African countries need a much bigger share of World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) funding aimed at improving post-COVID-19 global economic recovery.
This is according to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who made the call in his weekly newsletter on Monday (24 May).
$162b instead of $33b
Last week, Ramaphosa attended a summit on financing of African economies hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, where South Africa “reiterated its support for a comprehensive and robust economic stimulus package for Africa” to help its economic recovery.
“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 will be released to increase the reserves of African countries,” the President said.
“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 percent (which equates to $162.5 billion) should be made available to African countries.”
Ramaphosa’s newsletter was dedicated to Africa Day, which is held annually on 25 May to commemorate the founding of the Organisation of African Unity, the precursor to the African Union.
“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,” he said.
“Ours must become a continent that is thriving and prosperous, not one from which its people are dying in an attempt to leave.”
He called for further international measures to support the continent, including “increased concessional financing by international institutions and development agencies” as well as debt relief.
The President also urged the international community to increase investment levels in Africa without compromising the sovereignty of African countries.
“As African countries, we want to help ourselves and not be told what is good for us. The principle of ‘nothing about us without us’ should be applied. It is important that we affirm our sovereignty as free and independent states capable of determining the destiny of our continent,” he said.