If the key engine of future economic growth – Africa – is not recovered, we will not be able to experience a full global economic recovery. With this in mind, French President Emmanuel Macron held a summit in Paris on Tuesday on funding for African economies.
The summit was attended by President Cyril Ramaphosa, along with representatives from 28 countries, including China, China, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Ramaphosa made strong statements at the summit on Africa’s vision for economic recovery, thus shaping the agenda.
The culmination of the efforts that began when Ramaphosa was president of the African Union last year was the appointment of special economic ambassadors to liaise with international financial institutions and mobilize support on the economic challenges facing the African continent. As President of the African Union, Ramaphosa sought to bring about a strong and inclusive economic recovery in Africa after the COVID-19 epidemic.
According to Senegal President Maggie Salin, African countries will face a $ 285 billion (about $ 4 trillion) spending deficit over the next two years. Pushing countries to reduce the $ 19 billion fiscal deficit this year is one of the summit’s top priorities.
Sub-Saharan Africa’s share economy shrank by 1.9 percent last year – the worst ever. African companies are struggling to get funding and reduce employment by 8.5 percent, which plunged 17 countries into a debt crisis last year. Ways need to be found to support small and medium enterprises in Africa, including credit guarantees.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that African countries will need up to $ 285 billion in additional funding by 2021-2025 to increase the cost response to the epidemic, half of which is for low-income African countries. Middle-income countries also need special attention. Without joint action, the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and the funding and objectives of the African Union’s 2063 plan will suffer.
Participants in the summit discussed debt relief and support for African countries through special drawing rights from the International Monetary Fund. African leaders have called on the International Monetary Fund to repatriate $ 100 billion in special IMF reserves by October.
In the end, the summit must take a quick decision and allocate an unprecedented amount of special map rights to the International Monetary Fund, which is expected to reach $ 650 billion, of which $ 33 billion will increase the reserves of African countries, and urge countries to do the same. Use these new resources transparently and effectively.
To mitigate the severity of the African economies affected by weak external government debt, the G20 and the Paris Club said lenders would act in accordance with the agreement in the CIP’s G20 report in April and work together on the joint structure of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). Approved. In November last year.
The summit welcomed the ambition to develop an entrepreneurial alliance in Africa, helping to mobilize all partners from the public and private sectors, to the development of the African private sector – through financial and technological resources and capacity building.
An important outcome of the summit was the call for vaccine patent applications in Africa to enable vaccine production on the continent. President Ramaphosa stressed the need to temporarily waive the TRIPS rules and the need for other countries to support it to produce vaccines independently in Africa. Accompanying the President at the summit, Minister Nalidi Pandur said the discount could be a precursor to the greater African potential to produce packages of vaccines.
France has shown great interest in partnering with vaccine manufacturers in South Africa to increase its ability to produce vaccines. President Macron has made clear his goal of vaccinating 40 percent of the population in Africa by the end of this year. “The current situation is unsustainable, it is unfair and ineffective,” Macron said. Macron warned that failure to vaccinate Africans threatens to expose and spread dangerous species.
“We must work with the private sector to accelerate vaccine production by developing local production capabilities in Africa. This can be facilitated by the voluntary contribution of intellectual property and the effective transfer of technologies and knowledge in line with international legal framework,” the summit concluded. “
On the sidelines of the summit, President Ramaphosa met with leaders of Angola, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Leaders talked about the urgency and status of vaccination programs, but the main issue for most of them was the stimulus package to support their economies for economic recovery and recovery.
Macron plans to pay a state visit to South Africa later this month as the issues discussed at the summit deepen.
* Shannon Ibrahim is the Foreign Affairs Editor of the Independent Media Group.