President William Ruto recalled an incident that happened when he was serving as a member of parliament.
Speaking at the Africa Climate Summit on Tuesday, September 5, Ruto noted that the community he represented is so proud and regards debt as a bad thing.
Further, Ruto noted that his community is risk and debt averse.
For this reason, the Head of State said they had to utilize a popular phrase to change the mindset of the locals.
“There was this phrase that if you must die, it is better to die of debt than to die of poverty because you are dying anyway,” said Ruto.
Relating the phrase to the discussion, Ruto explained that Africans do not want to die of debt or poverty.
“That is why Africa must have a conversation around multilateral developments bank, concessional financing and how to finance our economies using resources that do not punish us,” he said.
Ruto served as a Member of Parliament for Eldoret North Constituency from December 1997 to 2013.
Ruto on Africa Progress
President Ruto noted that African countries have made progress in diverse ways amid many challenges.
However, the president said the tragedy of climate change is eating away at the progress and adding that in future it will consume more of Africa’s GDP.
“We are already losing between 5-15% of our GDP growth every year to the adverse impacts of climate change. At the same time, the cost of adaptation continues to rise along with the cost living, while the cost of development capital for African economies remains prohibitive, as millions of our youth remain unemployed,” said Ruto.
Further, Ruto stated that to address these challenges, Africa must advocate for inclusive economic transformation powered by robust industrialization.
“Our untapped renewable energy potential, together with the world’s youngest population of skilled, motivated, and industrial men and women, along with Africa’s abundant endowment of natural assets, from carbon sinks to arable land and mineral wealth, confer on us the indispensable fundamentals to swiftly become a cost-competitive industrial hub with ample capacity to decarbonize global manufacturing and green the economies of our continent and neighborhoods,” said Ruto.
Ruto roots for a united Africa
In addition, Ruto explained that African countries collectively hold the power to transform the current continental and global trajectory.
“Every step of this journey will require partnership that facilitate collaboration and multilateral collective action to achieve ‘just development financing mechanisms,’ deliver equitable access to markets for Africa’s green products and services, and a ‘just regime’ that provides liquidity, debt relief and affordable investment capital everywhere on our continent,” he said.
Ruto said Africa whose people were neither to be seen nor heard has summoned the confidence and readiness to confront hard facts, engage truthfully, and forge a common position on critical issues that projects a new, bold, and radically transformative voice into global discourse.