December 6, 2023
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Kenyan President William Ruto on Tuesday called for a “reciprocal” and “balanced” relationship between the African continent and the European Union.


In a speech before the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Ruto made the case for “radical” reform of the financial institutions that have controlled the global economy since the end of World War II, saying they fostered a cycle of “indebtedness and dependency”. Is. and therefore were no longer “fit for purpose”.

“The East-versus-West divide is destabilizing and counterproductive, working against the interests of all of us,” Ruto told MPs.

“Climate change has introduced a new dimension into this complex equation. While it poses an existential threat, climate change has also emerged as an unifying force, transcending all divides as we face a shared global challenge. Making everyone equal.”

Ruto, who became President of Kenya in September last year, has adopted foreign policy It aimed to improve relations with Western countries after its predecessors adopted a “look east” approach to deepening ties with China.

The change has been welcomed in Brussels, which aims to raise up to €150 billion infrastructure projects To counter Beijing’s influence in the region.

But, Ruto warned, their willingness to cooperate should not be misconstrued as katablanche To exploit Kenya’s natural resources, including raw materials, for the sole benefit of rich countries. “There are still traces of colonialism in Africa, reflected in economic and institutional dependencies that continue to hinder progress,” he said.

During his 30-minute intervention, the President repeatedly raised concerns about the harsh financing conditions faced by African countries, with investors, worried about unpredictable circumstances and political instability, paying huge premiums to protect themselves from the risks. Demand for. He argued that this pattern has led to a “prohibitively high cost of capital” that prevents the continent from exploiting its potential and further exacerbates the North–South economic divide.

If access to finance improves, he said, Africa could one day become a “green powerhouse” that will help the world wean off fossil fuels and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Ruto encouraged EU governments and companies to invest in Africa’s fast-growing youth and “build a vibrant, self-reliant economy” that could slow migrant flows, a serious concern for the bloc. subject is.

Ruto said, “As we enter a new era of global interdependence, it needs to evolve into a more balanced and equitable global partnership with the intentional transfer of technologies and deliberate flow of capital to the Global South. “Change towards.” “It also means having a seat at the table to seek solutions that work for all of us, in a spirit of collaboration and mutual understanding.”


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