Africa’s Debt Crisis Threatens Progress on Sustainable Development Goals, Warns UN Deputy Chief

Africa's staggering debt burden and multiple crises are derailing progress on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), warned UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed.

Speaking at the 10th Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, Mohammed highlighted the alarming debt situation. Africa’s debt has skyrocketed by 183% since 2010, far outpacing the continent’s economic growth. This “all-time high” debt servicing is crippling investments in crucial areas like sustainable development.

Despite being halfway through the 2030 deadline for achieving the SDGs, progress remains elusive. Mohammed emphasized that most goals are either stagnating or retrogressing.

However, Africa is not without resources. The continent boasts vast natural resources and a youthful population, both critical for achieving sustainable development. Mohammed urged African governments to leverage these assets and invest in a green transition. She pointed out the irony that Africa, with half the world’s solar energy potential, attracts only 2% of global renewable energy investments.

The forum presents an opportunity for African leaders to advocate for change. Mohammed urged them to push for a fairer global financial system, increased investments, and debt relief. She highlighted UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ call for a $500 billion annual SDG stimulus to finance sustainable development in developing countries. A united African voice will be crucial in securing this vital funding.

The forum, themed “Reinforcing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063 and eradicating poverty in times of multiple crises,” underscores the urgency of finding innovative solutions to achieve sustainable development despite the challenges facing Africa.

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