#OneFightAgainstCorona (Part 5)

#OneFightAgainstCorona (Part 5)

__Let’s talk #Solutions!

As Africa’s new generation of entrepreneurs here on this platform, if you have other #Solutions to extend this discussion, please comment below. If not, go ahead and read and study, then come up with something to add. #We Study to Do!

In my last post, I mentioned five key challenges:

#1. Restarting our economies.

#2. Getting children back to school.

#3. Food security.

#4. Creating jobs again.

#5. Other neglected diseases.

There’s a great deal to focus on, but as promised last week, here are some of the ideas being discussed:

_#Debt relief

We need relief of both international and domestic debts. I have commented on this a lot in the last few weeks. Bilateral and multilateral partners must give Africa debt relief, which will allow us to have more foreign exchange. My own favorite is #Domestic Debt Relief: governments and state-owned companies immediately pay their debts to businesses. This will pump liquidity into the productive sector overnight, and create real jobs!

_#Stimulus plan

America, Japan, China, and the EU have pumped over $5Tn into their economies to help their businesses, and to put cash into consumers’ hands to buy goods and services. African economies don’t have the financial resources to do similar things without pumping up inflation. There is, however, a clever way that economists have found to unlock this kind of stimulus: the big industrial countries (US, China, EU, Japan) can allow Africa to access what are known as Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) issued through the IMF. This would not be debt but is a clever financial instrument.

I’m part of a group that has been advocating that SDRs of $100bn be released for Africa, unconditionally. The emergency we are in warrants such a measure, as these large nations have themselves shown in pumping so much stimulus into their own economies.

I personally believe that the release of these SDRs should be directed at Africa’s domestic private sector: #Your businesses! It’s a complex subject, but your Finance Minister and Central Bank Governor know what I mean (and the smart ones like it!)

_#Turn COVID-19 into a boon for manufacturing in Africa!

Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s first Chief of Staff, once famously said, “Don’t throw away a serious crisis.” Getting on top of COVID-19 requires millions of essential products like masks, protective equipment, disinfectants, chemicals, hospital supplies, and much more.

We all know that our health care systems are mostly a mess, and now we have had a massive wake-up call! Why not turn into a “Marshall Plan on healthcare”?!

We can begin a massive manufacturing capacity building, even as we build new hospitals for the future.

African governments also need to liberalize the health sector, and call for more private investment.

We are now calling for $15bn to be released by institutions like the World Bank and African Development Bank to support a major investment drive in public health.

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary innovation, courage and vision. Let us not delay.

To be continued. . .

Author:Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group. He serves on several international boards including Unilever, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University. A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also serves as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He is a co-founder of the Carbon War Room, Pathways for Prosperity, and the Global Business Coalition on Education. He and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and are signators of the Giving Pledge.

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