President Ruto maintains calls for global financial reforms at G7 address in Italy

President Ruto maintains calls for global financial reforms at G7 address in Italy

President William Ruto after arriving at Borgo Egnazia Resort in Apulia City, Italy for the 2024 G7 Summit. PHOTO|PCS

By Ruth Mutinda

President William Ruto has made a compelling case for global financial reform and increased investment in Africa in his address at the G7 summit in Italy. 

The president emphasized the urgent need for a more equitable international financial system and urged g7 leaders to support initiatives that would provide Africa and the Global South with greater access to concessional, long-term, agile financing, and a more significant role in global decision-making.

President Ruto painted a stark picture of the interconnected crises facing the world, particularly underscoring Africa's ongoing struggles with conflicts, extreme climate events, and economic instability.

He pointed to the devastating impacts of conflicts in Sudan, Gaza, and Europe, alongside the severe environmental crises in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa.

The head of state also reiterated the African Union's propositions from the Africa Climate Summit, advocating for climate-positive growth and a new architecture for international financial institutions to alleviate sovereign debt burdens.

He called for G7 support for the Nairobi-Washington vision for debt, development, and sustainable finance, launched three weeks ago with President Biden, aiming to enable ambitious development investments while mitigating debt. 

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi noted the significance of President Ruto's presence at the Summit, marking a heightened diplomatic profile for Kenya and underscoring the country's role as a key anchor state on the African continent. 

“The president will use this platform not just to speak generally but to speak for Africa he has an opportunity for the UN security reform so that Africa can have a voice, a permanent voice on the African Union which he can articulate on behalf of Africa,” said Mudavadi.

Ruto similarly urged G7 leaders to embrace the Common African Position on UN Security Council reform, stressing that no global institution could claim to champion universal values while marginalizing 1.4 billion Africans. 

He also called for the doubling of contributions to the World Bank's International Development Association-IDA and the African Development Fund -ADF replenishment drives and supporting the International Monetary Fund-IMF’s Special Drawing Rights-SDR reallocation to benefit African multilateral institutions.

In his address, Ruto also highlighted the potential of Africa showcasing Kenya's collaboration with Microsoft and G42 of the UAE to develop a Ksh.129 billion green data centre, leveraging green energy and AI. 

He emphasized that such investments are poised to transform Africa's infrastructure and development landscape. 

In his bilateral talks with Pope Francis, the Algerian and French presidents the President secured support for Kenya’s agricultural sector, infrastructure projects including railway development and energy and the UN Kenya-led security mission for Haiti.


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