Saudi pledges $1 billion support for Africa’s post-pandemic recovery

Saudi Arabia has reportedly pledged support to African countries with $1 billion worth of loans and investments this year. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stated that the investment would be directed to help the African economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, as per reports.

At a debt relief conference held in Paris, Prince Mohammed stated that the Saudi Development Fund is slated to carry out future projects, grants, and loans valued at three billion riyals or about $1 billion in 2021.

These projects have been planned to take place in developing countries in the African continent, reports suggest.

Prince Mohammed, informally known as “MBS”, reportedly said that the Public Investment Fund (PIF), which is the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, had previously invested nearly $4 billion in the mining, energy, food, telecom, and other sectors in Africa.

The Prince further added that the fund would continue to seek opportunities in other sectors across the continent.

African leaders and chiefs of multilateral lenders reportedly partook in the Paris conference to discover ways to fund African economies affected by the pandemic. The summit had also been organized to discuss management of the continent’s debt worth billions of dollars, as per reports.

The event witnessed participation from around 30 heads of state from Africa and Europe, along with heads of global financial institutions like the World Bank and the IMF, claim reliable sources.

Prince Mohammed apparently added that the severe impact of the pandemic on low-income Africa nations has widened the fiscal gap to accomplish their development goals.

He further emphasized the importance of continual joint international efforts to help the economies overcome this crisis, claim reports.

Previously, at the conference, IMF member nations seemingly decided to clear Sudan’s debt to the institution. This move eliminated the final obstacle for Sudan to obtain wider relief on its external arrears of about $50 billion, as per reports.

Notably, Saudi Arabia, one of Sudan’s top three creditors, with a $4.6 billion-debt, has also been pressing Sudan’s other creditors to collectively reduce the African country’s debts.

Source credits: https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-invest-1-bln-support-africas-post-pandemic-recovery-2021-2021-05-18/