Financing for Development

By Nancy Makeoh, WFAC Cameroon Outreach Manager

#FinanceOurFuture:  @MakeohMafor shares her reflections from the Third Financing for Development (#FfD3) Summit in Addis Ababa, July 2015.

One can’t talk of development without talking about gender justice and financing.

UNECAPhoto source: IISD Reporting ServicesThe Third Financing for Development (FfD3) Summit took place at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the 13th to 16th July 2015, where I was honoured to represent WFAC Cameroon, thanks to the nomination and sponsorship of Femnet.

Prior to the summit, I was had the privilege to attend a couple of important side events and meetings, while also working with the Women’s Working Group on Financing for Development (WWG on FfD) to ensure that the FfD3 recognises the need to invest in women’s and girls’ human rights, health, education and leadership.

The FfD3 summit was quite timely, especially with world leaders about to adopt a global development agenda. It is therefore of extreme importance to address responsive financing for development – for one can’t talk of development without talking about gender justice and financing.

The topics discussed at the summit were cross-cutting, though of global and local importance. Some of the key items that were discussed include though not limited to:

  • Tax justice and domestic resource mobilization
  • Private finance
  • International public finance
  • Debt, trade, systematic issues and technology
  • Data, follow-up and review


Of all the discussions, I was particularly interested in tax justice and domestic resource mobilization. This was a learning session for me, especially to see how politicised tax discourses were being addressed at the global level and what the United Nations thinks about it – and also how resources will be allocated to facilitate the achievement of the sustainable development goals to make it a success.

“We all pay tax - directly or indirectly; whether or not we have a formal and/or informal job, employed and/or unemployed. The only difference amongst tax payers is how equitable are their tax benefits”, says Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh, WFAC Executive Director during the FfD3 campaign for Action2015

“The issue of tax justice did not start today”, says one participant at the FfD3; “It has been there even before the first and second international conference on the financing for development (FfD) that were held in Monterrey and Doha 2002 and 2008 respectively.”

As a young woman whose future, education and health, strongly rely on the decision world leaders would be making this September 2015, it was important to watch political leaders and business tycoons playing with words about financing our future. Nonetheless, I feel empowered and more informed around development financing, tax justice and domestic resource mobilization. Just listening to great minds share their wisdom and expertise on how our future can be far more better for all if each one of us plan and invest wisely.

The discussion also broadened my scope and understanding around challenges women face because of tax injustice, and the advantages of tax justices - most importantly on women, considering that women most often are the ones involved in running small businesses and yet being asked to pay high taxes.

Another key issue which I feel is worth noting from the meeting was taxation challenges faced at regional level – how the allocation of domestic resources can improve gender equality and women's economic empowerment.

The FfD3 concluded with an the adoption of an “Addis Abeba Action Agenda” on financing the post-2015 sustainable development agenda over the next 15 years and beyond.

The experience in Addis was very enriching and I left the summit with a more stronger sense and hope that we can all do it.

All that is needed just the will to make the financing development agenda work for women and girls' health and education.