By Asmau Ahmad
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday, called for new partnership for prosperity and development on the Africa continent, but also for more support to address the climate crisis.
Guterres made the call while addressing journalists after he attended the 6th African Union–UN annual conference in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
“Far too often, Africa is viewed from outside through a prism of problems. When I see Africa, I see hope and potential. I see countries working together, including here at the AU, to foster peace and development.”
Focusing on the huge untapped potential of African youth, he said their “limitless energy” and “new ways of thinking” could provide solutions for deep-seated challenges, that could benefit the entire world.
Recovery for Africa, especially in light of the unequal COVID vaccine rollout since 2021, was being held back by what he called “a morally bankrupt global financial system.”
Guterres said the continent was “receiving mere droplets of support to adapt to this destruction.
“The world is counting on Africa. But Africa could not count on the world. That must change,” he said.
“We need to repair trust, supercharge development, and place Africa’s future at the heart of the solutions our world needs.”
Firstly, he said Africa needed new partnerships to boost stalled economies and development.
The tools are there to provide the urgent support needed, but they need to be used “with much greater flexibility and speed”, such as favourable Special Drawing Rights for liquidity, and debt relief.
Secondly, Africa “deserves and needs climate support”, building on November step towards climate justice secured at COP27 in Egypt, with the establishment of a Loss and Damage fund.
“However, the promise to double adaptation finance to $40 billion dollars annually has not been met,” he said.
Turning to the issue of peace, the secretary-general said that from the Sahel to the Great Lakes and Ethiopia, deep-rooted conflicts continued to challenge the world.
The UN, he said, would continue working along the African Union to deliver the peace, prosperity and climate justice that the people of the African continent deserve.