President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo together with 22 other African leaders are calling on the donors of the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group to raise an ambitious USD100 billion to support a resilient African post-Covid-19 recovery and to help African countries transform their economies.
They also pledged to work on improving their capacity to absorb resources for the diligent execution of projects and programmes and to continue efforts to mobilize tax revenue, and to use transparently and efficiently the mobilized resources, while strengthening governance.
The leaders further resolved to accelerate economic recovery from the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, scale up investments in human capital, and increase their job creation efforts and called for expanded access to vaccines which is critical for rapid recovery of the world economy.
The African leaders made the call at the end of the one-day IDA20 Replenishment Advocacy summit of Heads of States and governments of some 23 African countries and the World Bank Group held in Abidjan. The conference, organized by the World Bank was opened by H. E. Alassane Ouattara, President of Cote D’Ivoire.
The IDA20 Replenishment Advocacy meeting aimed at mobilizing African leaders to solicit for higher funding from donors for the IDA20 cycle to support green and resilient recovery from challenges accentuated by covid-19.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, while supporting the call, noted that ‘If OECD governments can borrow more than USD 18 trillion to respond to the pandemic, donors should be able to find USD 100 billion to replenish IDA20 to fund vital health care, education, social services and welfare protection for the world’s most vulnerable societies”
He said this in a speech read on his behalf by Charles Adu Boahen, Minister of State at the Finance Ministry who led a four-member team to represent Ghana.
The President noted that the Covid-19 pandemic was an unprecedented crisis in which all must strive to protect the people and the planet adding that “for the first time in this century we realize how closely and irrevocably bound our fortunes are”.
He, therefore, called on the developed world to take critical action to vaccinate the world and find the necessary funds to save lives to allow the reopening of the global economy.
President Akufo-Addo noted that unlike most parts of the world, Africa responded to the Covid-19 crises with swift, prudent innovative policies to safeguard lives and livelihoods. However, the economic fallout has taken a disproportionate toll on developing countries.
According to the IMF Africa needs USD425 billion in medium-term funding to return to pre-pandemic economic growth status. African economies contracted by -2.1%, debt to GDP ratio has risen to 73.19 % and is also likely to achieve only 53% SDG goals by 2030.
President Akuffo-Addo while calling on the world to support Africa also noted that Covid-19 has given African countries a historic opportunity to recreate the continent, a chance to build Africa that is prosperous and not dependent on charity of others, adding, “a continent that engages with other countries competently through trade, investment and political cooperation for enhanced global peace and security.
To this end, Ghana, had launched the 100 billion cedis COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprises Support (CAREs) Programme to revitalize the economy, as well as develop Ghana into a regional hub for financial services, logistics, tourism and light manufacturing. The country is also leveraging on the location of the AfCFTA Secretariat to expand intra African trade.
In his opening remarks, Axel van Trotsenburg, the World Bank Managing Director for Operations noted that recognizing the need for Africa to have long term concessionary and predictable loans, with increased grant portion, the World Bank has committed about half of its resources to Africa.
He said the IDA20 advocacy conference will provide African countries the platform to develop country-driven priority programmes to improve the livelihoods of her citizens, therefore, “an ambitious IDA20 will be a powerful force in helping countries with a green and inclusive recovery to get back to the 2030 goals.”
Other speakers were Mr. Makhta Diop, IFC Managing Director and Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, President of the Africa Union Commission.
Participating countries were, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania and Togo.
Other notable participants were, the President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, the President of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) Commission, the representative of the President of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) Commission and the World Bank Group.
IDA Replenishment 20
The World Bank launched the IDA20 replenishment process in April 2021 with the aim to support countries in their recovery from the impact of Covid-19 pandemic. The replenishment will conclude in December 2021 with policy and financial packages to support developing countries from July 2022 to June 2025.
Since 1960, the IDA has provided funds for developing countries and it replenishes its resources every three years to enable it provide loans and grants to low income countries. Currently the IDA is in its 19th cycle (IDA19) whose replenishment yielded USD82 billion. Out of this, Ghana has been allocated USD1.46 billion.