UN chief urges G7 countries to invest in Africa

Leaders of the world’s major industrialized nations have been urged by the UN Secretary-General to help foster inclusive, innovation-driven growth and development in Africa.

Antonio Guterres was speaking at the summit of the Group of 7 countries taking place in Italy, during a session on Saturday focusing on partnership with Africa.

The G7, as it is known, consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Dianne Penn reports.

The Secretary-General commended the G7 for putting focus on Africa at a time when the continent is facing numerous challenges such as a slowdown in economic growth.

Furthermore, several countries continue to show fragility, characterized by weak institutions and an inability to provide basic services.

However, he said, Africa continues to be “a continent of resilience and opportunity.”

He outlined six ways the G7 can contribute to its development, including by investing in young people, supporting efforts to empower young women and girls, and disseminating new, more efficient technologies that are sustainable and affordable.

The UN chief pointed out that Africa could be vulnerable to changes brought on by the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution, where emerging technologies will dominate.

He said countries must help the continent to adapt, for example through stronger investment in technology and education, among other measures.

He said failure to do so could increase fragility and spur massive displacement, in addition to boosting unemployment rates, especially for young people.

Source: United Nations Radio