Why the EU should take the Lead in Cancelling Africa’s Debt

Reducing poverty and improving equity
Posted Apr 19, 2020 | Center for European Policy Studies, Loes Debuysere

Before the Covid-19 outbreak, about one in three Sub-Saharan countries was classified as being in, or at high risk of, debt distress. While debt cancellation does not immediately eliminate the root causes of debt accumulation, it does permit developing countries to spend more on healthcare, education and tackling poverty. In this article for the Center for European Policy Studies, Loes Debuysere suggests that as European countries, together with the US and Japan, dominate the governance and agenda-setting of the IMF and the World Bank, they bear responsibility for their failing policies. If the EU wants to live up to its ‘partnership of equals’ commitment to Africa, it should urge the international community to cancel a part of Africa’s bilateral, multilateral and private debt as it faces the Covid-19 crisis. This will help Africa to deal with the health and economic emergency caused by the pandemic, and redress the power imbalance between the two continents.



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