IMF confirms Africa needs $245bn external funding

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IMF confirms Africa needs $245bn external funding

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), says sub-Saharan Africa’s low-income countries face additional external funding needs of about 245 billion dollars over the next five years or 425 billion dollars for the whole region.

IMF’s Director, African Department, Mr Abebe Selassie  said this in Washington D.C. during a media conference on the release of the April Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to him, this is to help boost spending on the pandemic response, maintain adequate reserves and accelerate income convergence.

He added that the issues would be discussed in May at the High-Level International Summit on Financing for Africa.

Selassie also said Sub-Saharan African countries needed to reinforce the recovery and nurture the region’s growth potential through bold and transformative reforms.

The reforms include digitalisation, trade integration, competition, transparency and governance and climate-change mitigation.

He also said the immediate priority was to save lives, which would require more spending to strengthen health systems and containment efforts and cover vaccine procurement and distribution.

He added that for the international community, ensuring vaccine coverage for sub-Saharan Africa was a global public good.

“Restrictions on the dissemination of vaccines or medical equipment should be avoided, multilateral facilities such as COVAX should be fully funded and excess doses in wealthy countries should be redistributed quickly.

“Delivering on these reforms, while restoring the health of public balance sheets damaged by the crisis, will entail difficult policy choices. By pursuing actions to mobilise domestic revenues, prioritise essential spending, and more effectively manage public debt, policymakers can create the fiscal space needed to invest in the recovery and put debt on a sustainable footing,” Selassie noted.

He said some advanced economies had secured enough vaccines to cover their populations several times over, while many sub Saharan Africa countries are struggling to simply vaccinate essential frontline workers.

 

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