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Why the G7 Cannot Afford to Lose Africa: Barbadian Prime Minister says.

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Griffith Sarah

Jun 15, 2024

Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley

In the two years since Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and I called on G7 and G20 countries to construct a fairer and more efficient global financial system, significant progress has been made. Wealthy countries have started to re-channel special drawing rights (SDRs) from the International Monetary Fund to nations in need, while multilateral development banks (MDBs) have begun implementing essential reforms. Additionally, special attention has been paid to mitigating the effects of climate change.

Meaningful Reforms and Initiatives

The World Bank has introduced "pause clauses" in new loan agreements, allowing countries hit by natural disasters or similar catastrophes to suspend debt service payments. At last year's United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai (CoP28), international policymakers launched the first-ever Loss and Damage Fund to help developing countries address the effects of global warming.

More Needs to Be Done

As G7 leaders convene in Apulia, Italy, from today, June 13, they must resolve to do more to build a resilient, equitable, and sustainable future. The climate crisis is accelerating faster than expected. My country, Zambia, is grappling with devastating drought conditions, exacerbated by the return of El Niño—a weather phenomenon that can cause dramatic effects globally.

The Urgency of Addressing Climate Change

The urgency to address climate change cannot be overstated. The G7 has a pivotal role in spearheading initiatives that not only support climate resilience but also foster sustainable development. Wealthy nations must recognize the disproportionate impact of climate change on African countries and commit to providing substantial support.

The Economic Imperative

Beyond the moral obligation, there is an economic imperative for the G7 to engage more deeply with Africa. The continent is rich in resources, boasts a burgeoning youth population, and presents immense opportunities for trade and investment. Neglecting Africa would not only be a humanitarian failure but a missed economic opportunity for the G7 countries.

Strengthening Partnerships

To build a resilient, equitable, and sustainable future, the G7 must strengthen partnerships with African nations. This involves increasing financial aid, investing in green technologies, and supporting infrastructure development. By doing so, the G7 can help African countries build more robust economies, capable of withstanding climate shocks and fostering long-term growth.

A Call to Action

As the G7 leaders discuss critical global issues in Apulia, it is imperative they prioritize Africa in their agenda. The future of the global economy and the fight against climate change depend on inclusive and comprehensive strategies that support the most vulnerable. By committing to these actions, the G7 can ensure that no country is left behind, paving the way for a more just and sustainable world.

The G7 cannot afford to lose Africa. The stakes are too high, and the potential for positive change is immense. Now is the time for bold action and unwavering commitment to a shared future.

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