The Common Framework on debt treatments announced by the G20 on Friday 13th 2020 again falls short of adequately addressing the debt crisis that has been on the horizon and accelerated by the global covid-19 pandemic. In Africa, the Republic on Zambia is on the verge of being the first African country to default after failure of bondholders to agree on terms of deferred debt settlement with government. This is just one of the many cases of the worsening debt crisis in Africa where many countries are either already in debt distress or looming on its edge.

These countries have barely made any progress on the SDGs and the financial component is key. Their predicament is further complicated by the economic downturn caused by the outbreak of COVID 19. All these events have significantly compromised progress in social and economic development in African countries. What is more, The G20 framework has not adequately addressed the role of private creditors given that this is a problematic area for African countries and the mechanisms needed to bring them to the table. We call on the G20 to impress on itself with great urgency the need to come up with a Sovereign Debt Restructuring Mechanism (SDRM) that enshrines the 2015 UN principles and provides a lasting solution to indebtness of African countries.

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