COVID-19: Akufo-Addo calls on ECOWAS heads to negotiate with World Bank for a debt standstill

COVID-19: Akufo-Addo calls on ECOWAS heads to negotiate with World Bank for a debt standstill

- President Akufo-Addo has admonished West African finance ministers to call for a debt standstill following the coronavirus pandemic

- He added that the move would position the countries well to withstand the economic effects of the virus

- President Akufo-Addo made the call when he participated in a virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit focused on COVID-19

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President Akufo-Addo has called on finance ministers within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Assembly to campaign for a debt standstill over issues the coronavirus might cause.

According to him, this would help countries in the sub-region withstand the external shocks from the coronavirus.

Ghana’s president made the recommendation when he joined other West African presidents for a virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit focused on COVID-19.

READ ALSO: World Bank freezes payment of $500 million debt Ghana owes

A Ghana Web report shows that he maintained the issue of debt relief must remain a public debt but private debts must also be looked at during negotiations with the World Bank.

He added that for Ghana, “a debt standstill means that US$500 million in interests and principles this year.”

President Akufo-Addo went on to say that West Africa needs not just a debt standstill but a debt relief.

For that reason, he went on, efforts are being made by Ghanaian and South African finance ministers to negotiate with the World Bank for a debt standstill for countries of the International Development Association (IDA). earlier reported that the minister of finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has called on China to assist African countries with debt reliefs.

According to him, the move would help ease the economic burden on African countries reeling from the impact of the outbreak.

He estimated the cumulative effect of the coronavirus could severely affect Ghana’s economy.

READ ALSO: Parliament approves GHC1.2 billion package to combat the coronavirus

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