African heads of state ready for the Paris summit on May 18 on Covid and economic recovery
A dozen African leaders, several European leaders and a dozen heads of international organizations will be received Tuesday by French President Emmanuel Macron for a summit on the revival of the African economy, and the impact of the pandemic.
The objective of the summit, says the Elysee, is to put in place financial resources capable of reviving the economy of the continent, which has seen only 130,000 deaths from Covid according to official figures, but whose GDP should know its first recession in 25 years. in 2021.
Growth should return to positive territory in 2022 but at a slower pace than in more developed countries, with a risk of “divergence”, said the Elysee.
Hence the initiative of the Head of State to convene this summit to attract liquidity in Africa to the public and private sectors, penalized by risk premiums which push up interest rates.
France proposes to reallocate the IMF’s special drawing rights (SDRs) to Africa, foreign exchange instruments that can be used to finance imports.
The IMF is expected to vote in June on a massive SDR issue of 650 billion dollars, including 34 billion dollars for Africa and 24 billion dollars for sub-Saharan Africa.
“These amounts will not be enough. We are considering how to use SDRs from advanced countries for low income countries,” the Elysee said, also suggesting a sale of IMF gold to finance zero interest loans. for African countries.
Other avenues include debt relief by bringing public and private creditors together around a table, a mechanism Chad has already requested to benefit from.
On April 27, Emmanuel Macron called for “a New Deal” to help African countries.
The President of the Republic will host the Summit on the financing of African economies on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, at the Grand Palais Ephémère, in Paris. This hybrid-format summit (face-to-face and by videoconference) will host around thirty heads of state and government and heads of international organizations.
The Summit on the financing of African economies follows the publication of a declaration by 18 African and European leaders on April 15, 2020, calling for the mobilization of the international community to face the consequences of the health and economic crisis caused in Africa by the pandemic.
The President of the Republic hopes that new and ambitious solutions will be found so that Africa can face this unprecedented shock and resume growth, like other continents which have been able to implement plans for massive stimulus.
All the signatories of the April 15, 2020 letter were invited to the Summit, as well as several other African heads of state, members of the G7 and G20, and leaders of international organizations.
“This summit aims to put in place a massive support package for Africa and to lay the foundations for a new cycle of growth on the continent, which will also be a growth driver for the world economy”, Paris pointed out.
In-person attendees include leaders from Angola, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania , Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, Togo and Tunisia and on the European part, Italy, Spain and Portugal as well as the EU.
By video conference, leaders from the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa will participate. The UN, IMF, OECD, WTO, World Bank and several international public banks will be invited. China will be represented by a senior official not yet specified.
On the eve of the summit, the French president is also calling a conference to support the transition in Sudan, where debt rescheduling with the country’s main donors is expected to be discussed.
Africanews Business Africa anchor Afolake Oyinloye will be at the top to follow the debates and present our coverage.
She will do a bit of defense for Africanews and could do a bit of live if there is need.