Ms. Mohammed was in the country to attend the eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8), which ended that day.
The conference has been organized by Japan since 1993, under the philosophy of “Africa’s development for Africans”. It is co-organized by the UN, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Bank and the African Union Commission.
A new era
In welcoming the deputy head of the UN, President Saied spoke of the new era in the world, citing the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, but also in Tunisia, which has a new Constitution which, according to him, will establish greater responsibility for all.
The President said that TICAD has already brought important results for Africa and that there will be a lot to do to implement the agreements reached during this last edition of the conference.
The SDGs remain relevant
Ms. Mohammed recalled that the SDGs remain a very relevant framework in this new era, and TICAD served as an important reminder.
The 17 goals aim to create a more just and equitable world, including by ending extreme poverty, achieving gender equality and boosting economic growth, while tackling climate change and preserving the environment. natural.
They were adopted by world leaders in 2015 and have a deadline of 2030.
The deputy UN chief said that in many places governments have yet to deliver better public services, especially for women and girls. She added that the UN will continue to support countries and give people hope.
© Save the Children/Dereje
Ms. Mohammed reminded President Saied of the invitation of the UN Secretary-General to attend the upcoming UN General Assembly and the important Transforming Education Summit.
The three-day event, which begins at UN headquarters on September 16, aims to define a new vision of education that gives learners of all ages and backgrounds the skills, knowledge and values they need to thrive.
She said that as a teacher, President Saied could help redefine and rethink education in Africa.
The President confirmed his interest in attending and mentioned that adapting education to this new era is fundamental. He said a Supreme Council for Education and Learning is included in his country’s new Constitution.
The meeting with the Tunisian President took place a day after Ms. Mohammed’s speech at the opening ceremony of TICAD8.
A “perfect storm”
In her address, the Deputy Secretary-General called for action to address what she described as “the cascading effects of multiple crises” facing the world today.
She said the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the effects of the war in Ukraine, the climate emergency and the financial crisis are placing already vulnerable populations under severe stress.
“This ‘perfect storm’ in turn creates a fertile ground for exacerbating existing and future conflicts and unrest, thereby undermining our collective efforts to achieve the SDGs and save lives and livelihoods,” she added.
Three areas of action
Ms. Mohammed said countries have an unprecedented opportunity to overcome these challenges and address security and sustainable development in Africa.
She stressed the need to accelerate action in three main areas to benefit African economies and achieve the SDGs.
The first calls for ensure universal access to energy and a just and equitable transition to renewable energy.
A comprehensive approach is needed here to chart the course for energy development in Africa, based on sustainable investments and strong partnerships, such as TICAD.
“With the impact of the energy access gap about 600 million people, Africa will need the ‘energy development space’ to keep pace with its ambitions of universal, reliable and affordable access to clean energy,” she told the conference.
“The current global rise in energy prices may also provide an incentive for African countries to maximize the continent’s great potential for renewable energy. But this will require timely large-scale investments.
© UN Women/Ryan Brown
Transforming food systems
The second area focuses on the need to transform global food systems, which means ensuring food security, nutrition, self-sufficiency and jobs for young people across the continent.
“The expansion of Africa’s breadbasket requires improved agricultural productivity and food systems that take advantage of new technologies modern irrigation systems, mechanization of agriculture and reduction of post-harvest losses, which are priorities for the continent,” said Ms. Mohammed.
She added that the TICAD partnership can drive this transformation, with the right investments, technology and affordable innovations at scale.
Finally, Ms. Mohammed pointed out that it can no solution to these interconnected crises unless the countries tackling inequalities and their underlying factors.
“There is a need for a shift in the perception of Africa as a dependent continent towards a key player on the world stage, with the same rights and status as any other region. whether economic or political. Mobilizing adequate financing for sustainable development is imperative,” she said.
Seize future opportunities
Ms. Mohammed urged participants to seize the opportunity of the upcoming United Nations General Assembly, the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group, the G20 meeting and the United Nations Climate Change Conference. climate COP27, to strengthen collective action to better recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and respond to the impact of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
indicating that “We are not starting from nothing”, she stressed, the need to have solid basic elements to achieve the ambition of offering sustainable development to Africa.
The Deputy Secretary General stressed the will of the United Nations to continue to accompany African countries on this journey.