Cape Town – President Cyril Ramaphosa will leave for Paris, France, to participate in the Summit on Financing African Economies this evening.
At the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron, African leaders and heads of global financial institutions will attend two summit meetings this week that will seek to help Sudan into a new democratic era and provide Africa with critical swept funding. by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, and the Acting Minister of the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, will accompany President Ramaphosa.
The aim of the summit is to support the economic recovery of African countries which have been affected by the health and economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
It also aims to promote investments in Africa and avoid the risk of over-indebtedness.
Delegates will discuss debt relief and support for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) through Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).
The leaders will also examine how to provide capital to the private sector on the African continent to support investments that will catalyze inclusive economic activity, create jobs and accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Summit on Financing African Economies follows a series of global stimulus initiatives, including the acceleration of $ 14 billion in World Bank Covid-19 funding, the Covid-19 response mechanism of $ 10 billion from the African Development Bank and concessional financing from the International Monetary Fund. and debt relief to help countries and businesses respond to the pandemic.
Ahead of Monday night’s summit, President Ramaphosa will attend the welcome dinner in honor of African heads of state and government, hosted by President Macron.
President Ramaphosa will hold bilateral meetings with participating leaders to strengthen South Africa’s diplomatic relations.
European leaders, representatives of the G7 and G20 countries and international institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank, Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are among the Summit delegates.
Monday’s conference will also aim to rally support for the Sudanese government led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in the transition after the 2019 ouster of longtime strongman Omar al-Beshir.
Hamdok told AFP in an interview ahead of the meeting that he hoped Sudan could help wipe out a $ 60 billion foreign debt bill this year by making relief and investment deals at the conference. from Paris.
Sudan’s debts to the Paris Club, which includes the major creditor countries, are estimated to account for around 38% of its total external debt of $ 60 billion.
“We are going to the Paris conference to allow foreign investors to explore investment opportunities in Sudan,” Hamdok said.
“We are not looking for grants or donations,” he added.
Hamdok and his government pushed to rebuild the crippled economy and end Sudan’s international isolation under Bashir, whose three-decade iron-fist reign was marked by economic hardship and international sanctions.
Africa has so far been less severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic than other parts of the world – with a total of 130,000 deaths across the continent – although the human catastrophe in India shows it is far too early to be clear.
But the economic cost is all too apparent, with the International Monetary Fund warning in the fall that Africa faces a shortfall in the funds needed for its future development – a financial deficit – of $ 290 billion until 2023. .
A moratorium on public debt servicing agreed by the Paris Club and the G20 in April last year was welcomed but will not be enough on its own. Many want a moratorium on servicing all external debt until the end of the pandemic.
“We are collectively abandoning Africa using solutions that date back to the 1960s,” Macron said last month, warning that failure would result in reduced economic opportunities, sudden migration flows and even the expansion of terrorism.
LIO and AFP