Nigeria’s former minister of education, Obiageli Ezekwesili, has called on China to write off Africa’s debt immediately.
She made the call in an opinion article first published by the Washington Post. China has repeatedly been accused of concealing information and wasting time before announcing the possibilities of a pandemic when the novel coronavirus first broke out in December 2019.
Ezekwesili said the outbreak of COVID-19 has eroded the economic gains made by the continent since the 2008/2009 global crisis.
She said the Asian country “failed to transparently and effectively manage this global catastrophe”.
Explaining that Africa is vulnerable to the crisis owing to its existing poverty status, she opined that: “It should not suffer even more because yet another powerful country failed to act responsibly.
China should immediately announce a complete write-off of the more than $140 billion that its government, banks and contractors extended to countries in Africa between 2000 and 2017. .
This would provide partial compensation to African countries for the impact that the coronavirus is already having on their economies and people. The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a severe injury to Africa’s development prospects and worsened the conditions of its poor and vulnerable.
The continent must be accorded damages and liability compensation from China, the rich and powerful country that failed to transparently and effectively manage this global catastrophe. .
Africa’s economic gains since the last global crisis have been eroded. It is time to make offending rich countries pay the poor ones a global risk burden tax for delaying their rise out of poverty.”