China should do extra to assist ease the debt burden of African countries going through economic calamity because of the coronavirus pandemic, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has mentioned.
Although Africa accounts for only a fraction of world cases of the disease, its countries already face the grim impacts, with the continent’s economies anticipated to contract, placing about 20 million jobs in danger.
“My feeling is that China has to come on stronger,” Ofori-Atta said during a conversation on Monday with Masood Ahmed, president of the Washington-based Center for Global Development that was posted on the think-tank’s website.
“African debt to China is $145 billion or so, over $8 billion of payments is required this year … So that needs to be looked at,” he mentioned.
African governments are calling for $100 billion in help, together with assist for a moratorium on all exterior debt and ultimately some debt write-offs.
Mr Ofori-Atta now chairs the Development Committee – a ministerial-level forum that advises the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on growth points.
He mentioned African nations have been looking for methods to increase their special drawing rights (SDR), to protect against industrial debt defaults.
“This should not happen,” Mr Ofori-Atta added. “So we should find a way to increase SDRs or for the Europeans to offer their SDRs as a way out.”