Rwanda has not requested debt relief or restructuring, a press conference at the Elysée Palace in Paris revealed on Friday.

Frank Paris, Advisor to President Emmanuel Macron for Africa, organised this conference together with Emmanuel Cohet, former Ambassador of Mauritius and current Ambassador for Economic Partnerships with Africa (part of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs).

Let us recall that the cancellation or restructuring of debt for African countries is an initiative of President Macron. Countries that make this request face no sanctions or negative impact on their economies. However, these countries must observe measures that contribute to the enhancement of their economies in order not to fall back into debt. Rwanda has already announced its wish not to have its debt cancelled or restructured. This press conference announced the France-Africa Summit which takes place on 17 and 18 May in Paris in two parts: the democratic transition in Sudan will be on the agenda on Monday 17 May. The following day, the Summit will focus on the issue of financing African economies after the Covid-19 pandemic. A total of 22 African heads of state will participate in the meeting, including 19 heads of state and government. Among them, the presidents of Rwanda, Ghana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, Mozambique, etc. There will also be the President and Vice-President of the European Union, the heads of the IMF and the World Bank, delegates from Great Britain and China, and many European and African ministers.

“Africa can have massive financial flows to recover”

Chad is one of the countries that has already applied for debt cancellation, along with Zambia and Ethiopia. Sudan is also in this framework despite its €5 billion debt. These countries are urged to go further to strengthen their small and medium-sized enterprises, giving them more access to finance. For Emmanuel Cohet: “Africa can have massive financial flows to recover. But it must have a dynamic entrepreneurship, be able to mobilise funds for small and medium-sized enterprises, master digitalisation for women entrepreneurs. Africa also wants to go to its mode of production of the vaccine against Covid-19, have the information and expertise necessary for the private sector to work for food security and agribusiness, strengthen the healthy business climate,” he said.  

From our correspondent in Kigali André Gakwaya