In order to face the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Africa needs an immediate emergency economic stimulus of $100 billion, revealed African finance ministers during a virtual conference.
African states need to make coordinated efforts to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on African economies and society, urged the ministers.
The virtual conference represented a platform for senior African officials to exchange ideas on their respective governments’ efforts in dealing with the social and economic impacts of COVID-19.
Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, Africa was already experiencing a huge financing gap for its programs aimed at achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the 2063 Agenda targets, said the UN Economic Commission for Africa.
Without coordinated efforts, the COVID-19 pandemic will have significant adverse implications for African economies. The international community should support African countries to upgrade their health infrastructure and their medical supplies’ production, recommended the ministers.
The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the African Development Bank need to consider waiving the interests on their loans to fragile African states.
Meanwhile, African governments must support the private sector and protect the over 30 million jobs at risk in the continent, especially in the sectors of tourism and airlines, stressed the officials.
Morocco was one of the first African countries to create an Economic Monitoring Committee to mitigate the damage of the COVID-19 outbreak on the economy.
On March 16, the committee agreed on an action plan to last until the end of June. The plan suspends the payment of social security contributions and suspends the reimbursement of banks credits for the benefit of businesses.