Nigeria Prepares For Expanded French Economic Summit 

Yemisi Izuora

Nigeria is set to participate in a summit in Paris where discussions will be held on ways of providing support to African countries hit hard by the health crisis.

On 18 May, French President Emmanuel Macron will host African leaders that will be attended by various African and European heads of state where several issues will be discussed.

The summit is to “give a big boost” to the countries on the continent that have been affected by the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the avenues to be explored are debt relief – or even, as French President Emmanuel Macron expressed support for in April 2020, debt cancellation – or exceptional support from the IMF through special drawing rights.

It is also expected that many talks will be held about providing financial support to the African private sector.

The African presidents that have been invited to Paris include President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire’s Alassane Ouattara, Senegal’s Macky Sall, the DRC’s Félix Tshisekedi, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, Angola’s João Lourenço, Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta, Guinea’s Alpha Condé and Congo-Brazzaville’s Denis Sassou Nguesso.

Most of them had signed a tribune calling to provide support to Africa in the face of the pandemic.

Also present will be Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, and Akinwumi Adesina, chairperson of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

In addition to Macron, several European leaders will take part in the summit, as well as representatives of G7 countries, the G20 and international institutions (IMF, World Bank, OECD, EBRD, etc.).

The details of the summit will depend on the evolution of the health situation in France. The organisers hope that the exchanges – in the form of a lunch, then a conference – will take place face-to-face, in the Grand Palais on the Champ-de-Mars, a temporary building never before used.

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