Paris Covid-19 economic recovery summit a success – Ramaphosa

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the just-ended Paris summit on the Financing of African Economies during the coronavirus…

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the just-ended Paris summit on the Financing of African Economies during the coronavirus pandemic as a success following African and European leaders’ “ambition to act together and fight the great divergence occurring within and between countries”.Summit host and French President Emmanuel Macron brought together African and European leaders to trash out new financing mechanisms for their economies which are reeling from the devastation of the pandemic.

In a statement, the South African presidency said the two-day summit, which ended Tuesday night, “recognised the role of extensive immunisation against Covid-19 as [a] global public good.”

“It committed itself to ensure and accelerate equitable access in Africa to safe and affordable vaccines, treatment and diagnostics through the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s ACT-Accelerator and its COVAX facility,” the presidency said.

The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator is a new, groundbreaking global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to coronavirus vaccines, the office noted.

The ACT-Accelerator Alliance was launched in April 2020 by WHO, the European Commission, France and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In addition, Tuesday’s summit called for a swift decision on and implementation of an unprecedented general allocation of the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), the presidency said.

The SDRs are expected to amount to US$650 billion, of which US$33 billion will be used to increase reserve assets of African countries, the office said. 

The gathering also expressed support for African national strategies on growth and jobs, and welcomed the ambition to develop an Alliance for Entrepreneurship in Africa, with a broad Pan-African reach and strong business focus, the presidency said. 

The alliance would help mobilise all partners ready to support, through financial and technical resources, the development of Africa’s private sector, it added.  

On Monday Ramaphosa and Macron held talks at the latter’s Champs Elysée palace ahead of the French leader’s state visit to South Africa later this month.

During the two-day visit, Ramaphosa also held talks with African Union chairperson and Democratic Republic of Congo President Félix Tshisekedi; Angolan President João Lourenço; Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara; Mozambican President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi; Senegalese President Macky Sall; Rwandan President Paul Kagame, and Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé to enhance South Africa’s diplomatic relations. 

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