Despite challenges, Africa ‘ready for progress’ – Guterres – global issues

Mr. Guterres praised the many initiatives of the African Union (AU) aimed at realizing this vision for the continent, including the Agenda 2063 project for a future Africa and the Decade of Women’s Financial and Economic Inclusion, as well as the decision to focus. African Continental Free Trade Area at the summit, which he said represents “a truly transformative path to job creation and new sources of prosperity for Africans, especially the youth.”

Experiments on every front

However, the UN chief did not underestimate the “tremendous challenges” facing Africa, crises that are “bigger than any in our lifetime”, and called for action.

On the economic front, Mr. Guterres called for more financial support for the continent, which he said was hit by a dysfunctional and unfair financial system, a disparity in the availability of resources to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and a spending crisis exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The financial system, the UN chief has said, routinely denies African countries debt and charges extortionate interest rates, starving them of investment in vital sectors such as health, education and social protection.

The answer, according to Mr. Guterres, is a radical transformation of the international financial system, focused on the needs of developing countries.

Ensure a fair transition to clean energy

Turning to the climate crisis, Mr Guterres acknowledged that the transition to a clean energy future must address the challenges of energy access and development in a continent rich in fossil fuel sources, where millions of people lack electricity.

To decarbonise and develop, African countries need wider access to technologies such as battery storage systems, components and raw materials, he said.

He said a “wave of support” from developed countries was needed to match the leadership shown by several countries on climate issues; He cited Kenya’s Green Economy Strategy, efforts to protect Congo’s rainforests, South Africa’s Just Transition Energy Partnership and the ambitious US Green Boost.

This support, Mr. Guterres continued, should include providing a fund for losses and damages caused by the crisis, doubling adaptation financing and ensuring that every country has early warning systems to protect against extreme climate shocks.

Africa needs peace

On the topic of peace and security, Mr. Guterres noted that the role of the United Nations is becoming more complex every year with more conflicts, terrorism and insecurity. He called for a more flexible and effective system, as outlined in the new UN Peace Agenda, aimed at strengthening the organization’s peace missions.

This new agenda, the Secretary-General explained, must link peace to sustainable development, climate action and human rights, with greater participation of women and youth.

Mr. Guterres concluded by expressing hope that the 21st century could be Africa’s century, and the determination of the United Nations to work with every African country to unlock the continent’s enormous potential and overcome the obstacles that block its path. .

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