Africa provides a ‘home for hope,’ despite new challenges – UN Chief

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UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, says Africa was a home for hope, citing the continent’s “growing and vibrant youth population.”

Guterres, in his message to mark the Africa Day, said the world celebrated the diverse and dynamic continent’s enormous promise and potential.

Africa Day is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity, marked on May 25.

According to him, with initiatives such as the African Continental Free Trade Area, the Decade of Women’s Financial and Economic Inclusion, and the African Union’s (AU) bold Agenda 2063 set of game-changing proposals, the prospects on the horizon are bright.

However, the top UN official reminded that there are “multiple challenges preventing Africa from reaching its full potential.”

He pointed to the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impact on African economies along with climate change, unresolved conflicts and a severe food crisis.

Africa Day marks the 1963 founding of the Organisation of African Unity, now known as the AU, and provides an annual opportunity to reflect on the challenges and achievements of the continent.

Among African nations, UN entities have long played key roles in promulgating the fundamental values of the Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

From peace and security to social and economic development and regional integration, the United Nations has proven itself an indispensable partner.

With 2022 designated the Year of Nutrition by the AU, the secretary-general urged the world to “join together in solidarity with all Africans to strengthen food security and put nutrition within reach of every person.”

“We must also intensify our efforts to end the pandemic, reform the global financial system, stop climate change and silence the guns across all conflicts,” he added.

The UN chief pledged the Organisation’s continued support in standing proudly with Africans to work to deliver on the promise of a prosperous and peaceful Africa.