NEW: Civil society organisations proffer solutions on Africa’s huge debts

20 Feb, 2024 - 19:02 0 Views
NEW: Civil society organisations proffer solutions on Africa’s huge debts

The Sunday Mail

Online Reporter

Regional civil society groups have come together to proffer solutions for Africa’s unsustainable debt and enhance good public finance management.

The African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD) and the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to partner in promoting sound financial and debt management policies across Africa.

Studies indicate that revenues have been declining amid high gross financing needs in the region; therefore, accelerating borrowing from both domestic and external sources to finance development.

Consequently, public debt has been rising in SADC countries.

In Zimbabwe, the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion estimates that total publicly guaranteed debt amounted to US$17,7 billion as at end September 2023, of which external debt amounted to US$12,7 billion, while domestic debt stood at US$5 billion.

The World Bank says exiting the debt cycle would require sustained strong growth, access to concessional financing and debt relief.

The MoU between AFRODAD and SADC PF formalises the collaboration of both organisations in influencing policy by providing technical support to African governments and parliaments to regain their political, economic and social agency.

SADC PF secretary-general Ms Boemo Sekgoma said: “Today, effective financial governance of countries constitutes the bedrock of sustainable development and provides the conducive environment for the enjoyment of socio-economic human rights by citizens.

“In this regard, the forum welcomes its collaboration with AFRODAD under this forward-looking MOU to promote sound financial and debt management through parliamentary and other initiatives, which will, inter alia, set the precepts for the development of a model law on climate action that is grounded in sustainable financial commitments by states to reduce carbon emissions.”

AFRODAD executive director Mr Jason Rosario Braganza said the “collaboration marks a significant step forward not only in enhancing shared commitment to advancing responsible debt management and promoting robust financial systems, but to deepen our partnership by bringing a technical and political economy perspective to the development of the model law on climate action”.

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