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“You have the power to end the need for humanitarians” (Africa CEO Forum)

As economic and political leaders gear up for the 2024 Africa CEO Forum in Kigali, Dr. Moumouni Kinda, Executive Director of the NGO ALIMA, issues an urgent call to rethink the continent’s priorities. This forum presents an opportunity to discuss not only digital transformation and artificial intelligence but, more importantly, sustainable human development. With nearly 150 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa reliant on humanitarian aid, the urgency is clear. Dr. Kinda urges decision-makers to invest in health and well-being to boost economic development and ensure Africa’s global competitiveness.

Esteemed business leaders, CEOs, investors, and political leaders, will soon convene in Kigali for the upcoming Africa CEO Forum.

This 11th edition of the forum marks more than a decade of bringing together Africa’s most influential leaders. Discussions will revolve around the countless challenges facing the continent and the urgency for Africa to assert its position on the global stage. As in previous years, strategic priorities will be reviewed, with this year’s focus extending to digital transformation and artificial intelligence. 

As of 2024, nearly half of the world’s 300 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection are concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa. Should we focus on the development of artificial intelligence without working on the development of the human capital essential to its acceleration? Shouldn’t addressing the numerous humanitarian emergencies afflicting Africa be regarded as a fundamental prerequisite for achieving the sustainable growth we all want?

Stability and security are essential to accelerating digital transformation and AI across Africa. If we do not first address the multiple crises the continent is facing (such as those in the Sahel, Sudan, North Kivu, etc.), we will continue discussing Africa’s future and devising plans for its growth, while millions of women, men, and children are left behind.   

Esteemed business leaders, CEOs, investors, and political leaders, we know that the African continent cannot be globally competitive without the physical and mental well-being of its inhabitants. It is inconceivable to think about “performance” and “financial return” without taking concrete action towards sustainable social development. 

Investing in health is investing in our future. Financing humanitarian efforts that not only address emergencies but also pave the way for sustainable human development should be prioritized in our investments.

Current aid funding is neither adequate nor responsive to needs. As a reminder, in 2023, international aid globally covered only a third of the total humanitarian needs. The existing funding, marked by rigidity, constraints, and time limitations, undoubtedly helps address health crises, but still lacks a long-term response, which is essential for Africa’s development. Humanitarian efforts need secure and adaptable funding mechanisms to address growing needs with greater responsiveness. 

Esteemed business leaders, CEOs, investors, and political leaders, all of you hold the capacity to alleviate the burden on humanitarian efforts: So, do it! Let’s collaborate to provide us with flexible, adapted, and sustainable resources to meet the growing humanitarian needs. By supporting us, we can collectively work towards increasing Africa’s GDP from $3 trillion to $30 trillion by 2050.  

Dr Moumouni KINDA, Director General of the NGO ALIMA

Cover picture © Seyba Keita / ALIMA

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