On Tuesday May 18, African presidents will gather in the French capital of Paris to try and convince Western partners to lend much-needed monies necessary to fiscal and developmental plans in these times of a global public health crisis.
The meeting has been dubbed Summit on Financing African Economies and will be hosted by the President of France Emmanuel Macron. The French president has talked about a reimagination of opportunities for Africa that is different from what “dates back to the 1960s” and called for a “New Deal” for Africa. He has connected the importance of this process to forestalling terrorism and well as “forced immigration” to Europe from Africa.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, President of Ivory Coast Alassane Ouattara asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help African countries position to “better face the pandemic” and “finance urgent expenses to fight terrorism”. Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger constitute France’s G5 countries involved in fighting Islamic fundamentalism and other armed militia in the Sahel region.
One president who will also be at the meeting is Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo. The West African country has also not been spurred the worst since COVID-19 hit the global economy. Its economy has slumped into recession following the contraction of the economy in two consecutive quarters, according to a Ghanaian business newspaper, citing data released by the Ghana Statistical Service.
The Ghanaian economy contracted by 3.1 percent in the second quarter of 2020 and 1.1 percent in the third quarter of 2020, sending the economy into recession for the first time in 40 years, according to the Business and Financial Times. The last time Ghana went into recession was in 1983, which was occasioned by political instability, famine and other economic unrests.
The IMF believes the continent would most likely face a financing gap of $290 billion by 2023. Although the continent experienced its first recession in half a century last year (-2.1%), growth is expected to rebound by 3.4% in 2021 and 4% in 2022.