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UNECA Calls For Global Financial System Redesign In Africa

CLAVER Gatete, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), addressed the pressing fiscal and climate-related challenges facing Africa at the 10th Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Speaking at the opening session on Tuesday, Gatete emphasised the significant burden of public debt exacerbated by climate-related disasters and the diminishing fiscal space due to escalating financing requirements across the continent.


‘The growing burden of public debt due to climate-related disasters and the shrinking fiscal space because of increasing financing needs have put Africa at a crossroads,’ Gatete stated, highlighting the urgent need for innovative solutions to address these critical issues.

The forum’s theme, Reinforcing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063 and eradicating poverty in times of multiple crises: the effective delivery of sustainable, resilient and innovative solutions, underscores the multifaceted challenges facing Africa and the imperative of sustainable development.

Gatete underscored Africa’s infrastructure and climate change needs, estimated to require between $68bn and $108bn annually, emphasising the urgency of mobilising resources to address these pressing issues.

‘Despite Africa’s remarkable resilience, evidenced by its status as the second-fastest growing region globally, we cannot overlook the stark realities of poverty, hunger, and inequalities in Africa,’ Gatete remarked, stressing the need for concerted efforts to tackle these challenges.

Highlighting concerns expressed by African leaders regarding the inadequacy of the global financial architecture to meet the continent’s evolving needs, Gatete called for a redesign of the global financial system to ensure inclusivity and address Africa’s development priorities.

Gatete outlined the United Nations’ identification of six key investment pathways for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including improving food systems, energy access, digital connectivity, education, and social protection.

‘We cannot do business as usual. Mindful of the interconnectedness of the SDGs, we need to be selective and focus on areas that will trigger a cascading domino effect and deliver maximum impact on the ground,’ Gatete said, urging for strategic investments to drive sustainable development and poverty eradication in Africa.

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