3rd Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development kicked off on Tuesday with a focus on multiple crises faced by Africa, especially the food security, climate change and anti-terror fight.
Secretary-general of the United Nations, said in his video message to the forum held in Egypt’s capital Cairo that “the people of Africa are facing unprecedented and multidimensional crises.”
The crises, Guterres said, include an economic crisis sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic and deepened by the skyrocketing prices caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, a crisis of unequal access to vaccines, a financial crisis with countries unable to access debt relief, a crisis of instability, terrorism and conflict, as well as a climate crisis.
Guterres added that the continent needs expanded access to financing and debt relief so it can invest in job creation, poverty reduction, social protection, food security, and green growth, as the conflict in Ukraine along with climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic have affected it severely.
In his remarks, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi highlighted the food crisis that Africa is experiencing and the serious repercussions it may have on the safety and stability of African communities, urging African countries to adopt a package of urgent and effective measures in coordination with international partners and the international community.
“The challenges related to water scarcity and price hikes require us to find quick solutions to overcome this global crisis,” the president noted.
Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, told the gathering that the AU has formulated a strategy to increase the green areas and reduce the emission of carbon, along with helping the less developed countries in increasing investments to achieve sustainable development.
The two-day forum is held in a hybrid format under the theme “Africa in an Era of Cascading Risks and Climate Vulnerability: Pathways for a Peaceful, Resilient and Sustainable Continent.”
With the participation of 900 representatives from 50 countries, the forum addresses a number of Africa’s priorities, including enhancing cooperation in combating terrorism, overcoming the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, achieving food security, and advancing post-conflict reconstruction and development efforts, reported the Egyptian state-run Ahram newspaper.