Participants in a G20 Compact with Africa meeting this week assessed Africa’s progress in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic. “We are meeting at a pivotal moment in relations between Africa and the rest of the world,” said Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
The Compact with Africa is a G20 initiative that promotes macroeconomic, trade and financial reforms to attract more private investment to Africa, including in infrastructure.
The conference brought together the heads of state of the 12 Compact members and institutional partners, including the African Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This involved strategic discussions on attracting greater inflows of foreign direct investment to Africa and the urgent imperative to develop vaccine manufacturing capacity on the African continent. Securing the continent’s recovery from the impacts of Covid-19 is one of the short-term objectives of the Compact.
Vaccine inequity was a recurring theme, and heads of state shared the reforms they had undertaken as part of the initiative. Closer international cooperation has been encouraged to tackle climate change, debt levels and investment deficits.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa stressed that “Africa will not be able to recover until Africans are vaccinated”. President Emmanuel Macron said France has pledged to deliver 10 million doses of vaccines to Africa.
African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina said the African Development Bank is committed to investing $ 5 billion to support vaccine manufacturing in Africa, while World Bank President David Malpass , highlighted vaccine financing programs in 54 countries, noting that more than half of them are in Africa. .
African leaders expressed consensus on the need for vaccine self-sufficiency as a longer-term solution. President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana said there should have been lessons to be learned from Ebola. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen drew attention to the initiative to develop mRNA technology in Africa in different regional hubs.
The President of the African Development Bank, Adesina, spoke of the gains made by the members of the Compact. “We have seen a lot of improvements in public-private partnerships and in the cost and ease of doing business, but also in terms of companies investing in many African countries.” He also highlighted the African Continental Free Trade Area and its expected impacts.
Other constraints discussed included increasing debt levels and restricting fiscal space resulting from the pandemic. “The reduction in liquidity” has hit us hard, “Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi said. Although Ghana maintained its growth until 2020, President Akufo-Addo acknowledged that the national debt had reached 77, 1% of GDP.
Many speakers noted that the reforms were working. Georgieva of the IMF said the Compact countries outperform their peers. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said his country has stabilized its debt through careful management and opened its telecommunications sector to investment.
A virtual session held on the sidelines of the conference enabled German and African representatives from the private sector to discuss investment opportunities on the continent.
The conference also included a follow-up session focused on how to overcome economic, skills and intellectual property constraints to the development of national mRNA vaccine manufacturing across Africa.
Olufemi Terry | Communication and External Relations Department | African Development Bank | email: [email protected]
African Development Bank Group published this content on August 28, 2021 and is solely responsible for the information it contains. Distributed by Public, unedited and unmodified, on 28 Aug 2021 03:21:05 PM UTC.