• Friday, July 19, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Africa, Caribbean governments urged to channel 30% of reserves into region

Collaboration – Africa’s business accelerator

… We are not rid of illicit money, says Obasanjo

Africa and the Caribbean governments have been urged to channel at least 30 percent of their international reserves towards bolstering regional economies, as well as support a united global Africa.

Moussa Faki, the chairperson, African Union Commission, made this call at the ongoing 2024 Afreximbank annual meetings, incorporating the Africaribbean trade and investment forum, in Nassau, The Bahamas.

In her remarks during the opening ceremony on Thursday, she gave some recommendations on the way forward for Africa and the Caribbean integration.

She said African governments and Central Banks should join the Pan African Payment and Settlement Systems and that they should support the vision of a united, interoperable global Africa.

Read also: African, CARICOM presidents to headline AfriCaribbean trade investment forum

“The second idea is that African and Caribbean governments also needed to rally behind the push to channel at least 30 percent of international reserves currently starred in foreign banks, back into Africa and Caribbean,” she advised.

This move, according to her, would invigorate regional economies and foster closer collaboration between African and Caribbean nations.

Represented by Monique Nsanzabaganwa, deputy chairperson, AUC, she emphasised the potential of the African continent to chart a sustainable economic growth trajectory. “African governments and central banks should join the Pan African Payment and Settlement Systems (PAPSS) to support the vision of a united and interoperable global Africa,” she remarked, presenting one of the proposed strategies.

Acknowledging the importance of multilateral financial institutions, Faki stressed the need to bolster mechanisms such as the Association of African Multilateral Financial Institutions to drive continental development. “In today’s world of deeply fractured global financial architecture, reliance on our own institutions is imperative to accelerating progress in self-determined development,” she asserted.

Furthermore, she called upon Afreximbank shareholders to endorse an increase in the authorized capital of the bank and provide additional capital to strengthen its capacity to fulfil its development mandate.

The AUC chairperson expressed gratitude to the governments of The Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana, and the leadership of the Africaribbean nations for the opportunity to engage in discussions aimed at mutual benefit. “The symbolism of this conference is profound,” she remarked, highlighting the potential for stronger partnerships between the African Union and Caribbean countries.

She said the African Union is prioritising the reform of the international financial architecture, debt restructuring, food security and agriculture, energy transition, trade and investments improving Africa’s credit rating to both investment, health and vaccine manufacturing.

Speaking earlier during the plenary session, on ‘A Time to Pause and Reflect: A Global Africa Vision for Afri-Caribbean Socio-Political and Economic Cooperation and Integration – Perspectives of Former Leaders’, Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, said charity begins at home.

He was concerned about the illicit financial flows within the region. He said, “We have not gotten rid of illicit money. This is why our charity must begin at home. Why can’t we trade among ourselves? We must put our house in order and then act together.”

“Africa and the Caribbeans are one, the same people, the same culture, it is the greatest inhumanity, the height of cruelty, the height of iniquity is the greatest movement of people from one continent to another for the greed of human beings. We left slavery and slave trade, we got into colonialism on the African continent, on the Caribbean side. At that time they were not talking about globalisation anymore. It was a separation. We in Africa must not even be connected with the Caribbean except for punishment.