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Tunisian president to begin visit to France ahead of summit on African economies


Tunisian president to begin visit to France ahead of summit on African economies

Photo: Associated Press

Tunisia’s president Kais Saied will today arrive in Paris ahead of tomorrow’s Summit on Financing African Economies, hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Representatives from African states, multilateral organizations including the IMF and countries from the G7 and G20 aim to reach agreement on a massive recovery plan for the African continent. Officials also hope to attract liquidity in Africa to equitably develop both public and private sectors. Current proposals for economic assistance include reallocating IMF Special Drawing Rights worth up to $58 billion, debt relief and debt cancellation.

The summit comes as Tunisia’s economy—which was unstable before the pandemic began and shrank 3% in the first quarter of 2021 relative to 2020—begins reopening all commercial establishments this week.

Expect officials, including Saied, to support a broad recovery plan following the summit, given the dire economic situations of many African countries. Tunisia’s own untenable public debt and high unemployment would benefit from an agreement that incorporates measures such as debt relief or cancellation. If the assistance emphasizes private sector growth, Tunisia’s economy would benefit greatly, as the country’s private sector landscape has weakened since 2013 in the areas of investment, innovation, exports and overall productivity

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