Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has noted that notwithstanding giant strides recorded across Africa there are still challenges which require international collaboration to tackle climate change, address security concerns, promote economic prosperity, combat disease and improve governance.
He stated this on Friday in a special address delivered at the virtual edition of the 2022 World Economic Forum featuring leaders from across the world.
He listed some of the progress on the African continent, to include recovery from the global pandemic, economic growth by 3.7% last year and a projected 3.8% growth in 2022. According to him, there is now in place an African Continental Free Trade Area agreement to fast-track economic transformation just as the continent is making giant strides in agriculture, manufacturing and digital technology.
Osinbajo who spoke on a wide range of issues noted that it was time for the international community to “walk the talk” by meeting its commitments towards advancing growth in developing economies, especially climate changes obligations.
On the issue of peace and security, he stressed that African countries face a serious threat on terrorism arising from the encroachment of global terror groups and their franchises into Africa.
On the climate change challenge, he noted that it is common knowledge that Africa contributes least to climate change but has been most negatively affected by it. While urging the international community to meet its pledge recently re-affirmed at COP-26 of providing $100 billion annually in climate finance to support climate change efforts in developing countries, the VP explained that “although we in Africa are working towards the globally accepted net-zero future, we are also conscious that our energy needs are increasing with the growth in our economies. He called for partnership to tackle poverty, access vaccinations and to achieve debt sustainability.
He also called on the international community to support African countries to overcome fiscal challenges arising from their limited revenues. According to him, the creation of $650 billion in new Special Drawing Rights last year was a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to enable African and other developing countries access the SDRs that are not needed or being used by developed or emerging economies.
He further urged multilateral organizations to consider the huge obligations placed on African countries and adopt debt relief initiatives such as the Debt Service Suspension Initiative and the Common Framework for Debt Treatments in a manner that will not further constrain the resumption of growth to the continent. On governance, he called on the international community to support the efforts of West African leaders under the auspices of ECOWAS particularly their condemnation of the incidences of coup d’etats and unconstitutional changes in governmen