South African President Cyril Ramaphosa made an appeal to the G20 nations to help Africa cope with the financial and economic aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, reported CGTN Africa.
Ramaphosa made the plea on Friday during the first session of the virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit on overcoming the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and restoring growth and jobs globally. The two-day event is led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The G20 is an international economic cooperation forum for the governments and central bank governors from 19 countries and the European Union (EU).
“Many of the hardest hit economies are in Africa,” the South African president noted. “Economic activity on the continent is expected to contract by 3.2 per cent in 2020, with the region falling into a recession for the first time in 25 years.”
He appealed the G20 member countries to use all of their persuasive powers to convince all creditor countries, the credit rating agencies, the multilateral development banks, and the private sector to help in addressing the issue of burgeoning and unsustainable developing country debt.
In his statement, Mr. Mamaphosa also urged the G20 members to help Africa overcome funding shortfalls for access to the COVID-19 tools accelerator. He pleaded that all countries must get access to the COVID-19 vaccine once it is available as global recovery is very crucial.
“Another immediate task is to ensure that there is equitable and affordable access for all countries to the COVID-19 vaccine once it is developed,” the South African president said.
The total number of COVID-19 infections in Africa crossed the 2.04 million mark on Saturday, with a death toll nearing the 50,000 mark, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Some of the most covid-19 affected countries in Africa in terms of the number of positive cases are South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, and Ethiopia.