African Union "disappointed" with IMF's value for Africa

The president of the African Union said Thursday he is "disappointed" with the IMF's $33 billion in Special Drawing Rights (SDR) which will be distributed to African countries through the African Development Bank (AfDB).

"The lever by which these SDRs are going to be used is the ADB, which knows the African countries very well and the challenges they face, and this would be a considerable contribution to the cancellation of a part of the debts that these African countries have," said Félix Tshisekedi, also president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRCongo).

In an interview with Euronews following last week's Paris Summit on financing African economies, the African Union president said he was "disappointed" with the $33 billion portion of the $650 billion that is earmarked for Africa, based on the quota these countries have in the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

"The big news is the decision on the Special Drawing Rights, valued at $650 billion," he recalled, adding, "We were a little disappointed with the Paris Summit, because at this stage we only have $33 billion allocated to Africa, which is a very small amount for 54 countries."

Still, the figure is expected to rise significantly, as several major economies, such as France, have pledged to channel a portion of the amount they will receive in DES to the countries most economically affected by the covid-19 pandemic.

"The goal of this conference was, among other things, to raise up to $100 billion, and after our discussions we saw that it was possible to go even beyond that," the African Union leader stressed.

The Paris Summit took place last week, bringing together dozens of African and European leaders and high-level representatives of major international economic institutions.

For Félix Tshisekedi, the summit was important because it allowed "Africans to be involved in thinking about their own future." "Until now, decisions were taken in the absence of the Africans and only then sent to us, but here we are piloting this process together," he praised.

The recovery of the African economies "will be difficult," admitted the official, who was, nevertheless, confident that the continent can overcome the difficulties.

"I am confident, because the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, who is also a committed Africanist, attended the conference; we have set a series of goals, until the first half of 2022, during the French presidential elections, where we will take stock, during a European Union-African Union summit," he concluded.

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