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Inequality breeds poverty and threatens peace, says Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo said the multiplicity of the issues confronting the world also requires a multiplicity of responses

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has urged global leaders help ensure that the progress of the West does not occur at the perpetual expense of Africa and other poor parts of the world.

Speaking at the sixth edition of the Paris Peace Forum on Friday (10 November 2023), in France, President Akufo-Addo, in pointing out the unjust situation asked, to a resounding applause, if it necessary for prosperity in Europe, and in the West, including parts of Asia, to be predicated on poverty in the rest of the world; in Africa and other parts.

President Akufo-Addo solicited the minds of the gathering to consider the necessity of living side by side, where “we can contemplate a world whereby all of us can live together on this planet in relative comfort, and that some people will not live in super comfort and other people in super poverty,” and said “that challenge to the thinking and the mindset of people, is something that in our generation we have to address.”

He said “is it possible for us to create a world where all of us live together on this planet in relative ease? The resources of the world are there, never has there been a time where there has been greater abundance of technology, of wealth; development that we are seeing in many parts of the world, do they have to be restricted to those parts of the world or they can be made in a universal and a global phenomenon?

President Akufo-Addo implied that, with the pursuit of peace primarily premised on shaping age-old imbalances across the world, “these are some of the matters that we are going to have to look at, because if we are going to solve these multifaceted problems, and put ourselves in a position to hand over to the next generation and succeeding generations, a more constructive and better world, we have to deal with these questions.”

He noted further that the multiplicity of the issues confronting the world also requires a multiplicity of responses, stressing that at the heart of all of these responses is a very simple, ancient issue, money.

“It doesn’t change, from century to century, generation to generation, access to capital and to money, and I think that a lot of our energies we are looking at, is how we can frame a new arrangement where the multilateral institutions like the Bank, like the Fund, can play in the process of mobilising the greater resources that the world needs for its development,” he said.

The president has been discussing a wide range on issues including climate action where he defended the constrained position of Africa after being told that some of Africa’s most important resources can no longer be deployed for her development.

He said, “if, indeed, we are being told that these resources that have helped develop other parts of the world are no longer going to be available for our development, how then do we make the transition to the new source of power and development? That our oil, our gas resources which are there in abundance, can no longer be deployed because of its impact on climate change, is a critical issue we have to look at.”

Making a case for innovative, eco-friendly deployment of these resources in a concerted approach to the climate question, President Akufo-Addo indicated that, in respect of whatever reasons are being advanced for this move, the resources for African states, “are not just there, so we have to address the issue of financing the resources for the climate transition in our parts of the world. And even if it is going to be a just and equitable transition, some position has to be found for the manner in which we can then maximumly utilize the resources that we do have.”

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