Tunisia: President of Republic Pleads for Cancellation of Poor Countries' Debts

Tunis/Tunisia — President Kais Saied pleaded for the cancellation of the debts of poor countries or to reduce a significant part of them, especially with the increase in the volume of these debts and the resulting interests.

During his speech on Tuesday afternoon at the Summit on the Financing of African Economies, held in Paris (France), the Head of State stressed that debt is one of the main challenges, saying that the coronavirus pandemic has further intensified the crisis by aggravating the financial burden.

African countries are facing a budget financing gap, while the external debt crisis has become a major obstacle to a sustainable economic recovery, a statement issued by the Presidency of the Republic reads.

Kais Saied stressed the importance of the theme of the summit, which reflects the development and economic challenges facing the African continent, especially with the spread of COVID-19.

"Africa's financing needs by 2025 are estimated at $285 billion," said French President Emmanuel Macron at the opening of the summit on financing African economies.

To avoid increasing the debt burden, he even proposed "a new deal", involving both the mobilisation of private investment and the use of a little-used financial instrument, the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) of the International Monetary Fund.

As part of his participation in the Summit on Financing African Economies, Saied met on Tuesday in Paris with President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, who expressed on this occasion the willingness of his institution to continue its cooperation with Tunisia and its support to various programmes and projects, especially in the sectors of youth employment, women and private sector financing.

On the other hand, the President of the Republic met with President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Odile Renaud-Basso.

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