When the EU Commission’s communication ‘Towards a comprehensive Strategy with Africa’ came out in March 2020, several important topics were painfully missing in the document. Amongst them was the question of reducing debt for African countries, even though some have to forego important public services and welfare measures because of their debt burdens.
When the Covid-19 crisis started picking up pace all over the planet, a debt service relief package was approved by some of the world’s biggest lenders. Amongst them the G20, the IMF and the World Bank. However, so far, the relief package has the shape of a moratorium that was only prolonged from the beginning to the middle of 2021. Only a number of African countries are eligible for the moratorium. On top of that, private creditors have refused to participate in the measure.
In this discussion round, we talked about the shortcomings of the current initiatives around African debt. We heard the point of view of a Tirivangani Mutazu, Senior Policy Analyst at the African Forum and Network on Debt and Development on the African debt crisis and wanted to further develop a desirable European political position on the issue.
13h00 Introduction and Welcome
13h10 Opening Speech
13h35 Open Discussion