This is contained in a statement issued by the Communication and External Relations Department of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Guterres was speaking at a high-level session to discuss “Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions initiative” during the UN General Assembly meetings in New York.
The initiative was inaugurated in 2021 by the United Nations International Labour Organisation and brings together governments, international financial institutions, civil societies, the UN, and the private sector.
The aim is to create 400 million new, decent jobs, especially in the green, care, and digital economies.
It also aims to extend social protection to more than four billion people worldwide that are currently without coverage.
Guterres told leaders to focus on concrete solutions to implement the initiative.
“The path of inaction leads to economic collapse and climate catastrophe, widening inequalities and escalating social unrest.
“This could leave billions trapped in vicious circles of poverty and destitution.
The UN chief praised Togo for protecting thousands of its citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic after deploying “innovative digital solutions to expand social protection to hard-to-reach populations”.
South Africa was also praised for inaugurating the Just Energy Transition partnership which highlighted an important step in the fight against climate change.
President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina said the bank inaugurated a 10-billion-dollar facility which was a rapid response to the pandemic.
Adesina said the facility helped provide social protection for more than 28 million people.
He also said the bank inaugurated a three-billion-dollar social impact bond on global capital markets in 2020.
“But that is not enough.
We have to restructure our economies to be productive with education, infrastructure, and energy making sure we have productive sectors that can use people’s skills and absorb that into the economy.
“At the African Development Bank, we have taken a proactive approach to job,” said Adesina.
As an example, he named the bank’s Jobs for Youth in Africa programme to create 25 million jobs by 2025.
“Nearly half of those jobs had already been delivered,” he said.
Adesina cited sectors such as agriculture where the bank was investing 25 billion dollars to transform rural areas and turn the sector into a business.
“We are investing 20 billion dollars to build 10,000MW of electricity that will provide energy for productive use and create millions of jobs.
He further said it was time for Africa to build a manufacturing capacity for polysilicon material used for solar panels “so that we can create a lot of green jobs”.
“The creative industry, especially Nigeria’s film industry, popularly known as Nollywood, is another area that requires significant investment given its potential to generate 20 billion dollars of revenue and create twenty million jobs,” Adesina said.
According to the statement, the UN expects each government to commit to the Global Accelerator initiative and its objectives by among others, developing national policies and integrated strategies for just transitions.
Chakwera said his country was ready to be part of the fact-finding work of the Global Accelerator initiative.
“We are increasing investment in skills development, supporting informal social enterprises to transition into the formal economy and supporting the private sector to create jobs in key growth areas, including providing incentives to investors,” she said.
Furthermore, Egypt’s Minister for Planning and Economic Development, Hala El-Said outlined various initiatives undertaken by her government to mitigate the impact of the crises on people in Egypt.
“These include increasing beneficiaries of the cash transfer programme to reach five million families in addition to substantially increasing food rations that benefit more than 64 million Egyptians.
“The government has embarked on an ambitious programme, the Decent Life Initiative to revamp the rural communities.
“To transform the lives of the more than 50 million Egyptians across 4,500 villages, constituting more than half of the total population,” she said.