President William Ruto has called on the European Union (EU) to review its loan terms for African countries, saying they are unfair and hinder development.
Speaking at the European Parliament on Tuesday, November 23, Ruto said the high-interest rates and premiums demanded by private investors were creating a “vicious cycle of debt” for Africa.
“Adjusting the terms is possible, but it requires our collective will in order to form new forms of cooperation,” he said.
Ruto argued that by easing the loan conditions, Africa would be able to invest and boost its growth potential, which he said was the highest in the world.
This was not the first time the Kenyan leader raised this issue in front of Africa’s lenders. In September, at the African Summit in Nairobi, he urged the multilateral banks to exercise equality and fairness in their financial systems.
“We are not asking to be favoured or to be treated differently; we want a fair financial system that treats everyone equally,” he said.
He also pointed out that Africa was facing a financial crisis due to the effects of climate change, which required shifting resources from development to adaptation.
The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres echoed Ruto’s sentiments, saying Africa needed an effective debt relief mechanism to tackle issues like climate change financing.
However, the EU and other lending institutions have not responded or made any adjustments to their loan terms and conditions.