UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Unleashing Africa's potential starts by obtaining justice at every related multilateral organization, particularly the global financial system, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday.
"Unleashing Africa's potential is the great opportunity of our age," he said in a video message to the second Global Africa Business Initiative (GABI). "And it starts with delivering justice for Africa."
He told the meeting on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly general debate that Africa has limitless possibilities, including vast natural resources, links across global supply chains, young and talented population, potential as a global food basket and a renewable energy superpower, as well as the African Continental Free Trade Area when fully implemented would create a single 3 trillion U.S. dollars market.
"Justice means reforming our outdated, unfair and dysfunctional global financial system and ensuring African representation at every multilateral table," the UN chief said.
He said that would mean developed countries and international financial institutions must create an effective debt-workout mechanism and expand contingency financing so African countries can invest in sustainable development and climate action.
Guterres also called for developing innovative finance mechanisms, including blended public and private finance and debt swaps, to increase the availability and terms of long-term finance for sustainable development.
"Justice means re-capitalizing and changing the business model of multilateral development banks so they can massively leverage private finance at affordable rates to help African countries build sustainable economies," Guterres said. "It means new public-private partnerships to spur inclusive and sustainable growth, so all Africans, women and men alike, can benefit, with no one left behind."
He added that it means African governments would have to shape robust institutional, legal and regulatory policies to provide stability, attract investment, ensure accountability, and enable businesses to thrive.
"Let's work together to deliver justice for Africa, and unleash its full potential," said Guterres. ■