Be Smart About South Africa

“We must Give African Economies some Breathing Space” – Macron

European Council President Charles Michel, left, speaks with French President Emmanuel Macron, right, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, second right, during a meeting on the sidelines of an EU summit in Brussels, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. After almost two years of sparring, the EU will be discussing the bloc's budget to work out Europe's spending plans for the next seven years. (Ludovic Marin, Pool Photo via AP)

France expects the Group of 20 nations will agree to a debt moratorium for African nations in a conference call later Wednesday, an official at the Elysee palace said. President Emmanuel Macron has been pushing for debt relief to support African nations caught up in the Covid-19 pandemic and on Monday called for a massive cancellation of Africa’s sovereign debt. A moratorium would allow African countries “to take a breath and not pay interest,” Macron told Radio France Internationale in an interview released Wednesday. “We absolutely must help Africa to strengthen its ability to face the health shock.” The G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors will hold talks led by Saudi Arabia to discuss action to tackle the fallout from the coronavirus. African sovereigns risk defaulting on their liabilities this year unless they get help and private borrowers on the continent are also in acute distress as businesses are ravaged by the global slump. 


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