The Africa Network for Economic and Environmental Justice, ANEEJ in collaboration with the African Forum and Network on Debt and Development, AFRODAD have called on African leaders to rethink their debt management strategies for the sustainable growth of the continent noting that Africa has all it takes to compete with other continent across the globe.
The event with the theme: “From Recovery to Reforms: Stop the Bleeding”, explained the need for African leaders to justify the model for debt recovery and the need to stop the waste that has almost turned African countries to dump site.
In his welcome addressat the opening ceremony. Rev. David Ugolor, ANEEJ Executive Director said the conference is meant to feed into the high level political and expert and hybrid meeting for a workable modalities that can assist to chart a way forward for the continent.
He said participants need to identify and explore the peculiarity of debt contraction and servicing processes through the lens of public participation and oversight of some sectors, such as the National Assembly and the Debt Management Office of the Federation.
Also in his contribution,, the Executive Director of Policy House International and Convener of Borrow Right Africa program, Taiwo Akerele noted that until African countries start to get serious with business and economic models that justifies multilateral support and financing they will continue to receive what can only be forgiven andand cancellable which will not add any value.
Akerele made this revelation stressing that African leaders must continue to think outside the box because only that can there be economic creativity that will return the continent to what it used to be known before it started looking up to outsiders for support which they are yet to justify with the huge funds that has accrue to it.
He said everything that can turn around the fortunes of this great continent resides in the potentials of this nation and the ability to assemble human capital that can convert this creative energies which will assist in resolving long drawn demands for values and opportunities across the length and breath of Africa instead of waiting endlessly for debt cancelation.
He said: ” The US$650bn Special Drawing Rights (SDR) recently issued by the IMF has generated serious debate amongst CSOs, academia, financial economists and governments across Africa understandably so because only 5% amounting to US$33.8bn came to Africa.
” However until African countries begin to get serious with their business and economic models that justifies multilateral support and financing, they can only continue to receive what can be ‘forgiven’ and ‘cancellable”, he stated.
Dr. Otive Igbuzor, thethe Chief of Staff to the Deputy Senate President said the subject of debt and its management is not new to many of the participants, particularly himself that has participated in similar issue over the years.
He noted that debt has become a global issue, affecting nations across the globe and that no one is spared but Africa is worse hit.
He therefore commend the civil society organizations, particularly ANEEJ, that have always taken the initiative to interrogate issues of debt, Anti-corruption and other socio-economic challenges.
The event had representatives from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Centre for Democracy for Development and International Monetary Funds, IMF were all in attendance.