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Gbajabiamila lead African Leaders on debt cancellation

Gbajabiamila lead African Leaders on debt cancellation

The speaker of the House of Representatives Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has convened a meeting of African leaders, with the aim of debt cancellation throughout the continent, stressing that development across the African continent has been stunted owing to the heavy burden of the debts.
Speaking further Rt. Hon. Gbajabiamila pointed out that the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID 19) saga has compounded the issue for the continent as a result of the sociopolitical and economic consequences of the dreaded.
In his words, “we all agree that Africa’s debt burden has become an existential threat to our societies, our economies and the future; we need to do something about disease, it as a continent wide priority. It is safe to say that the burden of debt servicing, vis-à-vis spending on education and healthcare for example, is a threat to our continent’s stability and development, especially in the era of COVID 19. When we find ourselves having to make policy choices between paying debts or saving lives, we know something is not morally right. And as democratically elected representatives of our people, we cannot be silent. We must speak up and we must act. And the time to act is now. Furthermore, there is need for us to reflect on the processes that led to Africa’s heavy indebtedness in the first place, the role parliamentarians can play to address this going forward what assurances, we (as parliamentarians) can give our borrowers that if our debt the freed up resources will be invested in social and economic development of our citizens”. If we want debt cancellation, we must be able to build the confidence of the borrowers that the cancellation will indeed save lives and livelihood across the continent and we as speakers and heads of our parliaments will ensure that this indeed is the case”.
In his own contribution, the speaker of Ethiopia parliament, Hon. Tagesse Chafo noted that although every government in the continent has been trying to seek debt forgiveness. He therefore suggested that coming together for this purpose is very necessary. While the speaker of Ghana parliament. Rt. Hon. Professor Aaron Mike Oguaye noted that the debt burden is essentially a common challenge on the African continent as most nations in the continent depend on foreign loans to execute their national budgets and also added that the speakers group in its effort to push for debt cancellation must be able to convince the creditors about accountability if they hope to succeed.
While also speaking in the same vein, the speaker of Kenyan National Assembly Hon. Justin Bedan Muturi emphasized on the need for the initiative as the coronavirus pandemic has undermined most African economies owing to the fact that conditions attached to the loans have been eroded by the consequences of the novel pandemic. The speaker of Rwanda Parliament Rt. Hon. Donatile Mukabalisa noted that African countries are heavily burdened by loans even before the pandemic and further advised that the group must be cleared about the kind of debt it is seeking to address and from which given partners.
The president, National Assembly of Senegal equally regretted that the pandemic has negatively. He therefore suggested that opinions of members of the forum must be sought on how to solve the issues between suspension and cancellation of debt. At the end of the conference, a decision for the release of a communique in the first week of September 2020 was greed, while the campaign for implementation of action would commence in the second week of September 2020. The forum also stated that the third week of September 2020 would be devoted to the planning for the 2021 conference. It was also stated that the speaker of Nigerian house of Representative, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila will host the main edition of COSAP.

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