Egypt calls on African countries to support its ‘Sustainable Debt Coalition’ initiative

Aya Salah , Tuesday 21 Mar 2023

Egyptian Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait has called on the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) to support Egypt’s ‘Sustainable Debt Coalition’ initiative, inviting member states to join the coalition in order to “unify the African position on the debt crisis in international forums.”

File Photo: Finance Minister Mohamed Mait. Al-Ahram
File Photo: Finance Minister Mohamed Mait. Al-Ahram


Maait’s call came during various meetings with African counterparts and UN officials on Tuesday on the sidelines of ECA 2023 annual meeting, which was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, according to a statement released by the finance ministry.

“We are looking forward to launching the Coalition of African Countries for Sustainable Debt in Cairo before next June, in preparation for the inclusion of other countries that show interest from outside the African continent,” Maait stated.

The ECA was established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations in 1958 as one of the UN's five regional commissions.

The commission, which is made up of 54 member states, aims to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa's development.

The ‘Sustainable Debt Coalition’ initiative was launched by Egypt during the 27th edition of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh last November.

The Egyptian initiative aims to provide a diplomatic opportunity to align on the use of key performance indicators for debt issuances — whether in the context of refinancing existing debt or for new issuances.

According to its purpose statement, the initiative does not aim to be a platform for debt refinancing efforts but rather aims to encourage additional sustainable green investments and address environmental challenges.

Maait emphasised in the meetings with his African counterparts the importance inter-African coordination in order to allow the continent to speak with one voice on the debt crisis in international forums as well as enhance the capabilities of African economies in facing global crises. 

Maait also stressed the importance of African and non-African support for the Egyptian initiative in order to bolster green growth rates and accelerates the pace of economic development.

The finance ministers of Ghana and Kenya expressed their readiness to support the Egyptian initiative in their meetings with Maait, according to the statement.

It was also agreed to organise a meeting of the high-level working group concerned with the structure of the global monetary system on the sidelines of the upcoming spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in April.

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