Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila has received the backing of Gabriela Cuevas Barron, president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) – a global organisation of national parliaments – on the debt cancellation campaign for African countries.
The push for the debt pardon has been largely achieved through a new association called the Conference of Speakers and Heads of African Parliament (CoSAP).
Gbajabiamila told Ms Barron at a zoom meeting in Abuja on Friday that CoSAP was formed to boost parliamentary cooperation in furthering advancement, stability and development of Africa.
He noted that the ravaging effects of the coronavirus outbreak on continental economies require debt cancellation.
According to the speaker, the debt stock of African countries will make it hard for indebted nations to survive when the pandemic is over.
“Our main focus in the meantime is calling for debt cancellation,” Gbajabiamila told the IPU President.
“We decided to introduce this group to you so that you would join forces with us for the call for debt cancellation for African countries.
“We cannot do this alone. We need your voice, we need your experience, we need your advice.”
Meanwhile, the IPU president lauded the speaker for leading the formation of CoSAP, while also pushing for the consolidation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which she believes will create a favourable business ambience for African countries.
“I love this idea for many reasons.
“Believe me, I share this concern, please count on me, find in me, an ally, a friend, and someone who truly understands this important challenge for developing countries,” she said.
The first CoSAP will hold in Abuja in 2021, where speakers and parliament heads of Africa nations and strategic partners like the IPU will converge.
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