In line with Ramaphosa from South Africa, entry to discounted credit score is essential to Africa’s restoration

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Jerome Delay / Pool via REUTERS

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Access to credit on favorable terms will be vital to Africa’s economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Saturday.

Ramaphosa, the outgoing chairman of the African Union (AU), said at the bloc’s summit that although the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank have allocated significant financial resources to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, more needs to be done.

“The assessment of concession funding will continue to be of vital importance as countries rebuild their economies,” Ramaphosa said at the virtual summit.

“An influx of new resources by the IMF through reallocation and the granting of new Special Drawing Rights with a focus on developing countries will correct the apparent inequality in fiscal stimulus measures between advanced economies and the rest of the world.”

Concession loans generally offer more favorable terms than those available on the open market.

The precarious debt burdens of a number of African nations have worsened due to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among a population of 1.3 billion, Africa has reported more than 3.6 million coronavirus infections and over 94,000 deaths so far, according to a Reuters tally. South Africa has the most infections of any African nation.

While wealthier nations are pushing mass vaccination, few African countries have started vaccination. The 55-member African Union hopes that 60% of the continent’s population will be vaccinated over the next three years.

Ramaphosa said Monday the AU has secured 1 billion vaccines to date, of which 700 million have come from the global COVAX facility jointly run by the World Health Organization and 300 million have been supported by the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT).

Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Adaptation by Ros Russell

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