President Uhuru Kenyatta called for debt cancellation as a way to amortize severely financially affected countries during meeting with member countries of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) .
Kenyatta, who is the current chair of the OACPS Heads of State and Government Summit on Thursday, April 9, argued that a multi-pronged approach is needed to mobilize resources and s’ commends the various debt relief mechanisms.
“We welcome the debt relief measures, which have created the fiscal space needed to reduce the negative effects of the pandemic.
President Uhuru Kenyatta delivers the opening statement at an OACPS virtual town hall on April 8, 2021.
“However, we are seeking the continuation of the debt suspension and debt cancellation initiative, for the countries most seriously affected. The protracted pandemic requires continued mitigation measures,” he said.
He further called for more trade and investment agreements among member countries, saying the billion people who make up the 79-member multilateral body offer enormous potential for intra-OACPS trade and investment.
In his statement, Kenyatta also set out his vision for the multilateral institution, saying he envisions a transitional, united and progressive OACPS.
“We must aim for a transition that supports structural transformation to promote industrialization, the diversification of our economies and an increase in the added value of our primary products,” he added.
The Kenyan president said that in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, member states must use creativity and innovation to recover from the devastating economic effects of the pandemic.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has devastated our health systems and our economic systems. Livelihoods have been destroyed, leaving hundreds of millions of people unemployed and in poverty.
“A key lesson is that we must synergize our energies and use creativity and innovation to recover together and rebuild better,” said the Kenyan head of state.
Uhuru has in the past called for debt cancellation. In July 2020, he called for the cancellation of the debts of African countries as part of the development of a joint European Union and Africa response strategy against Covid-19.
Speaking at the State House in Nairobi during a virtual conference of European and African leaders on the proposed creation of the Africa-Mediterranean-Europe (AME) Foundation, Uhuru said the cancellation of debts should make part of the interventions taken to cushion African countries during the pandemic.
President Uhuru Kenyatta speaking on Thursday April 8 at State House, Nairobi, when he delivered the opening address at a virtual OACPS town hall.