Ruto urges G7 to reform global financial system for Africa's benefit

President William Ruto. [Standard, File]

President William Ruto has reiterated his call on the G7 leaders to advocate strongly for the reform of the International Financial Architecture to create equity and inclusion.

Ruto said the move will give the Global South, particularly Africa, access to concessional, long-term, and agile finance and a greater voice and role in decision-making.

Speaking during the G7 Summit held in Apulia, Italy, President Ruto noted that necessary reforms would enable underserved countries to advocate for mutually beneficial outcomes.

He cited allocating additional resources for concessional loans as benefits of such reforms.

"Africa also urges the G7 to advocate strongly for the reform of the multilateral financial institutional system, to give the Global South, particularly Africa, access to concessional, long-term, and agile finance and a greater voice and role in decision-making," said President Ruto.

He pointed out that during the Africa Climate Summit, the AU adopted two fundamental propositions on climate and positive growth to unlock Africa's vast potential in renewable energy, mineral wealth, and agricultural potential, catalysed by our continent's demographic dividend.

The second proposition, Ruto said, was a new architecture of international financial institutions to alleviate sovereign debt burdens, enabling 'our economies' to invest in resilient growth while providing critical public goods.

He said many countries have been forced to choose between repaying creditors and investing in their economy and people for far too long.

"Three weeks ago, President Biden and I launched the Nairobi-Washington vision for debt, development, and sustainable finance,” said Ruto.

“I urge the international community and all G7 members to support this initiative to enable countries to pursue ambitious investments in their own development while addressing global challenges and mitigating debt."

At the same time, the Head of State urged the G7 to embrace the Common African Position on the reform of the UN Security Council.

He pointed out that no global institution can claim to champion humanity's universal values in 2024 while perpetuating the systematic marginalisation of 1.4 billion people from Africa's 54 nations.

He said multilateral institutions must promote the diverse aspirations of all humankind and must be just, fair, and inclusive.

"As I did in my letter to each IDA donor country, including G7 members, following a successful IDA replenishment Summit in Nairobi in April this year, I reiterate my call for the doubling of your contribution to the IDA 21 and the ADF 17 replenishment drives, and to equally support the IMF's SDR reallocation to ADB and other African multilateral institutions, to benefit developing countries, especially in Africa," he said.

The Head of State argued that there is a significant opportunity for the G7 to invest in projects that address Africa's significant infrastructure gaps and thus turbocharge our development.

 "I am encouraged by the commitments that have been announced in this respect by the PGI Leader Forum, co-hosted by the G7 presidency and President Biden," he said.

He pointed out that Africa’s abundant energy resources, uptake of pioneering technologies, and commitment to innovation place us at a promising vantage point for transformative partnerships and investments.

"In Kenya, a collaboration with Microsoft of the US and G42 of the UAE is developing a $1 billion green data centre, which combines green energy and AI to exemplify a future of transformative possibilities," he added.

President Ruto said this investment is among many that will take advantage of our competitive and abundant green energy.

 Meanwhile, Ruto has emphasised the need to scale up the benefits of a G7-Africa partnership to reach and transform every part of the world.

"This is why Kenya calls on the G7 to urgently support the multinational security support mission to Haiti," said President Ruto.