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Ghana President Akufo-Addo Calls For the Cancellation of All African Debts

Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo poses before the opening session of the Summit on the Financing of African Economies on May 18, 2021 in Paris. Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP

Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo issued an urgent call for immediate economic relief, including the total cancellation of all debts owed by African countries, during his address on Tuesday at the Summit on Financing African Economies. Without the ‘fiscal room to breathe,’ Africa could truly become ‘the forgotten continent, and that is why there is urgent need for comprehensive debt relief and debt cancellation,” said the President.

But it’s not entirely clear who the President was addressing specifically. It can’t have been the traditional lenders that make up the Paris Club, because they own only 6% of Africa’s debt. And he should probably know by now that China, which owns at least 21% of the continent’s outstanding debt, has made it clear that it has no plans to provide across-the-board debt cancellation in Africa or elsewhere in the Global South.

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