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UNCTAD reiterates commitment to Africa at continental summit

19 February 2023

The organization will continue to support the continent’s countries to cope with ongoing multiple and interrelated crises, and build resilience to future shocks.

© African Union | The 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union took place on 18 and 19 February in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan reiterated the organization’s commitment to supporting African countries while attending the 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union held on 18 and 19 February in Addis Ababa.

Ms. Grynspan, who joined UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the summit, discussed with delegates from various countries and organizations how UNCTAD can contribute more to the realization of the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to expand economic opportunities across Africa and address individual countries’ priorities.

She said UNCTAD will continue to support African countries to cope with ongoing multiple and interrelated crises. While they are still recovering from the health and socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ripple effects of the war in Ukraine have fuelled a cost-of-living crisis that is affecting many people.

Towards sustainable solutions

During bilateral meetings with various leaders, Ms. Grynspan expressed UNCTAD’s full commitment to continue working with the organization’s member states and other key partners in the development of sustainable plans to weather the socioeconomic fallout from global shocks, including the war in Ukraine.

Soaring debt burdens, effects of the climate crisis coupled with inflation and rising interest rates remain top concerns across Africa. Food, energy and fertilizer prices have increased dramatically, threatening food security on the continent.

As part of her work under the UN Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance, Ms. Grynspan also met several partners to strengthen coordinated efforts to find long-term solutions to grain and fertilizer supply challenges on the continent.

She underlined UNCTAD’s support to African countries to build their resilience to future economic shocks by building their productive capacities and offering advisory services and technical assistance to harness the AfCFTA.

© UNCTAD Photo | UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan attended the summit at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa.