Jeje Odongo asks Dev’t Partners to reallocate their IMF reserve assets to Africa

Ugandan Minister of Foreign Affairs, General Jeje Odongo has asked Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) partners to reallocate some of their Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to Africa.

The SDR is an international reserve asset created by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1969 to supplement the official reserves of its member countries.

While representing President Museveni at the 8th TICAD conference in Tunis, Tunisia on Saturday, Odongo said TICAD partners allocating their reserves to Africa will be key to meeting the financing needs of the Africa and fighting COVID-19.

“Covid-19 has had a negative effect on the continent. Africa’s financing needs are estimated at between $285 billion and $400 billion by 2025. Yet Africa has only been allocated $33 billion by the IMF in special drawing rights (SDRs). We urge our partners to reallocate some of their own SDRs to Africa. This will be essential to meet our funding needs. The reallocation should take the form of grants and/or long-term concessional funding and it should take into account the specific needs of a country,” said Jeje Odongo.

TICAD is an open forum in which not only African countries, but also international organizations, the private sector and civil society engaged in Africa’s development, discuss efforts that will lead to the development of the African continent.

Japan is co-host of the TICAD conferences. However, there are other co-organizers of TICAD which include; the Office of the United Nations Special Adviser on Africa (UN-OSAA), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Bank and the African Union Commission (AUC).

Meanwhile, Odongo said the lack of equal access to COVID-19 vaccines was a good lesson for Africa, noting that the continent has now realized the need to build local capacity to develop and manufacture vaccines. , including accelerated research and development of therapeutics. and diagnosis.

“What we are also looking for from our partners is that pathogens support our efforts. We support the call to increase vaccine manufacturing in Africa from the current 1% to at least 60% by 2040,” he added.

Gen Jeje Odongo meets Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa on the sidelines of the TICAD conference in Tunis – Tunisia on Friday.

On the other hand, Odongo called on TICAD member and partner countries to strengthen their cooperation and enhance the continent’s capacity to face several challenges.

In Uganda, Odongo said a number of concrete projects under TICAD have been delivered, adding that more are being implemented, contributing significantly to Uganda’s transformation.

These, Odongo said, relate to the areas of energy, health and infrastructure development, among others, and called for foreign direct investment (FDI) to be channeled into these sectors.

“Since 2007, Uganda has focused on sustainable growth, wealth creation and structural change to reduce poverty. Our approach aimed to trigger key priority areas of the economy such as agriculture and agribusiness; energy development; added value in mining development; Development of critical infrastructures; and ICT. Foreign direct investment should therefore be channeled into the aforementioned areas,” he said.

On issues of peace, security and stability, Mr. Odongo said this was the overarching framework for inclusive and sustainable development and socio-economic transformation in Africa.

However, he added that without a sustainable and predictable way to fund African Union peace support operations, TICAD member states and partners are unlikely to be able to sustain the gains made. so far.

“Terrorism, if left unchecked, tends to take on a universal character with unintended consequences. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. We therefore support the call for the funding of African Union peace support operations through the use of UN assessed contributions,” he said.

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