What can the international community do to prepare a fairer financial order to unblock the flow of funding to Sub-Saharan Africa and other poor countries that is crucial to the post-COVID recovery?
To answer this question, the Vatican COVID-19 Commission of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and the Jesuit Justice and Ecology Network - Africa (JENA) today, February 7, will promote a seminar titled "Prepare the Future: Unblocking Global Finance for Post-COVID-19 Recovery in Sub-Saharan Africa".
In order to overcome the severe economic, political, social and environmental crisis suffocating the poor countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exposed the inequalities and injustices affecting especially the most vulnerable, poor countries need funding. Without access to sustainable financing, i.e. with low interest rates, it will be difficult for them to overcome the 'toxic mix' of debt, poverty, hunger and climate change.
According to an unfair and unsustainable logic, which hinges on the estimates made by international rating agencies that assess the level of reliability of countries in terms of their ability to repay debt, the economies of poor countries do not offer sufficient guarantees to international investors, neither in the short nor in the medium term. As a result, capital flows to these countries remain low. This is not helped by the existence of illicit financing flows, which divert funds that would otherwise be used for investment in sectors such as health, education, labour, infrastructure, energy and digital technology.
Hence the need to rethink the global financial system to enable the countries of sub-Saharan Africa and all poor countries to start and sustain a process of rebirth and development.
Suggestions towards the achievement of these goals will be offered in the debate through the interventions of Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University; James Gathii, Loyola University of Chicago (LUC); Horman Chitonge, University of Cape Town (UCT); Marta Pedraja, Vatican COVID-19 Commission. The event will be moderated by Fr. Charlie Chilufya, Jena Director.