As the G20 leaders adopted the Rome Declaration at this year’s Summit in Italy, African agendas were prioritised, and much headway was made in the spheres of health, energy, economy and technology.
Joining Brazil and Argentina, South Africa’s mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub has been earmarked as integral to increasing global COVID-19 manufacturing, vaccine distribution and technology transfer. South Africa stands with the G20, in their commitment to reaching the World Health Organisation’s goal of vaccinating at least 40% of the globe by the end of the 2021. Currently over 25% of South Africa is fully vaccinated, with approximately one South African vaccinated every 2 seconds.
The outcomes of the G20 negotiations fed into decisions made at COP26, where South Africa will receive $8.5 billion (R131billion) from partnering countries, in order to accelerate sustainable energy programmes and phase out coal. While coal currently accounts for 90% of South Africa’s energy sources, the funds are intended to reduce South Africa’s emissions hugely over the next 20 years, as the nation works alongside its allies to combat the climate crisis. Dubbed the “Just Energy Transition Partnership” between South Africa, the EU and the UK, this collaboration has been described as a “blueprint” for other global economies.
The G20 committed to continue efforts to provide Africa with financial support, calling on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to allocate $650 billion to assist vulnerable countries. The IMF has been requested to fulfil its mandate of providing long-term financing to African countries in order to combat poverty, and stimulate employment in under-resourced regions.
It was made clear that universal digital access was key to economic recovery and sustainability, while the G20 countries will strive to provide affordable access to connectivity for all by 2025.
South Africa’s presence at the Summit was key to rallying continued global support for national and African agendas. The commitments outlined in the resulting Rome Declaration will ensure that these agendas move forward for the betterment of the continent.