Africa continues to be exploited by world institutions, says UN

UN Secretary António Guterres. Picture: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

UN Secretary António Guterres. Picture: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Published Aug 24, 2023


Johannesburg - UN general secretary António Guterres has revealed that Africa is charged eight times more than America and 16 times more than the UN and other European countries on development loans.

He said there has to be a way to change the exploitative nature of world financial and aid institutions which, in spite of global developments, continue to treat Africa as second-class citizens.

Guterres was speaking during the BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogue sessions chaired by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday morning.

The BRICS leaders said they are committed to seeing Africa develop and modernise itself in light of the many challenges imposed on the continent.

The session was attended by more than 60 African and world leaders who presented their views on the many issues affecting the African continent, including sanctions, aid, development, and other challenges.

“We are confronted by an existential crisis that includes climate change, which is getting out of control, inequality, and modern technology, which is raising red flags at times of war like in Ukraine. We are also moving towards a multipolar world, and that is a great thing. This move must be supported by strong multipolar institutions. However, today’s structures reflect yesterday’s world and the colonial power of yesterday in Africa. Multi-literalism must reform and reflect today’s realities, not the realities of the post-Second World War," Guterres said.

On the African Development Agenda, President Cyril Ramaphosa said there is a need to reform financial institutions to improve the unequal nature of these institutions.

Ramaphosa said the programme that dominated the better part of the last day of the summit was charged with finding solutions to African challenges.

“There is a need to reform the world’s financial institutions and the political landscape to create a conducive environment for fair trade. Today, as we host this inclusive dialogue on key issues affecting developing economies and identify actions that we can take together towards a more equitable, inclusive, and representative society,” Ramaphosa said.

Brazil's President Lula da Silva welcomed the African leaders represented at the summit and called for unity and the sharing of resources to end poverty and other challenges facing the African continent.

“We are not fully reaping the rewards of working together and sharing skills. Sharing and pooling our resources will give impetus to development. We need to move beyond exclusivity. We trust that this dialogue attended by 65 African heads of state will provide leadership, vision, and hope for a better Africa and the global world,” Lula said.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping said China has always stood with the African continent and helped facilitate its development agenda.

“China has established a development fund and set up a special fund by making available $10 billion (about R187bn) for the development of GDI (global development initiatives). We have deepened co-operation from Asia to Africa and the Caribbean; over 200 projects have come to fruition, and we are growing in areas of education and green energy,” Xi said.

The Star