Faith Leaders from Africa are calling for “rich” countries to fulfil their pledge of rechanneling $100 billion Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to African countries.
This, according to them would help the continent to recover from the economic difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The SDRs established in August last year is an international reserve that is available to be drawn on in times of global recession.
The President of Caritas Africa, Most Rev Gabriel Justice Yaw Anokye, made the call at a news conference in Accra on Wednesday at the end of a three-day meeting organised by the African faith based Leaders to discuss issues confronting African countries since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Additionally, he said “re-channelling of such scale requires innovation intermediating vehicles at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and beyond. We especially want to highlight, in our region, the enormous potential to re-channel through the African Development Bank.”
In order to enhance accountability, Most Rev Anokye who is the Archbishop of Kumasi said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should be tasked to produce periodic report on the SDRs with the recipient committing to transparency participatory process.
Additionally, he urged the G7 to support the creation of further SDRs which spearheading a review of its distributions.
Going forward, Most Rev Anokye called for the adoption of a responsible lending and borrowing rules between countries, including debt contract disclosure and authorisation framework.
This, they said was to help prevent future debt crisis as most countries, especially, African countries continued to struggle due to debt owed International organisations which had been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, “debt contract should include clauses that fairly allocate the risk of natural disasters and other shocks between creditors and debtors “.
In an attempt to ensure that Africa made progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement, Most Rev Anokye urged African Finance Leaders to resolve the current debt crisis.
He explained that two years after its launch, the Group of Twenty (G20) Common Framework for Debt Treatment Beyond the Debt Service Suspension initiative was yet to deliver debt reduction for its applicant.
For this reason, Most Rev Anokye said “the G7 should spearhead the establishment of the process that bring together public and private creditors for timely, speedy and orderly debt crisis resolution, and grant borrowers a stay on debt payments while they reach an agreement with all creditors”.
He also advocated the passage of a domestic legislation by the G7 that would prevent private creditor litigation from undermining International debt relief efforts.
African Head of States, Most Rev Anokye, indicated had a role to play in preventing debt crisis domestically in terms of governance.
BY BENJAMIN ARCTON-TETTEY