High-level virtual roundtable on covid-19-related debt in Africa

, Berlin time (CEST, UTC+2)


Carlos Lopes, High Representative for Partnerships with Europe, African Union

Aksel Jakobsen, State Secretary for International Development, Norway

Catriona Purfield, Deputy Director, African Department, The International Monetary Fund

Albert Zeufack, Chief Economist for Africa, The World Bank

Stefano Sannino, Deputy Secretary-General for Economic and Global Issues, European External Action Service

Alain le Roy, Special Envoy of the President for the International Initiative on the Covid-19 Response in Africa, France

Chaired by

Theodore Murphy, Director, Africa Programme, ECFR

Susi Dennison, Director, European Power Programme, ECFR

The economic knock-on effects of the COVID19 pandemic are severe all over the world but Africa is particularly exposed.

As governments’ ability to respond to the health emergency is partly determined by fiscal breathing space, the debt issue is an important aspect of the public health response. But also beyond the health aspect, the economic downturn itself carries dire consequences for Africa.  

The April 2020 G20-Paris Club Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) provides some relief and fiscal breathing space. But it is due to expire in the end of 2020. An October 2020 G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meeting may provide an indication of next steps.

What are African expectations as to the way forward? How can Europe and International Financial Institutions best contribute? How does the debt issue factor into the Africa-Europe relationship?

This event aims to share an updated view from the African, European, and International Financial Institution perspective on the debt issue and to discuss innovative and actionable policy proposals for the way ahead.