On the third day of the World Economic Forum annual meeting, Ivorian Prime Minister Patrick Achi spoke to Africanews’ sister channel Euronews. The PM highlighted key challenges Africa faces including a need for stronger agricultural systems for a better integration in the global economy.
The US' Special Presidential Envoy for Climate called for action at the World Economic Forum Tuesday. John Kerry spoke on a panel of climate leaders which included Kenyan activist Elizabeth Wathuti, urging the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions faster by deploying the latest technology.
Days after a desertification conference in Abidjan, the Ivorian Prime Minister insisted on the need to scale up efforts.
"We have to do every possible thing to protect the forest against deforestation and to restore the soil otherwise we will face desertification which will bring a major issue on food mainly access to water because most of the rivers are completely dry. In one way or the other we live on a daily basis the consequences of that and we have to tackle this issue now and in an urgent manner."
The financial consequences of the Russia-Ukraine conflict also dominated the annual meeting in Switzerland. The global trade body confirmed the war had darkened economic prospects and would lead to falling living standards.
"We can feel the impact of food security, the wheat that we are importing from Europe and the rest of the world, we’re having a hard time getting the quantity we want and when we can get this quantity the price has risen by almost 30% not to talk about the freight costs, all that together is a threat to the people all over the world. We are are really concerned, it is a major issue we are dealing with. It is a major issue we are dealing with as many other things that are increasing the cost of living of people. A threat, major issue of cost of living of people."
If the Covid crisis is thought to have worsened economic inequality, Patrick Achi bets on strengthening agricultural systems for a better integration in the global economy: "The modernisation of agriculture is one of the key things that we have to really watch out in Africa. Productivity is really low, second is that we have to be concerned with added value. If we cannot insert main crops that we are growing, if you cannot integrate it in the world value chain in order to transform them and help the people have added value, generate more revenue be able to create jobs then it will not be sustainable."
Many more challenges will be addressed during the World economic forum that will end on May 26. For the first in-person meeting since the pandemic, 2,500 leaders from politics, business, civil society and media will discuss the theme "History at a Turning Point: Government Policies and Business Strategies."