| 17 April 2024, Wednesday |

IMF chief: ‘We ought to support Africa in this genuinely historic moment’

Leaders from more than a dozen African countries will attend a summit in Paris from Monday to discuss their financial needs after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ahead of the gathering, the head of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, has told FRANCE 24 the international community must join efforts to ensure a “dangerous divergence” of fortunes between advanced and developing economies is avoided. “This divergence would mean more insecurity, more instability and lost opportunities for the world economy to grow,” she warned.

Georgieva said she hoped a planned $650 billion increase in the Fund’s reserves, known as Special Drawing Rights, could be used as a way for richer countries to provide more help to those in need.

“We have done it, we can do it again,” she said. “Of course it is up to our members, but I was so encouraged to hear many countries stating that they want to see an on-lending done to help the countries that are in dire need.”

On the issue of debt relief, the IMF chief pointed to efforts underway at the G20 with Chad, Zambia and Ethiopia trying to overhaul their debt burdens.

Georgieva said she believed the outcome of the talks could encourage other countries to enter the process: “That would allow us to bring down the dangerous levels of debt in countries that are suffocating under a high debt burden.”

“This is the kind of situation where you need all hands on deck,” she said, calling on indebted countries, the international community and the private sector to work together on the issue.