The President of the Republic of Senegal, Macky Sall, called in April 2020 for the cancellation of the debt of African countries mainly because of the pandemic that has weakened the entire economy of African countries. It now has the support of more than 200 global civil society organizations. Even the Vatican has decided to enter into this struggle for, he says, “the interests of all the countries of the world”. The Secretary General of Caritas Africa, the Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SCEAM), Fr Akaabiam, justified this demand for the cancellation of the debt of poor countries by the geostrategic position of Africa and its impact on the world market. ” If Africa lives in debt, everyone will live in debt. If Africa is doing well, everyone is doing well,” he said.
The Head of State of Senegal, Macky Sall, will not be alone in this fight for the cancellation of the debt of African countries economically affected by the negative impacts of Covid-19. Now he’s got a lot of support, More than 200 Global Civil Society Organizations have come together to call for an end to this debt that is stifling the economies of the African countries and slowing growth at all levels of development.
According to the latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) statistics, the ten African countries with the highest debt ratio at the beginning of 2020 are: Sudan, with a public debt equivalent to 207% of GDP, Eritrea (165.1%), Cape Verde (123.5%), Mozambique (108.8%), Angola (95.0%), Zambia (91.6%), Egypt (84.9%), The Gambia (80.9%), Mauritania (78.5%) and the Republic of Congo (or Congo-Brazzaville, 78.5%). Senegal, for its part, has a total public debt estimated at 9,176.3 billion FCFA (€13.764 billion) in 2020, according to the economic and financial report annexed to the 2021 Finance Act and drawn up by the Ministry of Finance and Budget.
Senegalese President Macky Sall is convinced that the debt of African countries is nothing compared to the world debt. Therefore, it believes that its final cancellation should not have a very significant impact on the resources of the IMF or the World Bank. “With an estimated amount of 365 billion dollars, African debt ultimately represents only 2% of the global debt”, said the Senegalese Head of State on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the 20th edition of the International Economic Forum on Africa, held in videoconference on Monday, February 22, 2021.
In 2020, the IMF provided emergency aid in the form of donations to 25 countries on the African continent in order to support them in the fight against Covid-19. Moreover, the debt of these countries in question had been reviewed except for Senegal, which nevertheless openly made the request for cancellation. Indeed, in April 2020, when Senegal was in the midst of a coronavirus crisis, President Macky Sall felt it necessary to call for the cancellation of the debt, the payment of which could lead many developing countries to the brink of a precipice. “Africa, like the world, is seriously affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, which will have a lasting impact on its economy. I call on our bilateral and multilateral partners to support the resilience of the African continent by cancelling the debt,” he said.