Philanthropist Mo Ibrahim: “Until Covid disappears from Africa, neither will it from Europe”

The vaccination process against Covid19 and the reduction of the external debt of African countries are the main topics that European and African leaders will debate this Wednesday via videoconference. This meeting aims to maintain the dialogue before the 6th European Union-African Union summit of Heads of State and Government, which had to be postponed until 2021 due to the outbreak of the pandemic.

Euronews has spoken on these and other topics with Mo Ibrahim, Sudan-born British businessman and philanthropist.

We are facing a global pandemic and no one can declare absolute victory until it is not global. So until Covid-19 disappears from Africa, neither will it from Europe.

Taking into account the social and economic effects of the pandemic in Africa, what European financial measures could help to combat them?

The 2020 African debt increased to $ 44 billion. We were given a six-month moratorium, but we need a moratorium until 2021 or 2022. Some of the aid money should actually be used to help international investors manage some of the risk they face when investing. This measure would be very effective.

The EU has defined the Green Deal and the Digital Agenda as pillars of its own recovery and wants to create agreements with Africa in these fields. What do you expect from it?

It is important to develop energy in Africa. Half of our population has no electricity. We cannot build an economy if we don’t have electricity. Without it you cannot build a safe society either. We have to improve our educational system and the way we train our young people because they have to be well prepared to do the jobs of the 21st century.

The new European proposal for a Migration Pact seeks to achieve a balance between the legal channels for the reception of labor and the return of people who do not meet the criteria. Do you consider that this pact respects human rights and the interests of the African people?

African migrants represent less than 14% of the world’s migrants. If we create opportunities for people where they are, they will most likely not leave. Ending conflicts is vital. That is why it is so important that African leaders hold a conference this week entitled “Silencing the Guns”. Africa needs peace.