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Africa Essential For Sustainable Development, Poverty Reduction And Peace


Africa’s rich, diverse cultural and natural
heritage, is important for sustainable development, poverty
reduction, and “building and maintaining peace”, the UN
chief said on Tuesday, marking the international day
celebrating the continent. 

“This
year’s Africa Day highlights arts, culture and heritage as
levers for building the Africa we want”, Secretary-General
António Guterres said in his commemorative
message.

“This year’s Africa Day
highlights arts, culture and heritage as levers for building
the Africa we want”, Secretary-General
António Guterres
said in his commemorative
message.

Africa Day marks the 1963 founding of the
Organization of African Unity, now known as the African
Union (AU), and provides an annual
opportunity
to reflect on the challenges and
achievements of the Governments and peoples of the
continent.

Countering COVID

COVID-19 has
triggered a global recession that has “exposed deep-seated
inequalities and vulnerabilities”, according to the UN
chief – endangering hard-won development gains throughout
Africa and beyond.

The pandemic has also heightened
the drivers of conflict by increasing inequalities and
revealing the fragility of governance in many nations –
particularly in delivering basic services, such as
healthcare, education, electricity, water and
sanitation.

The impact of the pandemic has also been
exacerbated by the climate crisis, which disproportionately
affects developing nations.

Currently, there is a
“profound imbalance” in vaccine distribution among
countries, with the latest figures revealing that African
countries have received just two per cent of vaccines, said
the top UN official.

To end the pandemic, support
economic recovery and achieve the Sustainable
Development Goals
(SDGs),
he stressed the need for “equitable and universal access
to COVID-19 vaccines”.

The UN chief upheld that
Africa Day can “can provide a strong foundation for
inclusive economic progress as the continent strives to meet
the challenges posed by the COVID-19
pandemic”.

“On this Africa Day, I renew my call to
developed nations to stand in solidarity with Africa”,
concluded the Secretary-General.

Support the
continent

Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, a
former senior government minister in Nigeria, observed that
Africa Day “comes at a difficult time as we are countering
the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences with its acute
impacts on Africa”.

She also noted that Africa has
experienced a slow-down in economic growth, which is
expected to increase only three per cent this year, “about
half the world’s average”.

“While world leaders
must continue to support our AU partners, we also call upon
African leaders to further their efforts in establishing
good governance, fighting corruption and supporting
Africa’s youth”, she said.

Social media
tributes

Other senior UN voices marked the day on
Twitter.

“We celebrate the generous hospitality
given in many African communities to refugees and displaced
people, and we pledge to support them as they share limited
shelter, food, services and resources with those fleeing war
and violence” tweeted UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Filippo Grandi.

The UN health agency chief, Tedros
Ghebreyesus wished a happy Africa Day to his “brothers and
sisters across the continent”, with the hope of working
“even harder together to make Africa a more prosperous,
peaceful, healthier, safer and fairer place for our
children!”.

And the UN refugee agency in the Horn of
Africa and Great Lakes region offered “a huge thank you”
to citizens there for generously opening their doors to
refugees.

© Scoop Media

 



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