G7 Summit: UK shows commitment for SDG goals, harnessing opportunities presented by AI

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New Delhi: UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, during the global outreach session at the G7 Leaders Summit, will stress reforming the international financial system to unlock the finance needed to accelerate progress against the Sustainable Development Goals, and strengthen the voices of the most vulnerable at the top table of international politics.

Sunak will also outline the importance of supporting countries in delivering their own clean energy transitions, and in harnessing the opportunities presented by AI, the British High Commission in India, said in a press release on Friday.

The British PM will announce multi-year official development assistance (ODA) funding which could exceed Euro 100 million, including several high-impact African projects and a Euro 20 million expansion of the AI for Development programme into Asia – building on Euro 38 million the UK is already investing in Africa.

“The UK is committed to driving a more effective international system that improves lives for people across the globe and at home,” Rishi Sunak said. “The green transition and the development of AI are key components of this, and the funding announced today will help ensure that these seismic changes happen in a way that works for all,” he added.

The AI for Development programme was launched at the Bletchley Park AI Safety Summit in November 2023 to fund safe and responsible AI projects for development around the world, beginning in Africa. The UK-Canada partnership, with support from the US, Australia, and other partners, will help ensure this ground-breaking technology is accessible to as many people as possible across the globe as well as deliver new AI labs to train the next generation of developers, policymakers and thought leaders, to drive responsible and inclusive AI policy, the release stated.

The funding outlined today includes Euro 57 million of ODA to the Climate Compatible Growth Programme, which will accelerate the roll-out of improved, climate-resilient infrastructure in developing countries. It will provide even more countries across sub-Saharan Africa and Asia with the UK expertise needed to support improved, climate-resilient infrastructure.

The multi-year ODA funding will include up to Euro 35 million into the Alliance for Green Infrastructure in Africa will catalyze greater investment into sustainable infrastructure projects across the continent. The finance will help to bridge Africa’s infrastructure deficit, by accelerating investment at scale into new green infrastructure.

“Partnering with the World Bank and the EU to support African regional electricity transmission and strengthen climate resilience, Euro 15 million will contribute to the Zambian side of the Zambia-Tanzania Interconnector as part of a USD 300 million project that will link the Southern and East African Power Pools. Leading with our development partners to invest in energy infrastructure in Zambia will aid the country to access clean energy. This is vital for poverty reduction and economic development,” the release stated.
This investment, alongside a Euro 3,00,000 contribution for mapping by the British Geological Survey in Angola, will be crucial in supporting the economic development along the length of the Lobito Corridor, as per the British High Commission.

The funding also includes Euro 5,00,000 for an initiative to support the planning, prioritization, and implementation of green infrastructure initiatives between the UK, the Government of Kenya, and the wider G7. Focusing on transport projects selected from the Africa Green Industrialisation Initiative (AGII), this innovative partnership will lead to closer cooperation with the Kenyan Government on strategic infrastructure and investment and is the first partnership between the G7’s Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment and AGII,” it added.

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