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“Stave Off African Debt Crisis & Turn it into Investments.”
The global economic crises and the financial phenomenon, especially the phenomenon of unsustainable external debt, cast a shadow over the least developed economies, undermining all efforts to achieve development there. Civil society organizations in Africa, in turn, are calling on creditors to activate their commitments towards human rights and assume their developmental responsibility, by canceling debts and alleviating the burden of African countries.
And as the undersigned civil society organizations are cautiously awaiting the escalation of global debt, which has amounted to $226 trillion internationally, and are aware of the severe repercussions it carries on the economies of low- and middle-income countries, forcing them to pay $300 billion annually in debt services and widening the funding gap needed to achieve social protection to $1.2 trillion or needed to achieve sustainable development to $4.3 trillion;
Sounding the alarm about the impact of escalating external debts on African countries and its increase from $380.9 and $702.4 billion in 2012 and 2020, respectively, to about $1 trillion, with 66% of them imposed on only 9 African countries, and with 22 African countries classified as countries unable to meet their financial obligations;
Expressing their deep concern about the persistence of the phenomenon of debt accumulation on the shoulders of African countries, and its severe and intersecting repercussions on the continent’s development paths and all aspects of human rights: political, civil, economic, social and cultural; debt services deduct $100 billion annually from the budgets of debtor countries, and illicit financial flows cost Africa $84 billion annually as realized losses;
It warns of what the accumulations of foreign debts and its repayment maturities portend, and the imposition of a narrow financial space that robs it of the ability to withstand external shocks: economic, climatic, humanitarian and health.
Undersigned Civil Society Organizations and stakeholders demand the following:
1. Waiving the debts for African countries and prioritizing human rights obligations and considerations of sustainable development over the requirements of creditors, through procedures for evaluating and analyzing the effects of external debts, debt relief mechanisms, and identifying the necessary resources to respond to human rights.
2. Implementation of relief programs to convert debts into investments for the benefit of African countries that are currently suffering from health, humanitarian and climatic emergencies, or countries already in debt distress or at high risk of it.