South Asia and Beyond

Macron’s Two-Day Africa Summits

French President Emmanuel Macron hosts African leaders and heads of global financial institutions today for a conference looking to help Sudan in its democratic transition after the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir in 2019. IMF members are expected to agree to cover Sudan’s $1.33 billion in arrears to the fund. This will move the country closer to having its debt forgiven under the IMF and World Bank’s Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) scheme. In economic crisis, Sudan is seeking relief on at least $50 billion in external debt. The U.S. took it off its blacklist of state sponsors of terrorism in December, removing a major hurdle to foreign investment. Sudan recently also cleared arrears to the World Bank and the African Development Bank with bridge loans from Western countries. On May 18, Macron hosts a summit on African economies that will try to fill a financing shortfall of almost $300 billion caused by Covid-19. Tuesday’s summit will be one of the biggest in person top level meetings held during the pandemic.

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