Cape Verde’s president returns from the UN optimistic about debt relief


Cape Verde’s President told Lusa news agency that he was “relatively optimistic” about debt relief, after talks with other countries during the most important annual week of the United Nations (UN) in New York.

Cape Verde’s head of state, Jorge Carlos Fonseca, said that the country’s debt relief was an ever-present theme in bilateral meetings he held with dignitaries from other countries or institutions, in New York, in the United States, with reactions “relatively optimistic”, especially for the possibility of transforming debt into investments.

“We always talk about forgiveness or debt relief, because we are in a complicated context. We are the country in Africa that has suffered the strongest impacts from the pandemic. We are a middle-income country, but we are also a small developing island country,” said Jorge Carlos Fonseca to Lusa.

The Cape Verdean President argued that “all these conditions should suggest and favor positions of debt forgiveness or debt relief.”

“So we have made this appeal, discussing this with international institutions, but also bilaterally with some of our friendly countries and other partners,” he added.

“It is not easy, but above all when we propose the transformation of debt into investment, I believe it is easier for us to obtain, let us say, a solution to our satisfaction”, he stressed.

The Cape Verdean President’s return from New York, where the UN hosted a general debate and several bilateral meetings to strengthen diplomatic relations, is scheduled for today, after a few more official meetings.

The former university professor reported to his international counterparts the situation of the pandemic in the archipelago and the fact that “Cape Verde is the African country that, demonstrably, suffered the most brutal economic and social impacts”.

As he indicated in his speech before the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, the pandemic of covid-19 it generated “a recession never experienced before, translating into a 14.8% reduction” in the gross domestic product (GDP).

The Cape Verdean explained to Lusa that “with tourism stopped, the impacts are tremendous”, a sector that represents 25% of the national economy, “67% of the balance of payments abroad and 20% of employability”.

The sector has shown “some signs of a timid recovery”, namely in the tourism islands such as Sal and Boavista, during the relief of the restrictive measures imposed because of the covid-19, considered.

The “reciprocity in the acceptance of vaccine certificates”, as is already the case with Portugal, is a topic that is on the table in several bilateral meetings, which may represent “a contribution from others” to the resumption of tourism in the small island state .

At the level of vaccination against covid-19, the national average is 75% of the population, but the ambition is to reach 85% of people in the next month, he indicated, also highlighting the success of the schools having remained open, with the presence of students and teachers, contrary to other countries.

In his speech before the UN General Assembly, the President of Cape Verde stated that the “first priority” of the archipelago is to “combat” the pandemic of covid-19 and called for more attention to the problems of small island states.

Still on the impact of the pandemic, Jorge Carlos Fonseca recalled that he “brutally deconstructed” the economy of Cape Verde, due to the total lack of tourism, after an annual economic growth of around 6% in recent years.


Source: Futebol 365 – Notícias by www.futebol365.pt.

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