New Deal for Africa: how to fund recovery without avoiding debt trap?

If it’s all about the post-pandemic recovery and shortages don’t matter anymore, what about Africa? France welcomes leaders to a summit dedicated to financing and easing the debt of a continent that has been hit hard by a global economy that has stalled. The age-old question feels more acute than ever: how to be like the US and Europe and set aside huge sums for health care, schools, green energy and infrastructure … instead of using the money to pay interest on old debts?

In the case of Sudan, Monday’s Paris pledge to clear old arrears could provide a lifeline for a nation trying to transition to democracy after a painful and bloody revolution ended decades of military dictatorship. Will ordinary citizens feel the relief?

More generally, it has been two decades since the Millennium Development Goals wiped out a sea of ​​red ink. Why are so many countries in a debt trap again where they owe huge sums to both public and private creditors? Is it because of bad governance? Unsustainable Needs? And are higher borrowing rates justified for a continent of enormous resources and potential?

Produced by Charles Wente, Juliette Laurain and Imen Mellaz.

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