Stronger international support needed for Africa – IMF

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The IMF has warned on South Africa’ rising debt. Picture: iStock
The IMF has warned on South Africa’ rising debt. Picture: iStock

BUSINESS


Africa needs carefully calibrated domestic policies and stronger support from the international community to recover from the Covid-19 crisis and return to its path of strong growth, the heads of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Caucus said this week.

IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva and African Caucus chairperson Domitien Ndihokubwayo issued a joint statement after a meeting of the African Consultative Group, which includes senior representatives from 12 African countries.

They said the priority remained to significantly scale up Covid-19 vaccine production capacity and accelerate vaccination, and that it was also essential to prioritise policies that help protect livelihoods and vulnerable groups.

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Africa remains gripped by the Covid-19 health emergency, which triggered the worst economic shock in decades and saw millions of people fall into poverty.

Strengthening the business climate would spur productivity and attract private investment
Kristalina Georgieva & Domitien Ndihokubwayo

While oil-rich north Africa was expected to grow faster, the recovery was likely to be much slower in sub-Saharan Africa, the IMF and African Caucus leaders said, noting that per capita incomes in many countries were not expected to return to pre-crisis levels before 2025.

They called for transformative policies, including increased investment in digital technologies and climate-resilient infrastructure.

Strengthening the business climate would spur productivity and attract private investment, they said, as would advancing trade and integration through implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement.

Ndihokubwayo told Georgieva that “substantial additional financing” would be required for Africa to meet its key development objectives, but no further details were provided. Reuters


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