Secretary-General Says Unleashing Continent’s Potential ‘Is the Great Opportunity of Our Age’, in Message to Global Africa Business Initiative

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to the Global Africa Business Initiative, in New York today:

The second Global Africa Business Initiative reminds us of the continent’s limitless possibilities.  From its vast natural resources and links across global supply chains.  To its young and talented population, eager for opportunities.  To its potential as a global food basket and a renewable energy superpower.  To the African Continental Free Trade Area, which — fully implemented — would create a single market worth over $3 trillion.

Unleashing Africa’s potential is the great opportunity of our age.  And it starts with delivering justice for Africa.  Justice means reforming our outdated, unfair and dysfunctional global financial system and ensuring African representation at every multilateral table.

It means developed countries and international financial institutions creating an effective debt-workout mechanism and expanding contingency financing so African countries can invest in sustainable development and climate action.

It means 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.

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.

And it means African Governments shaping robust institutional, legal and regulatory policies that 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.

For information media. Not an official record.