$33 Billion for Africa -Paris Confab Targets Economies on the Continent


Despite the disruption and devastation caused by the deadly Coronavirus disease across the world, including the loss of colossal amount of lives, what appears to be the positive outcome of the unfortunate situation is blinking on the horizon. All fingers not being equal, nations with powerful powers have begun not only to collect debris left by the pandemic, with particularly focus on building their economies, but also to lend a helping hand to the less powerful. Recently, there was a conference of nations in Paris, France, where the international community came to the conclusion that no region or nation must be left behind in the post-COVID-19 recovery process. Thus, the Conference has agreed in principal to pump a whopping $33 billion into the economies of countries of Africa, certainly including Liberia. The Analyst reports.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, hosted a conference in Paris with some African leaders to discuss wide ranging economic issues which promised to be of immense benefits to the continent.

According to reporters from Paris, others present at the meeting included leaders and representatives of the G7, G20, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and multilateral lenders

At the end of the Paris Conference, a communiqué was issued signed by some African leaders and representatives of the European Union, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and other multilateral lending institutions started with the summary of the outcome of the special gathering.

The communique, amongst other things states: “The Covid-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented economic crisis worldwide, with disastrous social consequences. After 25 years of continuous growth, Africa is severely hit and has suffered a recession in 2020. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that additional financing of up to $285 billion would be needed during 2021- 25 for African countries to step up the spending response to the pandemic, with about half of it for African low-income countries”

Mr. Macron, whose administration has taken a different diplomatic posture dealing with African countries, took keen interest in the future of the continent and the challenges being experienced against the financing and objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and African Union’s 2063 Agenda.

Ghanaian President Nana Akufo Addo and Chairman of the African Union who broke the news of the conference through his social media page said:

“I am currently in Paris, France, attending a Summit on Financing African Economies, which is being convened by the French President, His Excellency Emmanuel Macron.

“The Summit, which will bring together several African and European leaders, and heads of international financial institutions, will devise strategies that will boost strong, inclusive recovery in Africa, grounded in a dynamic private sector, help foster sustainable progress and prosperity, and accelerate the green and digital transition in line with the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change”

The leaders of the top economies at the conference stated that while most regions of the world are now launching massive post pandemic recovery plans, using their huge monetary and fiscal instruments, most African countries if not all suffer the lack of adequate capacities and such instruments to do the same, stressing the need to assist African countries to overcome the pandemic.

Through the communique, the leaders in attendance stated: “We recognize the role of extensive immunization against Covid-19 as a global public good, and stand united to ensure equitable access in Africa to safe and affordable vaccines, treatments and diagnostics through the ACT-Accelerator and its COVAX facility, as well as through the African Union’s AVATT. We will strive to accelerate these efforts, to make sure more vaccines are allocated to Africa, including through dose sharing, supporting advance market commitments and facilitating trade along the entire value chain, as well as building the local capacities needed to distribute vaccines.”

To show its seriousness to tackle the continent’s huge development deficit, the delegates call for the swift decision and implementation of an unprecedented general allocation of IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) that is expected to amount to $650 billion, of which about $33 billion to increase reserve assets of African countries, and urge countries to utilize these new resources transparently and effectively.

“We are determined to significantly magnify its impact for Africa, by exploring on-lending SDRs on a voluntary basis through the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT), and by exploring a range of additional options with the IMF, World Bank and other MDBs to enable possible on-lending of SDRs to support IMF members’ green, resilient and inclusive recovery, as we emerge from the pandemic, in line with Sustainable Development Goals”, the communiqué said

Some of the other  highlights of the decisions taken at the summit were 7 ways of channeling financial support to African countries which include  multilateral effort to closely articulate with the network of African Public Development Banks (PDBs), mobilizing the African Development Bank (AfDB) as well as sub-regional and national public financial institutions, , the ability of African countries  to originate more quality projects notably for climate, health, education, infrastructure and the private sector as  prerequisite for the success of all international measures taken to effectively financing African economies, to balance between adaptation and mitigation, and to fully align their operations with the Paris Agreement, as soon as possible and to respond during the Covid-19 crisis with grants and highly concessional loans over FY21-22.

Others are debtor countries deploying reforms to enhance their public spending efficiency and public financial management, including progress on debt management, debt transparency and debt data accuracy and reporting, including by reinforcing national debt offices and their ability to assess fiscal risks, fiscal commitments and contingent liabilities, as well as on governance and financial integrity, in particular anti-corruption and anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing,  the ambition to develop an Alliance for Entrepreneurship in Africa to help mobilize all partners, public and private, ready to support, through financial and technical resources and capacity building, the development of the African private sector and risk-sharing facilities (such as guarantees and political risk insurance) meant to mitigate specific risks such as foreign exchange or liquidity risks,  reinforcing the attractiveness of the African private equity asset class to attract further private capital, both international and domestic.

African Presidents who attended the meeting came from Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Comoros, Congo, Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Namibia, Botswana, Cameroon, Togo, Djibouti, Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Comoros, Congo, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Chad, Togo, and Tunisia.

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