Chairman of the African Union: Appointed Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and others as Special Envoys of the African Union to Marshal Transnational Assistance to Stabilize the challenges of African Nations
By Abdul Rahman Bangura –
NEW AFRICA DAILY NEWS ( NADN ) Freetown, Sierra Leonne- President of the Republic of South Africa, who’s doubling as the African Union Chairman – Cyril Ramaphosa, has designated Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Donald Kaberuka, Tidjane Thiam and Trevor Manuel as Special Envoys of the African Union to line up global aid for Africa’s actions to deal with the economic challenges African nations will face as a consequence of the Novel Coronavirus pandemic.
The Special Envoys will be commissioned with demanding immediate and genuine permission as guaranteed by the G20, the European Union and other multinational financial establishments.
African Union Chairperson noted: “In the light of the devastating socio-economic and political impact of the pandemic on African countries these institutions need to support African economies that are facing serious economic challenges with a comprehensive stimulus package for Africa, including deferred debt and interest payments.
“The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been global in both scale and reach, and this necessitates coordinated international action to capacitate all countries to respond effectively, but most particularly developing countries that continue to shoulder a historical burden of poverty, inequality and underdevelopment,”.
In addendum: “The sentiment expressed in two recent letters written to the G20 by a group of world leaders and a team of esteemed economists underscore the importance of bolstering health systems in poorer countries; this can only be done with the support of the international community.”
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is an internationally honored economist and development expert and served two terms as Minister of Finance of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She has also served as Managing Director of the World Bank.
Dr. Kaberuka is an economist and former President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB). He is the former Finance Minister of Rwanda and in 2016 was appointed as a Special Envoy of the African Union on sustain-able financing for the AU and funding for Peace in Africa.
Mr. Manuel was the longest-serving Minister of Finance in the Republic of South Africa and previously bossed the country’s National Planning Commission. In 2018, he was nominated as an Investment Envoy by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to engage domestic and international investors as part of the country’s national investment drive.
Mr. Thiam is a banker and businessman. He is the former Chief Executive Officer of Credit Suisse and similarly served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Executive Officer of Prudential. He also has a background in management consulting and worked for McKinsey and Company.
Cyril Ramaphosa highl ted that, the authorization of the special envoys would accelerate the strategy of ensuring economic backing to enable governments on the landmass to make reply swiftly to this serious public health emergency. President Ramaphosa announced the envoys brought with them a wealth of experience and basked longstanding friendships in the worldwide financial constituency.
“The African Union is immensely encouraged by the support that has been extended by the international community thus far. It is an affirmation that as nations of the world, we are all in this together. We must now focus on efforts to marshal every resource at our disposal to ensure that this pandemic is contained, and does not result in the collapse of already ailing economies and financial systems on the continent,” President Ramaphosa beheld.
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is bagging the new African Union appointment a few days after the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund – Kristalina Georgieva christened her a fellow of the organization’s External Advisory Group.
The group has been authorized “to provide perspectives from around the globe on key developments and policy issues, including policy responses to the exceptional challenges the world now faces due to the Novel Coronavirus and its economic impact.”
The prominent group from around the world, the IMF announced, is to “draw on high-level policy, market, and private sector experience to provide insights to strengthen the Fund’s ability to serve its membership.”
For New Africa Daily News Abdul Rahman Bangura Reports, Africa Correspondent