The African continent has huge development opportunities that need credit and financing facilities to recover from coronavirus repercussions and restore economic growth, the Finance Minister said on Tuesday.
Minister of Finance Mohamed Maeet made this comment on Tuesday during his meeting via video link with his French counterpart on the sidelines of the official visit by President Abdel Fattah el Sisi to Paris, where he will be attending the Paris Conference to support Sudan, and a summit on financing African economies.
Representatives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) attended the meeting.
The IMF and WB are looking for assistance mechanisms to provide cash liquidity to African states at a reduced cost, the minister said.
There are proposals to establish a Liquidity and Sustainability Facility with $30 billion from the reserves of the IMF to offer African countries low-interest finance to pay off their debts, in addition to a $100-billion fund to reduce poverty and promote economic programmes that stimulate growth in the continent, the minister added.
There is a proposal to allocate $10 billion to finance the purchase of anti-coronavirus vaccines in the African continent, he said.
Maeet went on to say that many African countries have recorded negative growth due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on their economies.
This, in turn, requires concerted efforts of all international circles to overcome these difficulties and restore the confidence in the African economy.
The minister affirmed that there is a presidential mandate to help Sudan overcome its crisis to consolidate the foundations of a development partnership between the peoples of the Nile Valley.
The minister highlighted the need that the international community should join forces to support Sudan during the important historical stage it is going through.
Egypt’s strict measures to weather Covid impact on its economy
Maeet said Egypt was able to weather the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic since its beginning through a balanced policy of keeping the public safe and maintaining the continuity of development and construction.
Egypt has taken a raft of strict preventive and precautionary measures to curb the spread of coronavirus by allocating LE100 billion as a support package for the most affected sectors to build on the economic gains that made the Egyptian economy avoid deflation.
Egypt’s economy was ranked second out of only 10 world countries that achieved positive growth of 3.6 per cent.
The debt-to-GDP ratio was reduced from more than 90 per cent to 88 per cent, and the deficit was cut from 8.2 per cent to 7.9 per cent.
Foreign exchange reserves are at a good level, the minister said, thanks to a set of financial and economic policies taken by the Egyptian government.
Maeet said that all international institutions praised the rapid Egyptian response to the pandemic, describing it as being among the best in Africa and the Middle East.