G7 Summit ends with renewed hope for Africa’s revival

On Friday, June 11, 2021, leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the United States met for the G7 summit to hammer out a path forward in a post-pandemic world.

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses with the world leaders at the extended family photocall during the G7 Summit at Carbis Bay hotel in Cornwall, UK on 12th June 2021. Photo: Karwai Tang/G7 Cornwall 2021 
United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses with the world leaders at the extended family photocall during the G7 Summit at Carbis Bay hotel in Cornwall, UK on 12th June 2021. Photo: Karwai Tang/G7 Cornwall 2021

The summit was attended by Angela Merkel of Germany, Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom, Emmanuel Macron of France, Justin Trudeau of Canada, Yoshihide Suga of Japan, Mario Draghi of Italy, and Joseph R. Biden Jr. of the United States. President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa was invited as a guest.

United States of America President Joe Biden gives a press conference at Newquay airport, Cornwall during the G7 Summit on 13th June 2021. Photo: Karwai Tang/G7 Cornwall 2021 
United States of America President Joe Biden gives a press conference at Newquay airport, Cornwall during the G7 Summit on 13th June 2021. Photo: Karwai Tang/G7 Cornwall 2021

The G7 is an initiative by the seven largest advanced economies to coordinate and cooperate on current world events and the global economy.

Initiatives on the agenda of the G7 summit included promoting free trade, placing $12 trillion into recovery plans for sectors damaged by the pandemic, and most importantly, stopping the pandemic itself. The G7 was also a huge step forward in repairing some of the dents in the relationships between world leaders inflicted by the Trump administration.

G7 Leaders and Guests Plenary Session Climate and Nature G7 Leaders and Guests were addressed by Sir David Attenborough  13th June 2021.        Credit: Justin Goff/G7 Cornwall 2021 
G7 Leaders and Guests Plenary Session Climate and Nature G7 Leaders and Guests were addressed by Sir David Attenborough 13th June 2021. Credit: Justin Goff/G7 Cornwall 2021

One continent that seemed to be on the agenda of the G7 was Africa, mentioned 21 times in the CARBIS BAY G7 SUMMIT COMMUNIQUÉ released at the end of the summit on Sunday, June 13. It seems the world has big plans for Africa in the years to come.

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses with the world leaders at the extended family photocall during the G7 Summit at Carbis Bay hotel in Cornwall, UK on 12th June 2021. Photo: Karwai Tang/G7 Cornwall 2021 
United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses with the world leaders at the extended family photocall during the G7 Summit at Carbis Bay hotel in Cornwall, UK on 12th June 2021. Photo: Karwai Tang/G7 Cornwall 2021

In their final communique, the G7 countries stated that they plan to take a positive step in correcting their actions and fostering better relations with Africa. For one, they plan to deepen current partnerships and offer new loan deals through the IMF. The hope is to add an additional 100 billion dollars to the African economy.

US First Lady Jill Biden and UK Prime Minister's wife Carrie Johnson pose with the partners of G7 Leaders and the performers of ‘Ocean World’ at the Minack Theatre. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street 
US First Lady Jill Biden and UK Prime Minister’s wife Carrie Johnson pose with the partners of G7 Leaders and the performers of ‘Ocean World’ at the Minack Theatre. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street

The initiative comes in the wake of past occurrences between Western and African nations where IMF loans required the borrower to pay high interest rates on goods produced through leased modes of production. In the current political climate, Western nations are now looking to revise their stances on such loans in the hopes of creating a more equal playing field.

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses with the world leaders at the extended family photocall during the G7 Summit at Carbis Bay hotel in Cornwall, UK on 12th June 2021. Photo: Karwai Tang/G7 Cornwall 2021 
United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses with the world leaders at the extended family photocall during the G7 Summit at Carbis Bay hotel in Cornwall, UK on 12th June 2021. Photo: Karwai Tang/G7 Cornwall 2021

A few other initiatives outlined by the G7 is to reaffirm their commitment to African nations in promoting open societies and combating foreign threats. What this signals is a renewed partnership with African military and intelligence institutions in combating extremism. Although Boko Haram’s influence in the region has waned in recent years, it is not unheard of for militant extremist groups to factionalize into smaller cells; making it harder for authorities to stamp out. The outline by the G7 is a reassurance to African nations battling these threats that they will do everything in their power to help combat inter and intra state conflicts.

World leaders at Plenary 4 during the G7 Summit in Cornwall, UK on 12th June 2021. Photo: Karwai Tang/G7 Cornwall 2021 
World leaders at Plenary 4 during the G7 Summit in Cornwall, UK on 12th June 2021. Photo: Karwai Tang/G7 Cornwall 2021

The G7 has also committed itself to fostering more friendly business relations in Africa, while expanding their range of lending options for more inclusivity. This includes investing 80 billion dollars in the African private sector, and ensuring that loans are equally distributed to women as they are to men. Such an inclusive push is to foster greater economic development in a region that has historically been cut out of the economic pie.

Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa at the G7 Summit, Carbis Bay Hotel, Cornwall. 12th June. Photo: David Fisher/ G7 Cornwall 2021 
Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa at the G7 Summit, Carbis Bay Hotel, Cornwall. 12th June. Photo: David Fisher/ G7 Cornwall 2021

It is important to remember that Africa’s growth is tied to the world’s growth. What benefits Africa, also benefits the world. A continent that has been historically known for its rich resources cannot be left out of the global economic arena. Such a renewed commitment to Africa comes in the wake of the anti-racist pushback that gripped the world during the summer of 2020. It is with renewed hope that as a global community we can come to realize that the growth of one leads to the growth of all.   

G7 Leaders and Guests Plenary Session Climate and Nature G7 Leaders and Guests were addressed by Sir David Attenborough  13th June 2021.        Credit: Justin Goff/G7 Cornwall 2021 
G7 Leaders and Guests Plenary Session Climate and Nature G7 Leaders and Guests were addressed by Sir David Attenborough 13th June 2021. Credit: Justin Goff/G7 Cornwall 2021

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