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15 Years since Gleneagles: Rethinking African Debt in the Face of COVID-19, and Beyond

Webinar |
Speakers include:
Odile Renaud-Basso

Odile Renaud-Basso

The Paris Club

Gayle Smith

Gayle Smith

ONE Campaign

Donald Kaberuka

Donald Kaberuka

African Union

Overview

15 years after the historic Gleneagles agreement, burgeoning debt remains one of the biggest barriers to progress in developing countries as they seek to tackle COVID-19 and rebuild after the pandemic. Is it time to think the unthinkable and come up with new solutions to tackle the debt crisis?

15 years ago at the historic Gleneagles summit, G8 leaders agreed to cancel 100% of the multilateral debt owed by the world’s poorest countries, to double aid to Africa, increase health financing, and support African countries’ commitments to provide free universal primary education by 2015. These commitments sought to tackle constraints to growth, which kept African economies and societies from prospering. While not all of the Gleneagles commitments were met, many African countries have been among the fastest-growing economies over the past decade. Debt relief has played a huge role in freeing up resources to invest in human capital. 

However, African countries are facing an unprecedented crisis as a result of COVID-19. Governments are facing huge budget shortfalls due to the economic slowdown, a dramatic drop in commodity prices, falling remittances, and flight of foreign capital. Poverty is set to rise due to loss of jobs and incomes from lockdowns and the economic recession. Countries need a massive injection of liquidity to keep economies afloat, tackle the emergency COVID-19 response, and provide social safety nets for the most vulnerable. It is clear that what has worked in 2015 on debt needs updating for 2020. 

The Financial Times, in partnership with the ONE campaign, are delighted to facilitate this critical discussion exploring the future of African debt in the COVID-19 response and beyond. Leveraging the spirit and ambition behind the Gleneagles agreement, the panel will renew the conversation on debt and propose practical solutions to the pressing challenges facing African economies. 

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fallback Add to my Calendar 07/08/2020 15:45:0007/08/2020 17:00:00false15 Years since Gleneagles: Rethinking African Debt in the Face of COVID-19, and Beyond15 years after the historic Gleneagles agreement, burgeoning debt remains one of the biggest barriers to progress in developing countries as they seek to tackle COVID-19 and rebuild after the pandemic. Is it time to think the unthinkable and come up with new solutions to tackle the debt crisis?15 years ago at the historic Gleneagles summit, G8 leaders agreed to cancel 100% of the multilateral debt owed by the world’s poorest countries, to double aid to Africa, increase health financing, and support African countries’ commitments to provide free universal primary education by 2015. These commitments sought to tackle constraints to growth, which kept African economies and societies from prospering. While not all of the Gleneagles commitments were met, many African countries have been among the fastest-growing economies over the past decade. Debt relief has played a huge role in freeing up resources to invest in human capital. However, African countries are facing an unprecedented crisis as a result of COVID-19. Governments are facing huge budget shortfalls due to the economic slowdown, a dramatic drop in commodity prices, falling remittances, and flight of foreign capital. Poverty is set to rise due to loss of jobs and incomes from lockdowns and the economic recession. Countries need a massive injection of liquidity to keep economies afloat, tackle the emergency COVID-19 response, and provide social safety nets for the most vulnerable. It is clear that what has worked in 2015 on debt needs updating for 2020. The Financial Times, in partnership with the ONE campaign, are delighted to facilitate this critical discussion exploring the future of African debt in the COVID-19 response and beyond. Leveraging the spirit and ambition behind the Gleneagles agreement, the panel will renew the conversation on debt and propose practical solutions to the pressing challenges facing African economies. 15-Years-since-Gleneagles:-Rethinking-African-Debt-in-the-Face-of-COVID-19,-and-Beyond3ebd03a674f3517cf59ec16a9b76267bMM/DD/YYYY

Speakers (4)

Odile Renaud-Basso

Odile Renaud-Basso

Director General of the French Treasury and Chair
The Paris Club

Odile Renaud-Basso has been the General Director of the French Treasury and Chair of the Paris Club since June 2016. An Auditor at the National Court of Accounts from 1990 to 1994, she joined the Treasury Department before being appointed in 2005 as Director of the European Commission’s DG ECFIN. She became Deputy Chief of Staff to the President of the European Council in 2010; the served as Deputy Chief of Staff to France’s Prime Minister in 2012, before becoming the Deputy Director-General of the Caisse des Dépôts, Special Director for Savings Funds, in 2013. She is a Sciences-Po Paris and ENA graduate.

Gayle Smith

Gayle Smith

President and CEO
ONE Campaign

Gayle E. Smith is President and CEO of the ONE Campaign, a campaigning and advocacy organisation working to end extreme poverty and preventable disease. Prior to ONE, she held the role of Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, and served as a top advisor on development issues for Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. She has also worked as a journalist and with NGOs in Africa for more than 20 years.

Donald Kaberuka

Donald Kaberuka

High Representative for Financing, the Peace Fund and COVID19 response.
African Union

A Rwandan economist and former Finance Minister, Dr. Kaberuka is the 7th President of the African Development Bank (2005-2015). He is credited for expanding the reach and impact of AfDB, Africa’s premier financial institution during his two terms as President.

Kaberuka is currently the African Union High Representative for Financing, the Peace Fund and COVID19 response. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of several organisations and think tanks including the Rockefeller Foundation, Center for Global Development, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, The Brookings Institution and the London School of Economics. He serves on the International Advisory Council of Standard Chartered Bank and Co-Chair of the Oxford- LSE Commission on State Fragility, Growth and Development. He was also nominated in 2017 to Chair the panel on the third External Evaluation of the International Monetary Fund. Since retiring from the African Development Bank, he is Chairman and Managing Partner of SouthBridge an investment advisory firm which he co-founded. He was elected in 2019 as Chair of the Board of The Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria.

Kevin Daly

Kevin Daly

Investment Director
Aberdeen Standard Investment

Kevin Daly is an Investment Director on the EMD team, and oversees the two Frontier Market funds. Over the past several months, Kevin has been actively involved in discussions of the G20 debt relief inititiative with the official sector, multilateral institutions, IIF, UNECA and African finance officials. Kevin joined Aberdeen Standard Investments as a result of the merger between Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life in August 2017. Kevin joined Aberdeen in 2007 having spent the previous ten years at Standard & Poor's in London and Singapore. During that time Kevin worked as a Credit Market Analyst covering global emerging debt, and was Head of Origination for Global Sovereign Ratings. Kevin was a regular participant on the Global Sovereign Ratings Committee, and was one of the initial members of the Emerging Market Council, formed in 2006 to advise senior management on business and market developments in emerging markets. Kevin graduated with a BA in English Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Moderated by (1)

Jonathan Wheatley

Jonathan Wheatley

Emerging Markets Correspondent
Financial Times

Jonathan Wheatley is the FT’s emerging markets correspondent, writing about issues in the developing world across the FT’s output. He was formerly editor of beyondbrics, an online forum for outside comment on emerging markets, and of EM Squared, a premium service offering data-driven analysis of all things EM. He was a founding member of the FT’s emerging markets desk in 2011. He was previously the FT’s Brazil bureau chief in São Paulo, where he lived for the best part of two decades, writing about economics, politics, business, finance, the environment and social issues in Brazil and across Latin America.

Key Talking Points

  • How has the debt landscape changed in Africa, and what does that mean for African governments as they attempt to navigate the financial burden of COVID-19? 
  • With the US taking a step back in the world stage, and the rise of China in Africa, what does a longer-term solution on debt look like for Africa?
  • Leveraging the spirit and ambition behind the Gleneagles - what is the ground-breaking solution now to help Africa recover from an unprecedented global pandemic?
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Agenda - 8th Jul

  • 3:45pm
    Access to webinar opens
  • 4:00pm
    Opening remarks from the FT Chair
  • 4:05pm
    Panel discussion
  • 4:45pm
    Q&A
  • 4:55pm
    Discussion closes

Presented by (2)

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ONE is a global movement campaigning to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030, so that everyone, everywhere can lead a life of dignity and opportunity. We are non-partisan and pressure governments to do more to fight extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, and empower citizens to hold their governments to account. 

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