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‘New Deal’, SDRs, debt and vaccines… What emerged from the summit on financing African economies

By Benjamin Roger
Posted on Wednesday, 19 May 2021 14:09

IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva, DRC president Felix Tshisekedi, French president Emmanuel Macron and Senegalese president Macky Sall at the summit on financing African economies in Paris May 18, 2021
IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva, DRC president Felix Tshisekedi, French president Emmanuel Macron and Senegalese president Macky Sall at the summit on financing African economies in Paris May 18, 2021. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS

The summit aimed to find ways to boost the African economy. Emmanuel Macron, who received 21 heads of state and government from the continent, said the discussions had enabled the "launch of a profound dynamic". But the final results fall short of a 'New Deal' for Africa, as no re-allocation of IMF special drawing rights was agreed.

At the opening of the summit on financing of African economies, which was held in Paris on 18 May, Macron hammered out two words: ‘urgency’ and ‘ambition’ for the continent. A few hours later, when the time came to take stock of the situation, in front of the Eiffel Tower, it was a mixed bag of issues.

21 African heads of state and government travelled for the summit, as well as several heads of continental organisations (African Union, ADB, etc.) and international organisations (European Union, IMF, etc.).

The aim was to come up with a unified response to the unprecedented economic shock presented by the Covid-19 pandemic and establish a vast recovery plan for the continent – sort of like an ‘African New Deal’, as the participants described it.