The only way to free Africa from the shackles of debt and restore its development back on track is if assisted by developed countries, private financial institutions and international multilateral financial institutions.
This was this submission of an international online seminar with the theme “Africa’s Debt Situation and China’s Responses”, organised by the Shanghai Institute of International Studies (SIIS).
The seminar held at the weekend had in attendance experts and professionals from international organisations, enterprises, Chinese and foreign think tanks and representatives from universities, where they discussed in depth two major topics, assessing the debt situation in Africa, and China’s role in the African debt issue.
The seminar aimed to deepen the understanding of African debt crisis, and explore how China and the African community can deepen their cooperation with Africa.
At the same time, the seminar called on all parties to coordinate and cooperate on this problem, especially the developed countries, private financial institutions and international multilateral financial institutions, and together they should take stronger actions in providing financial support to developing countries and alleviating their debt through actions by all parties can the world help Africa and the global economy to achieve inclusive and sustainable development.
Four guests from different countries and fields provided in-depth analysis on the topics. Professor Deborah Brotigam, Director of the China-Africa Studies Initiative Program at Johns Hopkins University, shared her research results and made constructive suggestions on China’s loans to Africa, the proportion of Africa’s external debt, China’s debt treatment for Africa, and China’s participation in G20 debt treatment.
Gregory Smith, emerging markets fund manager from M&G Investments analyzed the overall debt situation of African countries, deeply analyzed the manifestation and root causes of debt problems of African countries from the perspective of sovereign bonds and private creditors, and pointed out the importance of coordinated participation of different creditors.
Wang Luo, Director of China Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, provided a new perspective on China’s participation in African development and support for African countries to deal with debt challenges from the perspective of “debt to development”.
Rui Wanjie, Founder and CEO of Rui Naxin Consulting, commented on the experience of dealing with debt crises in African countries in the 1990s and on China-Africa development cooperation, especially emphasizing the importance of quality cooperation and sustainable financing between China and Africa.
Chen Dongxiao, President of Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS), delivered the opening speech, while senior fellow Zhou Yuyuan from the Center for West Asian and African Studies and senior fellow Ye Yu from the Center of World Economy presided over the conference. Giles, head of the African-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, gave the concluding remarks.
Chen Dongxiao pointed out that although African economies in general showed signs of steady recovery, the debt problem remained serious. The international community has provided positive support to African countries through many agendas and initiatives, and how to enhance the effectiveness of debt response and global governance is still an important issue.
He insisted that China is a staunch partner of Africa in terms of mutual development and has been playing an active role in addressing Africa’s debt problems..
The session concluded with a response from senior fellow Zhou Yuyuan of the Center for West Asian and African Studies of the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies from the perspective of China’s contribution to Africa’s development cooperation, arguing that debt relief for Africa requires all relevant parties to balance to the relationship between short-term emergency relief and long-term debt governance.
The conference was open to the public and was attended by about 150 people from different countries.