Senegal's president urges Africa to speak with one voice during COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh

Ahram Online , Wednesday 2 Feb 2022

Senegal's President Macky Sall said on Tuesday that Egypt's hosting of the coming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh is "a historic" opportunity, in which Africa should speak with one voice.

Senegal President
Senegal's president Macky Sall speaks with Al-Ahram daily's editor-in-chief Alaa Thabet (Photo: Ahram)

"It is not acceptable to always remain in the position of those who pay the price for pollution caused by others," said Sall, who is set to take over the presidency of the African Union within days.

Africa is not a highly industrialised continent and therefore "global warming is not our fault, and all African countries together cause no more than of four percent of the global emission of carbon dioxide,” he said in an interview with Al-Ahram daily's Editor-in-Chief Alaa Thabet

Sall, who is visiting Egypt currently, asserted that over 600 million African people still do not benefit from electricity, so Africa should not be held accountable for the harms of global warming.

As for the decade-long dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Senegal's president said his country has "broad" expertise in this field, giving an example of Senegal's four-decade experience in cooperating with the countries bordering the Senegal River.

The quartet of Mauritania, Mali, Guinea and Senegal have established a regional body tasked with facilitating the investment and management of the Senegal River in a way that guarantees cooperation between the four countries in sharing the river water, he added.

He also noted that his country is a member of another regional body tasked with facilitating the investment and management of the Gambia River.

He said his country could share this expertise with Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.

"We believe that the solution of GERD issue can be reached through dialogue," he noted, adding that Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia must continue consultations to reach "fair and transparent" agreement.

He said that the World Water Forum that will start in March will be an "a good" opportunity to share the positive experiences around the world in the field of water management, revealing that he has asked President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi during the pair's meeting on Saturday to send a delegation to participate in this conference.

He added that his visit to Egypt witnessed the signing of agreements, and an invitation to the private sector in the two countries to work together, especially since Egypt is an industrial African country that has the potential to be involved in the market in Senegal and Africa generally.

He also called for activating the African free trade zone agreement, assuring that it represents "great and promising" economic opportunities for all African countries.

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