The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, a recipient of the 2017 World Food Prize, and Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz, a recipient of the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, have called for a quick and comprehensive plan for debt restructuring in Africa.
At the launch of the African Development Bank’s 2021 edition of its annual African Economic Outlook, Adesina urged African governments to consider collectively establishing an African financial stabilization mechanism, which would give Africa the fiscal space it needs to deal with debt. Africa’s collective debt now stands at 70 percent of the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP).
“It is high time that we set up a homegrown financial stability mechanism where we work together to mutualise our funds and ensure we avoid the spillover effects that come from global pandemics or any external shocks,” the head of Africa’s premier financial institution said.
“We must start by making sure that we carry out the macroeconomic policy reforms and the fiscal policy reforms that we need to get done,” he said, adding that Africa “is not looking for a free pass. We are just looking for an equitable way in which Africa’s fiscal space gets dealt with.”
The idea was backed by Stiglitz, who proposed an international debt framework.
“That’s a question I’ve been very concerned with for a long time,” said Stiglitz. “You need debt restructuring, and that needs to be really high on the international agenda. Every country has bankruptcy laws but there’s no bankruptcy law for international debt. When there’s too much debt, it’s as much the creditor’s problem as the debtor’s problem.”
Stiglitz added: “What needs to be done with debt is comprehensive and quick restructuring. We don’t want to fall into the trap of doing too little, too late.” Stiglitz’s proposal calls for an international debt framework that includes the private sector, given its growing role as a source of government debt.
According to the African Economic Outlook, the share of commercial creditors in Africa’s external debt stock has more than doubled in the last two decades, from 17 percent in 2000 to 40 percent by the end of 2019.
Some hope has come in the form of new special drawing rights, potentially $500 billion, that the International Monetary Fund could issue, in accordance with the G20’s recommendation at the end of February. Adesina said these funds will “go a long way” to stabilizing foreign reserves and the exchange rate, allowing countries to handle debt and re-engage in massive pro-growth investments that will help them to quickly recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Adesina presented a proposed African Financial Stabilization Mechanism, strongly supported by Stiglitz, as a critically needed solution that would allow African countries to agree on a set of convergent macroeconomic policies and principles and pool funds. Adesina said: This will allow us to “deal with the cause of the illness and not always the symptoms.”
Over 8,000 Nigerian Doctors Now Work In UK, 353 Registered In The Last 100-Day
The United Kingdom (UK) registered about 353 Nigerian doctors in the last 100 days, according to data from the General Medical Council – the body which licenses and maintains the official register of medical practitioners in the UK.
The GMC licensed at least 353 Nigerian-trained doctors between June 10, 2021, and September 20, 2021.
The statistics also showed that between July 24, 2020, and September 21, 2021, about 862 Nigeria-trained doctors were licensed in the UK despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The data also showed that 8,737 doctors who obtained their degrees in Nigeria currently practice in the UK.
Officials of the National Association of Resident Doctors are speculating that the rate of migration might double in the coming weeks since doctors were not given the right remuneration.
They said that many Nigerian doctors are migrating to Saudi Arabia, which might be more than those moving to the UK.
A poll by NOI in 2018 showed that 88 percent of Nigerian doctors were considering work opportunities abroad, but experts say the figure may be higher due to the rising insecurity and economic crunch.
Elections in Africa Must Follow Democratic Process – Osinbajo
Africans must continue to make the extra effort in ensuring that elections in the continent go through the democratic process, remain transparent and fair, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
He said this yesterday while receiving the President-elect of Sao Tome and Principe, Mr. Carlos Manuel Vila Nova who paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa.
On the 18th of July, 2021, elections were held in Sao Tome to replace President Evaristo Carvalho, whose tenure expired on 3rd September, 2021. Based on constitutional provisions, an outright winner did not emerge from the polls and a run-off led to the emergence of Mr. Vila Nova, who would be sworn in 2nd October, 2021.
According to Prof Osinbajo “there is no question at all that for those of us in Africa, we must make the extra effort to ensure that the democratic process is very transparent. It is such a pleasure to see that that was what took place in your country which led to your election.”
Speaking about areas of cooperation between both countries, the Vice President said, “we already talked about some of the areas of cooperation…your tenure might be an opportunity to bring some of those things to fruition.”
Prof Osinbajo reassured Mr. Manuel Vila Nova of Nigeria’s support to ensure that “your tenure is as comfortable and effective as possible as partners and friends.”
In his own remarks, President-elect Vila Nova expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for supporting Sao Tome and also thanked the Vice President for his attention, stating that Nigeria is a “friendly country” and the relationship between both countries dates back many years.
In attendance at the meeting were the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, and a member of the Sao Tome and Principe’s cabinet, Mr. Americo de Oliveira Ramos.
Ethiopian Airline To Resume Flight To Enugu Oct. 1st
The Ethiopian Airline said on Sunday it would resume flights to Enugu as from Oct. 1, two years after it suspended flight to the South-Eastern state.
The airline’s General Manager, Shimeles Arage, who confirmed the proposed resumption in a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday, said that every week there would be a flight on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with B787 Dreamliner.
“Oct. 1 is Nigeria’s Independence Day and the flight to Enugu on that day will reinforce Ethiopian Airline good relations with Nigeria since the first flight to Nigeria in 1960,” he said.
Arage recalled that the airline stopped flights to Enugu in 2019 when the Nigerian aviation authorities closed the airport to refurbish the runway.
He said before the closure of the airport for runway repairs, Ethiopian was the only international airline flying to Enugu.
The airport was officially re-opened to domestic flights in 2020 and to international flights in Aug. 2021.
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