Africa is in danger of disaster. But most traditional donors and trading partners remain silent. China too.
Africa needs help. And immediately. The appeal from John Nkengasong, the director of the African Union’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is unmistakable: “If Africa doesn’t get support now, there will be a disaster.”
If Africa does not get support now, there will be a disaster.
Together with the member states of the African Union, Nkengasong has developed a continental strategy to combat the corona virus. Africa currently desperately needs money and medical supplies of all kinds, such as protective clothing, masks, tests and breathing equipment.
Nkengasong says that there is far too little of all of this on the African continent. He was aware that Africa had to compete with the world for its concerns: everyone needed money and protective materials. And yet he appeals to global solidarity: “We are facing a global crisis and that is why global solidarity is needed. Because as long as the virus is not contained everywhere, the whole world is not safe. »
As long as the virus is not contained everywhere, the whole world is not safe.
Dramatic price collapse in raw materials
That is why Africa needs money. Because the economy was also hit hard, as economics professor Carlos Lopes explains. The former secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa points to the precarious situation: “Raw material prices are in the basement.”
35 African countries are highly dependent on the export of raw materials. African currencies have lost value and much capital has been withdrawn from emerging markets.
At the same time, according to Lopes, there are no private money transfers from migrants from Europe and the USA. So far, more money has come to Africa through this channel than through development aid.
Debt relief for the poorest countries
In addition, there is the debt burden of the African countries: the countries of the continent should repay $ 44 billion this year alone. This is simply not possible, says the economist: “We have to reschedule debts and free Africa’s poorest countries from debt. Otherwise the continent will never recover after the crisis. »
We have to free the poorest countries from debt. Otherwise the continent will never recover after the crisis.
Now the EU has pledged some support for Africa today. The $ 3.25 billion is nowhere near enough. Lopes estimates that Africa would need 200 billion from the international community.
The important trading partners are silent
But many important partners in Africa have so far remained silent: “From China, our most important trading partner, we have only seen the private initiative of Alibaba founder Jack Ma, but have heard nothing from the government.”
Neither from the new players on the continent like Russia and Turkey. Even the long-established donors such as Great Britain, the United States or Japan would not have given any support. The donor countries are concerned with themselves.