gains in least countries.
“The least countries representing an enormous human and natural resource potential for world economic growth, welfare, prosperity and food and energy security, a successful renewed and strengthened global partnership that effectively addresses the special needs of their countries will contribute to the cause of peace, prosperity and sustainable development for all,” he said.
For his part, Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF)’s executive director Dr Bohela Lunogelo said that the Expert Group Meeting of LDC IV Monitor has the task of observing and seeing if the goals of the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (UN LDC IV) concluded in Istanbul, Turkey are achieved.
“Heads of states, international agencies and civil society representatives gathered to address the vulnerability of the LDCs and to set out a development strategy in favour of the countries in need most, so the task of the experts group is to monitor the First Biennial Report and discuss the draft chapters of the LDC IV and publish them this year,” he said.
Dr Lunogelo also said that the mostly important aim of the UN LDC IV is to make sure that LDCs eradicate poverty, ignorance and diseases hence mobilising financial resources for development and capacity building.
He pointed out that the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) is one of the activities of UN LDC IV aimed to successfully improve agribusinesses that will benefit the region’s small-scale farmers.
In so doing, he said, it will improve food security, reduce rural poverty and ensure environmental sustainability.
“This strategy is the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA), it is divided into eight priority areas of productive capacity, agriculture, food security and rural development, trade, commodities, human and social development, multiple crisis and other emerging challenges, mobilising financial resources for development and capacity-building and good governance at all levels,” he said.
The LDCs consist of 48 countries with a total population of 880 million, representing the poorest and weakest segment of the international community.
The countries are characterised by constraints such as lower per capita income, lower level of human development and economic and structural handicaps to growth that limit resilience to vulnerabilities.