Africa: South African President Warns Pandemic Has Set Back African Development
Despite the continent-wide approach taken by African countries to combat COVID-19, the pandemic has set back their development aspirations, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa told world leaders at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
Speaking via video-link, Mr. Ramaphosa noted that, with resources redirected to fighting the virus, efforts to provide housing, health care, water and sanitation, and education have been hampered, and called for interest payments on African countries’ debt to be suspended.
“Until we eradicate global poverty, we will always fall short of realizing the vision of the founders of the United Nations”, Mr. Ramaphosa told world leaders, reminding them of the importance of meeting all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The South African President emphasized gender equality, including the expansion of opportunities for women, and ensuring their rights in the workplace, political life, and in society as a whole.
South Africa, he noted, is a member of the UN’s Generation Equality, prioritizing the eradication of gender-based violence and femicide, and is working to adopt an African Union Convention on violence against women. African Union member states, he continued, are also working on measures to support financial inclusion for women.
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