Africa's dynamism hampered by crises

Africa’s development gains are under threat from the current three major crises, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said during an African Development Dialogue at UN Headquarters.

According to Abdulla Shahid, President of the United Nations General Assembly, “Africa remains a continent rich in human and natural resources and endowed with enormous untapped economic and social potential”.

But the COVID-19 pandemic has “ reversed the progress made over the past two decades and further reduced an already limited fiscal space”worried in echo the number 2 of the UN.

Covid-19 has indeed highlighted and exacerbated social inequalities in almost every area: distribution of vaccines, economic growth, access to education and health care, and loss of jobs and income.

Serial shocks

“Of all the regions, Africa has arguably seen the most dramatic transformations in the 76-year history of the United Nations. During this period, many African countries struggled to obtain and win their independence, while being immersed in struggles for socio-economic development, peace and security.pointed Shahid.

Despite these victories, for the first time in more than 20 years, poverty has increased in Africa, with women and informal workers disproportionately affected. The pandemic has indeed led to the worst economic recession in half a century in Africa, with real GDP contracting by 3% in 2020, against a backdrop of rapid debt accumulation, noted the President of the Economic Council. and Social (ECOSOC) Collen Vixen Kelapile.

Climate change also continues to threaten the future of the continent: Droughts, floods and hurricanes are increasing in number and severity, and African countries are on the front line,” reported the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.

This, not to mention the war in Ukraine which, in addition to causing immense suffering, precipitates a global food, energy and financial crisis hitting Africa with full force. In just three months, 71 million people in developing countries have been pushed into poverty as a direct result of soaring global food and energy prices. People living in regions like the Sahel and the Horn of Africa are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity.

Faced with these series shocks, Amina Mohammed stressed that “the Africa we want” was always within reach, but that to achieve it, “we must change our mentalities and turn this triple crisis into an opportunity”.

Goals within reach of the continent

She called for focusing on several points, such as putting in place effective and reliable political frameworks and institutions, calling for “a vigorous political response to today’s challenges”, without which, according to her, inequalities risk becoming worse. ‘root.

Amina Mohammed also called for investments in digital technologies, education and skills development for Africa, as ” catalysts for the industrialization of Africa”, to develop renewable energy and energy efficiency across the continent, and to have ” a global approach “ financing.

She added that African countries needed immediate financial assistance to get through the next few years – through the “redirection of unused special drawing rights”the increase in concessional grants and the renewal of the debt service suspension initiative.

COP27, African COP

With COP27 in Egypt on the horizon, we have an opportunity to mobilize to support African countries, especially their needs and priorities, to ensure meaningful progress against climate change”Sahid added, referring to the upcoming climate conference.

The event will be an opportunity to build on the results of Glasgow and show our ambitions to deliver on the promises of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreements and the Union’s Agenda 2063 from scaling up and accelerating investments in climate adaptation solutions that protect people and ecosystems, to building resilience for future crises.

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