Monday, 17 May 2021

Pretoria: The financing of African economies as they recover from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic will this week come into sharp focus when French President Emmanuel Macron hosts the continent’s Heads of State.

Among those will be President Cyril Ramaphosa. The President on Sunday departed for Paris to participate in the Summit on the Financing of African Economies.

In an advisory, the Presidency said the President was attending the Summit at the invitation of President Macron.

“The President will join several African Heads of State and Government as well as leaders of global financing institutions at the Grand Palais Ephémère on Tuesday,” reads the advisory.

International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor and Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, acting Minister in the Presidency, will accompany the President.

The purpose of the Summit, said the Presidency, is to support the economic recovery of African countries that have been affected by the health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also aims to foster investments in Africa and avert the risk of excessive debt, the advisory reads.

Delegates are expected to deliberate on debt relief and support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) through special drawing rights (SDRs).

Said the Presidency: “Leaders will also look at how to provide capital to the private sector on the African continent to support investments that will catalyse inclusive economic activity, create employment and accelerate the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals”.

The Summit on the Financing of African Economies follows a series of global stimulus package initiatives, including the World Bank’s $14 billion fast-tracking of COVID-19 financing, the African Development Bank’s $10 billion COVID-19 Response Facility and the International Monetary Fund’s concessional financing and debt relief to assist countries and companies in their response to the pandemic.

Ahead of the Summit on the evening of Monday, President Ramaphosa will attend the Welcome Dinner in Honour of African Heads of State and Government hosted by President Macron.

During the visit, the President will also hold bilateral meetings with participating leaders to enhance South Africa’s diplomatic relations.

European leaders, representatives of G7 and G20 countries and of international institutions such as the IMF, World Bank, Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are among Summit delegates.