President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his speech at the 76th Session Of The United Nations General Assembly made some bold propositions, which isn’t uncharacteristic of him. In 2017, when he made a fresh appearance at the UNs General Assembly as a new president of the republic, he didn’t mince words either. He was categorical in his speech about building a country beyond the cliche of charity and begging and hasten to tout his illustrious “Ghana Beyond Aid” agenda.
Nana Addo is a facile orator and a pragmatic leader. What stands out for me in his speeches, are his bold declarations and his unrepentant niche of saying it as it is where necessary.
In December 2017, a video of president Nana Addo would go viral on social media, standing side-by-side in a joint press conference with the visiting French President, Emmanuel Macron, Nana Addo had reiterated his commitment towards a nation beyond aid.
“We can no longer continue to make policy for ourselves, in our country, in our region, in our continent on the basis of whatever support that the western world or France, or the European Union can give us. It will not work. It has not worked and it will not work”, he said, with an uncomfortable Macron looking on.
In this article, I will share with you the proposal he finds fitting to form the basis of the new global cooperation but not without highlighting what everybody feels about some European countries and their lack of acknowledgement of the Covishield vaccine.
“One unfortunate development appears to be the recent measures on entry into some countries in Europe, which suggest that Covishield, the OxfordAstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in India, is not recognised by these countries. What is intriguing is the fact that this vaccine was donated to 3 African countries through the COVAX facility. The use of vaccines as a tool for immigration control will be a truly retrogressive step. Mr President, the last time there was such an upheaval in the world was during the Second World War, which led to the establishment of new world order”, Nana Addo bemoaned.
Below I highlight Nana Addo’s proposal and how imperative it is for African Development and Growth.
Strengthening Global Health Funding
We need to strengthen the funding of the existing global health organisations. This must include a greater, more predictable base of 4 multilateral funding for WHO and Regional Centres of Disease Controls, which play the central roles in global health security. It will require dedicating an additional one per cent (1%) of GDP to funding global health. This is an investment in a global public good, not aid.
Developing Resilient Finances
We must develop more resilient finances to build back better, and for future preparedness. Across the African continent, revenues have decreased by as much as one hundred and fifty billion dollars ($150 billion), as economies are still reeling from the economic impact of the pandemic. African governments have already spent scarce reserves fighting the pandemic and providing social protection to millions of affected households.
Ghana has been advocating that innovative financing must also address structural challenges beyond responding to immediate fiscal needs, by providing mechanisms to facilitate investments in health infrastructure, technology, the environment, and people that would bolster resilience and equitable recovery. The IMF’s unprecedented six hundred-and-fifty-billion-dollar ($650 billion) SDR allocation offers a unique opportunity to provide additional financial resources to address the vast and surging inequities the pandemic has revealed, and a crisis to come. Africa’s allocation is some thirty-three billion dollars ($33 billion). If there was ever a time for an African Marshall Plan, it is now! The SDR infusion should be seized upon as a catalytic effort to leapfrog Africa to the next level of human development and ensure sustained global prosperity.
African leaders have advocated for a prudent and transparent channelling of twenty-five to thirty-five per cent (25%-35%) of SDRs, that is one hundred and sixty to two hundred and thirty billion dollars, from wealthier to vulnerable countries, one hundred billion dollars ($100 billion) of which should be dedicated to Africa. We welcome the support of the European countries represented at the Africa Summit in France, the IMF, the G7 and G20, to some SDR redistribution. Mr President, proceeds of channelled SDRs should fund vaccine acquisition and manufacturing, climate and green investments, and a pan-African Stability Mechanism, like the European Stability Mechanism, that would safeguard financial stability on the continent.
A part of the redistribution should also help fund the recapitalisation of the African Development Bank and Afreximbank to support industrialisation, private-sector job creation and the African Continental Free Trade initiative.
G-20 – G21 (With Africa)
We must re-position key multilateral organisations and international financial institutions such as the United Nations, the other Bretton Woods Institutions, and the G20 to reflect inclusiveness, support country investments in global public goods, and ensure fast-tracked financial support to build back better, and prepare for future pandemics. For instance, the key to the G20’s effectiveness is that it achieves representative coverage of the global population and economy with a diversified enough number of leaders at the table, to enable speed and flexibility in deliberation and decision-making.
Admitting the African Union to an expanded G21 would have the same galvanising effect within Africa that the EU’s participation in the G20 has within Europe, strengthening policy coordination and coherence across the fifty-four (54) African economies. With the African Union at the table, the group suddenly would have representation for fifty-four (54) more countries, 1.3 billion more people, and $2.3 trillion more output. This extraordinary increase in representation will add just one seat to the table, and about ten minutes to the discussion. However, it will redefine global policy coordination to enable a more prosperous, inclusive and sustainable world to emerge.
Fight Against Climate Change
We, in Africa, are as committed as any to the fight against Climate Change. We believe, however, that the fight is better-advanced if we are able to maintain the crucial balance between economic, political and environmental imperatives – positions that we will be articulating in Glasgow, at the COP 26 Conference, which should form part of the new Global Compact.
Now more than ever, we must defend democracy, constitutional rule and human rights in the world. In the last twenty-four (24) months, we have witnessed assaults on democracy around the world, sometimes even in developed countries where we had assumed that a consensus on the democratic form of governance had been established. Mr. President, in West Africa, recent events in Mali and Guinea have undermined democratic governance in our Region.