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AU calls for debt relief for member countries

Ajoke Ulohotse

Reporter, Lagos

The African Union (AU) has reiterated its call for debt cancellation and the implementation of a comprehensive relief package for African countries in response to Covid-19.

In total, African countries owe $493.6bn (£391bn) according to the latest World Bank statistics.

The bank said in April that Sub-Saharan Africa will this year suffer its first recession for 25 years as a consequence of the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement released on Tuesday after a virtual meeting of AU head of states and special envoys that was held last week, the leaders also called for the lifting of sanctions against Sudan and Zimbabwe in order to enable the two countries to adequately deal with the global health crisis.

The meeting was convened by AU Chairperson and President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa.

Africa has confirmed more than 200,000 Covid-19 cases, 61% of them are from Algeria, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt and Ghana, the statement said.

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