Dakar, 2 May 2022 (TDI): Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) visited Dakar, Senegal, yesterday, on May 1.

Guterres met with Macky Sall, the President of the Republic of Senegal. Guterres and Sall discussed the consequences of conflict, terrorism, and the climate crisis in the meeting.

Senegal, the First Leg of Guterres’s Trip to West Africa

According to Guterres’s speech in Senegal, African countries are facing a “triple food, energy and financial crisis” currently. Furthermore, the combination of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and international conflicts makes the situation even worse.

Thus, Guterres’s schedule in Senegal has coordinated with the above hot topics. During the reception, Sall and Guterres visited a new local high-tech vaccine manufacturing facility.

The factory aims to produce Pfizer-BioNTech, one of the most widely used immunizations against COVID-19 after its establishment. Besides, the factory will also have the capability to produce experimental vaccines against malaria and tuberculosis.

UN Senegal
UN Secretary-General António Guterres tours a vaccine production facility at the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, with the President of Senegal, Macky Sall.

Together with Guterres, President Sall also called on pharmaceutical sovereignty in Africa. With the promotion of the pharmaceutical industry, the African continent will be more able to tackle global public health crises.

Therefore, the continent can gain more resilience rather than vulnerability under the context of global challenges.

UN is Together with African Countries to Cope with Global Crises

In response to compound global crises, in March 2022, the UN established the Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy, and Finance (GCRG) to deal with side effects caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Earlier this year, the UN estimated that one in four people could fall into extreme poverty this year directly or indirectly caused to the conflict in Ukraine.

Guterres said that the UN has made proposals to the World Bank and the IMF regarding the mobilization of various funds and debt relief instruments. But apparently, it’s necessary to take more action.

Until now, almost 80% of the African population is still not vaccinated against COVID-19. Also, the economic growth per capita is projected to be 75% lower in Africa than in the rest of the world over the next five years.

UN Senegal
Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) met with Macky Sall, the president of the Republic of Senegal.

Moreover, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the spread of the pandemic have caused supply chain disruptions and higher commodity prices. Such impact will not only affect food security in African countries but also export Africa’s opportunities to earn foreign exchange.

As a result, data from IMF shows that the public debt ratios in sub-Saharan Africa are at their highest in more than two decades.

After Senegal, Guterres will visit Niger and Nigeria. Communities affected by conflict and climate change will be a significant part of the visit’s priority. Guterres’s follow-up remarks and the outcome of his visit are worth looking forward to.

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