Johannesburg – As the continent celebrates Africa Day on Tuesday, it is important to highlight the economic support the continent needs to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, President Cyril Ramaphosa says.
In his weekly newsletter, Ramaphosa said the continent needed greater access to financing mechanism like those offered by the International Monetary Fund.
He said efforts were needed to increase the drawing rights of African states, which fell far shorter than those offered to Western countries.
Ramaphosa referenced a summit held in France last week which saw African leaders attend a financing summit to find solutions for the continent.
“This would include an allocation by the IMF of what are known as Special Drawing Rights, where on the basis of membership quotas, around $33 billion (about R463bn) will be released to increase the reserves of African countries.
“African leaders have, however, argued that an amount of $33 billion, while welcome, is not sufficient to meet the challenges that the continent faces. As the more developed economies are set to receive much of the $650 billion of Special Drawing Rights to be issued, we believe that 25% (which equates to $162.5 billion) should be made available to African countries.
“Other measures would include increased concessional financing by international institutions and development agencies, and additional measures led by the G20 countries to provide African countries with debt relief.”
Ramaphosa said African countries would like to help themselves and that investment in the continent’s economies was key to changing the economic and social outcomes.
He said the African Free Trade Area agreement would play a key role in boosting aid on the continent and ensure the broadening of economic activity.
“While countries have immediate financing needs, a sustainable economic recovery can only be assured if we increase levels of investment on the continent. Investing in African economies will contribute to making Africa the next champion of global growth.
“As we observe Africa Day, let us deepen our efforts to achieve a sustainable and lasting social and economic recovery for the citizens of Africa. Ours must become a continent that is thriving and prosperous, not one from which its people are dying in an attempt to leave,” he said.