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AFRICAN SUMMIT IN PARIS – “The high and growing debt burden of some African economies further limits their ability to respond to the crisis.” dixit Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury of the United States

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Janet Yellen, secrétaire au Trésor des Etats-Unis

The entire speech of Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at the summit on the financing of African economies convened in Paris by President Emmanuel Macron. 16 African Heads of State were present including Senegalese President Macky Sall and Congolese Félix Tshisekedi and Denis Sassou-Ngesso.

“It is a pleasure to join you today on behalf of President Biden.  The United States is committed to supporting African countries to recover from this pandemic. This includes helping to mobilize the financing needed to pay for vaccines, meet debt obligations and support economic development. 

We have already made progress, but we need to do more together to ensure a sustainable economic recovery in Africa. 

Ending the pandemic must be our top priority.We need to partner to provide vaccines, funding and therapies as widely as possible.The United States has committed $4 billion to the COVAX Facility to fund access to vaccines around the world, and we call on other countries to step up their support.

The high and growing debt burden of some African economies further limits their ability to respond to the crisis. The common G20 framework can be a useful tool for these countries facing serious debt difficulties. Its success requires full and transparent implementation by all creditors, as well as coordination between the IMF and the World Bank. 

In addition, we must support African investments for a sustainable and green recovery. We should seize this opportunity to facilitate structural transformations, helping to make African economies more inclusive and resilient to future shocks, including those related to climate change. We are also working to strengthen the capacity of the IMF, the World Bank and the African Development Bank to increase their support to the poorest economies. 

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A new allocation of IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) can be an important component of this broader set of international support. 

An allocation should be accompanied by increased transparency and accountability in the use of SDRs, as well as clear guidance from the IMF when countries decide how best to use their SDRs to combat the crisis and restore economic stability. 

We strongly support the study of how major economies can channel SDRs to amplify support to low-income countries, including by lending SDRs to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust Fund (GPSF). IMF and other vehicles that could provide low-cost health finance and promote a green recovery. 

Finally, African countries will also need to focus on domestic resource mobilization, private finance and investment climate reform to help rebuild more sustainably. 

Achieving our shared goals for a resilient and prosperous Africa requires strong global cooperation and a common sense of commitment. I look forward to working with our African partners, the G20 and other international partners to advance our shared priorities.” 

United States Department of the Treasury 
May 18, 2021

       

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