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South Africa’s Ramaphosa says access to concessional loans key to Africa’s recovery

Reuters
South Africa’s Ramaphosa says access to concessional loans key to Africa’s recovery

COVID-19 CRISIS. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa visits the coronavirus treatment facilities at the NASREC Expo Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, April 24, 2020.

File photo by Jerome Delay/Pool/Reuters

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa tells the African Union that more needs to be done despite the deployment of significant financial resources for COVID-19 response

Access to loans on favorable terms will be crucial to Africa’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, South Africa‘s President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Saturday, February 6.

Ramaphosa, who is the outgoing chair of the African Union (AU), told the bloc’s summit that even though the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have deployed significant financial resources for the coronavirus outbreak response, more needed to be done.

“Assess to concessional finance will remain crucial as countries rebuild their economies,” Ramaphosa told the virtual summit.

“An injection of fresh resources by the IMF through reallocating and issuing new special drawing rights, with bias to the developing world, will correct the glaring inequality in fiscal stimulus measures between advanced economies and the rest of the world.”

Concessional loans generally offer terms that are more favorable to those available on the open market.

The precarious debt burdens of a number of African nations have worsened due to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among a population of 1.3 billion, Africa has so far reported more than 3.6 million coronavirus infections and over 94,000 deaths, according to a Reuters tally. South Africa has recorded the most infections of any African nation.

While wealthier nations push ahead with mass vaccination drives, only a few African countries have started vaccinations. The 55-member AU hopes to see 60% of the continent’s population immunized in the next 3 years.

Ramaphosa said on Monday, February 1, the AU has so far secured 1 billion vaccines, of which 700 million will come from the global COVAX facility, co-led by the World Health Organization, and 300 million had been facilitated by the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT). – Rappler.com

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