G20 Summit: Africa 'just wants peace', not taking sides in Ukraine war - Rwanda's Paul Kagame

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  • Rwandan President Paul Kagame told the G20 that Africa wanted a productive relationship with the rest of the world.
  • Kagame bemoaned the effects of the war in Ukraine on Africa.
  • Africa wants the G20 to write off debts and is seeking more support from the IMF.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has bemoaned the effects of the war in Ukraine on Africa, declaring that the continent wants peace in the world.

Kagame was addressing the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, on Tuesday in his capacity as chairperson of the African Union Development Agency (Nepad) Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee.

Held under the theme "Recover together, Recover Stronger", the setting was ideal for Kagame to say: "I commend the attention given to the priorities that matter to small and developing countries, including coping with the effects of the war in Ukraine and other crises."

Parts of Africa are currently experiencing or preparing for their cropping seasons, particularly central and southern Africa.

But the war in Ukraine has resulted in a shortage of fertiliser, which is mostly procured in Ukraine and Russia. This has led to a spike in the price.

One of the single most notable compromises to help alleviate this crisis this week was the release of a Russian fertiliser cargo which had been detained for months in the port of Rotterdam because of sanctions.

It's now on its way to Malawi, one of southern Africa's most food-insecure countries.

The 20 000 tons of fertiliser belong to a Russian who's been on the United States sanctions list since the start of the war in Ukraine. However, he will not benefit from the cargo that's now under the radar of the World Food Programme (WFP).

Since the start of the war, a number of African countries have been sitting on the fence, choosing not to vote against Russia or outright support the invasion. 

It's a diplomatic approach that seeks to please both sides of the divided world. But Kagame said Africa should not be blamed for allegedly taking sides.

He said:

What Africa wants to see is peace. We are confident that we cannot be accused of taking sides, simply by asking for peace. Africa is here for Africa and our productive relationship with the rest of the world.

Kagame also highlighted that Africa had specific challenges, made worse by external factors such as the war in Ukraine, and that "too often our people are left to pay the price".

Climate change, the war in Ukraine, and conflicts in Africa are the major drivers of the widening gap between developing and developed countries. This has led to even more debt for the continent.

Kagame pleaded with the G20 to reintroduce debt write-offs, and for more support from the International Monetary Fund through its Resilience and Sustainability Trust.

The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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