Catholic Entity among CSOs Asking South African President to Speak to African Crises at G7

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Credit:

Dennis Hurley Peace Institute (DHPI), an entity of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, is among the over 40 African-based and International Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) calling on the President of South Africa to speak to crises in Africa at the group of world’s seven richest countries, popularly known as G7.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is taking part in the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Schloss Elmau, in Bavaria, Germany, at the invitation of the host, Chancellor Olaf Scholz. 

According to SAnews, the South African Government News Agency, President Ramaphosa is expected to participate in two outreach sessions.

"The first will be a working lunch on 'Investing in the future', where issues of climate, energy and health will be discussed, followed by a working session titled 'Stronger Together', where the Summit will address food security issues and advancing gender equality," SAnews has quoted the Presidency as saying in its Monday, June 27 report.

In a statement published June 27, representatives of some 41 CSOs highlight food and nutrition, climate transition from fossil fuels, heath and economy as the issues that South African President needs to set out at the three-day 48th G7 Leaders’ Summit that is set to conclude on Tuesday, June 28.


In the statement addressed to President Ramaphosa, officials of the CSOs urge the South African President “to set out the critical areas where the G7 must act with urgency to address the mounting global crises as there is a risk that they miss a crucial opportunity to reflect on the impact of the war in Ukraine on the countries and peoples of Africa and the wider global community.”

They say that the failure of the G7 leaders to address the highlighted crises in Africa “will send a signal that double standards and self-interest rule the club of the rich, at a critical time when there is a need to build bridges across international divides” since they have responded to the Ukrainian war.

To address the challenge of food and nutrition in Africa and other continents, the inter-governmental political forum comprising Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, with the European Union as a “non-enumerated member” need to “plug the gap, by urgently injecting increased funding to prevent malnutrition and save lives in import-dependent and conflict-affected countries”, the representatives of the 41 CSOs say in their statement dated June 23.

They are also asking G7 members to “ensure that places like the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Ukraine aren’t fighting for critical humanitarian funding; and put a plan on the table to get supplies of adequate food and nutrition to where millions now need support.”

The CSO leaders say the G7 Leaders’ Meeting “is also a crucial summit for a just climate transition away from fossil fuels, where global solidarity can become the underlying norm of how humanity deals with the consequences of the climate emergency which includes the vulnerable communities on the climate frontlines.”

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“In Elmau, the G7 leaders need to commit significant additional funding for addressing climate impacts, including through the Global Shield against Climate Risks proposed by the German G7 presidency,” the representatives of the 41 CSOs that include 24 from Africa say.

They add that the credibility of G7 leaders across the globe “is judged on the clarity with which they stick to the path of fossil-free development or whether they keep backdoors open for more gas and oil.”

“A clear coal exit by 2030 (as the UN SG suggested just last week) by the G7 would provide that credibility. As the historically largest emitters, the G7 countries are responsible for helping those communities deal with climate-induced loss and damage.” the leadership of the CSO’s says. 

They also call on the G7 leaders to “act with urgency to deliver the economic and fiscal support that has been promised including making good on their promise to recycle at least $100bn in Special Drawing Rights to support additional financing.”

The representatives of the CSOs want the G7 leader to “tackle the debt crisis, including allowing for emergency relief and liquidity.”


“If G7 leaders at Elmau show solidarity, and put their money where their mouth is, this could pave the way to better long-term global cooperation on issues of international security and humanitarian concern, making it easier to intercept future crises before they reach boiling point,” they say in their three-page statement published June 27.

The representatives of the CSOs who include those from the peace entity of the SACBC say indications of solidarity through financial support “would also send a clear and refreshing signal that the G7 is not myopic, nor dealing in double standards.”

They go on to say that delivering global health “for African countries is a fundamental issue of trust for the G7.”

Officials of the CSOs recall the events of the 47th G7 Leaders’ Summit with regrets. They say, “At last year’s summit, we asked for solidarity in our battle against COVID-19. G7 leaders, who had been hoarding COVID-19 vaccines for their own populations, refused our request for a broad waiver of intellectual property rules at the World Trade Organization that would help our pharmaceutical sectors manufacture vaccines and treatments.”

“Instead, they pledged to donate doses. But one year on, only half of those donations have materialized. Often, they have arrived late, all at once, and close to their expiry date,” they say, and add, “The hoarding of the next generation of vaccines and treatments has already begun.”

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The representatives of the 41 CSOs ask President Ramaphosa to share their disappointment with the G7 leaders. 

“G7 countries have demonstrated that they cannot be trusted to act in the interests of public health for everyone, everywhere,” they say, and add, “We need more than warm words from G7 leaders this year. We need concrete action and binding pledges.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.