African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina says debt relief will be key to Africa’s recovery from COVID-19. “The world must not short-change Africa on access to vaccines,” he added.
“To recover faster, Africa will need significant debt forgiveness from bilateral and official creditors,” he said during a virtual event held in his honour as the outgoing African of the Year by the African Leadership Magazine. The Bank President warned that so long as the coronavirus was unchecked in any part of the world, no one would be safe.
Adesina added: “While developed countries have been spending trillions of dollars for fiscal stimulus, Africa does not have such resources. The payment for vaccines is already adding to the already high debt burden.”
A highlight of the conversation was Adesina’s induction into the magazine’s African Leadership Hall of Fame for “raising the performance bar” in Africa.
African Leadership Magazine Chairman Ken Giami said the African Development Bank had scored some outstanding achievements in 2020 under President Adesina and had “infected” Africa with optimism.
Giami said: “ALM feels very proud of the President’s contribution as he has raised the performance bar for future African of the Year winners. Indeed, his award was a call for greater service to the people, especially at a time when Africa needed true leadership.”
Adesina vowed that the African Development Bank, in collaboration with its partners, would continue to lead Africa’s recovery and development after the pandemic, with a focus on youth, women and healthcare.
The President has called for fair access to COVID-19 vaccines for Africans and said debt relief would help African economies recover faster and better from the pandemic.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel – it just happens to be a very long tunnel. I am very positive that African economies will bounce back over the next two years, but the speed of recovery will depend on ensuring that Africa gets enough vaccines for its population,” Adesina said.
He also said significant debt relief would be key to accelerating African economies’ recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
“Together, we will create new opportunities for African youth and trigger a youth-based wealth system for Africa. Together, we will ensure that we deliver financing for African women,” he said in his concluding remarks.
He stressed: “Together, we will support Africa to build world-class, quality healthcare infrastructure, while ensuring also that the continent builds its pharmaceutical and vaccine industrial production.” domestic debt, 80.6 percent are to be re-fixed in one year