President Nana Akufo-Addo has called for a cancellation of public and private debt owed by African countries due to the hardships imposed by COVID-19.
The President made this call during interaction with West African Heads of States during a virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on the Coronavirus pandemic held via Zoom on Thursday, April 23, 2020.
On the matter of debt relief for African countries, President Akufo-Addo supported “100% the view of President Macky Sall about the public debt”, and told the Assembly of the efforts being made by the Ghanaian and South African Ministers of Finance to negotiate with the World Bank a debt standstill for the countries of the International Development Association.
“In the case of Ghana, that debt standstill means that $500 million in interests and principals this year. We need to go beyond the debt standstill, we need actual debt relief. Therefore, the efforts that are being made should get the wholehearted support of all of us. I believe that the issue of debt relief should not just stay at public debt. The private debts also should be looked at,” he added.
Ghana’s economy has been hit hard by COVID-19 with the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta disclosing that it is going to lead to a revenue shortfall of GHS9.5 billion.
The situation led the Finance Minister to go for a US$1 billion interest-free IMF Rapid Credit Facility to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Ghana’s economy.
Ghana among other things considered the economic implications to lift the partial ban to allow things to return to a semblance of normalcy.
Niger President, Issoufou Mahamadou also made a similar call in his opening remarks at the meeting saying that the ECOWAS pandemic response plan which Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari as ‘Champion’ to coordinate the response to COVID-19 in the sub-region.
The overall statistics for the sub-region are: 6,183 total cases, 1,814 recoveries, and 158 deaths, leaving 4,211 active cases on the continent.
ECOWAS leaders appoint Buhari as COVID-19 Champion to coordinate response
ECOWAS leaders however appointed Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari as ‘Champion’ to coordinate the response to COVID-19 in the sub-region.
The decision was taken at an extraordinary summit held by the sub-regional leaders via video conferencing.
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