Published On: Fri, Mar 27th, 2020

Africa – Creditors urged to waive Africa’s debt – COVID 19

Africa recorded corona virus positive cases is growing and has reached over 1500 with  50 recorded deaths and over 100 recoveries. South Africa which announced a national lockdown starting yesterday has seen a rise in the number of cases to 957 yesterday. Other countries registering rising positive numbers are Egypt, Morocco, Burkinafaso, Tunisia,  Senegal,  Cameroon and Nigeria.  Economists warn that if efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus are not successful, Africa will suffer. Most people live in rural areas and others in urban townships which are often overcrowded and lack clean water. Self Isolation and working from home will not work.

Many countries  across sub-Saharan Africa have closed borders, canceled flights and told citizens to stay indoors to defeat the coronavirus.  Central Banks have cut down interest rates in Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and others coming up with economic stimulus to protect the economy.

Nigeria has said it will pay $2.7 billion in stimulus packages, while South Africa is expected to allocate $1.7 billion for business support from its Unemployment Insurance Fund. Other countries around the continent have come up with similar initiatives on a smaller scale with Kenya cutting CPR rate to 7.5%.

Though these efforts are welcomed, United Nations Economic Commissions for Africa says the efforts are short of ¢100 billion required to avoid a recession. Already commodity dependant countries like South Africa, Nigeria have are already experiencing contraction of their economies.

Global lenders led by World Bank and IMF are calling for Creditors to consider  debt relief for the most vulnerable countries in the region, already 13% of Africa’s revenue is used on debt repayment , leaving other key public sectors like healthcare poorly funded. If creditors could waive the $44 billion Interest from Africa’s debt, it will go along way in supporting the continent mitigate the risks of COVID 19

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Africa – Creditors urged to waive Africa’s debt – COVID 19
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