“The Dakar Consensus” – International Conference – “Africa Sustainable Development & Sustainable Debt”

At the initiative of the Cercle des économistes, the Dakar International Conference on “Sustainable Development & Sustainable Debt: Finding the Right Balance” was held on 2 December 2019.

This day of reflection, co-organized by the President of Senegal, the IMF, the United Nations and the Cercle des économistes , brought together, among others, the leaders of the WAEMU countries, the newly appointed Managing Director of the IMF, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Vice-President for Africa of the World Bank and the members of the Cercle des économistes.

It ended with a joint statement: “The Dakar Consensus”. The implementation, monitoring and evaluation of this declaration was presented on 3 December by the Cercle des économistes, which made several concrete proposals.



What to remember?
800 participants, more than 100 nationalities present, 49 speakers, 6 round tables, 1 high-level exchange session attended by six Heads of State and senior officials from international institutions (including the Managing Director of the IMF and the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations).

Beyond these figures, which demonstrate the scale of this event, a common position has been adopted: the “Dakar Consensus“.
This document, accepted by all stakeholders and presented at the end of the event by His Excellency Mr Maky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal.



1. Strengthen the mobilization of domestic resources, taxes and public savings to finance development.
2. Continuously improve public financial governance and the business environment.
3. Take into account, for African countries, the particular constraints related to environmental impact, including climate change, and security expenditure in the face of the terrorist shock.
4. Given the urgency of investment needs in Africa, development partners must take into account the value of assets in analysing the debt sustainability of each of the continent’s countries.
5. Combat unequal trade, in particular the low remuneration of raw materials and the still persistent deficit in the creation of value chains through local processing of products.
6. Restore an objective view by international institutions of risk perception in Africa that is now exaggerated and has an impact on investment project ratings.
7. Maintain collaboration between African countries and bilateral and multilateral partners for more equitable global financial governance and for Africa to be a driving force for global growth.



The Cercle des économistes, which actively contributed to the elaboration of this message, also presented a conference on 3 December to monitor and evaluate the “Dakar Consensus”. This mechanism was presented by the President of the Circle, Professor Jean-Hervé Lorenzi and by two of its members, experts on these issues – Professors Akiko Suwa-Eisenmann and Philippe Trainar. This conference was enhanced by the presence of Minister Cheikh Kanté, Minister in charge of the Follow-up of the Senegal Plan, Emerging from the President of the Republic of Senegal, and his counterpart from Mines and Geology, Minister Aissatou Sophie Gladima SIBY. The Circle presented a set of concrete proposals, in line with the “Dakar Consensus” and aimed at making Africa a “driving force of the world economy”.

The following positions were formulated by the Circle with the agreement of the various stakeholders

  •  Affirm the ambition to accelerate growth in sub-Saharan Africa from 3.4% today to 6% per year. This requires a massive increase in infrastructure investment, mobilizing medium- and long-term transfers of savings or international liquidity, from about $50 billion per year today to $100 billion, and maintaining these efforts for the next 15 years. The higher growth in Africa will have a positive impact on global growth of around 0.2 percentage points.
  • The global level of savings and liquidity theoretically available for project financing in Africa is indeed very important. It is therefore essential to define very clearly the division of labour between local public actors, national private investors and international investors in order to ensure the creation of coherent and sustainable projects and to mobilise available capital more effectively.
  • The sources of funding for these projects will necessarily be multiple. An essential effort will have to be made to mobilize private capital. A significant part of the financing will also have to come from international organizations, development banks and debt facilities provided by international partners.
  • Risk assessment and insurance mechanisms for investors in the region should be strengthened. This effort could be supported by regional development banks such as the African Development Bank, the European Investment Bank or the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. This will make it possible to make these financing eligible in the commitments and portfolios of the world’s main financial intermediaries (banks, insurance companies and investment funds). Particular attention should be paid to the mobilisation of the private sector.


With the presence of:



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