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IMF, European Commission urge African policymakers to embrace ‘BRAVE’ fiscal policies

Since the start of COVID-19, IMF has assisted Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries with over $17.5 billion.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Commission says African policymakers must embrace BRAVE fiscal policies as a way to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is contained in a joint statement issued on Tuesday, at the start of the ninth African fiscal forum, titled “Time for BRAVE Policies”.

The acronym, BRAVE, stands for: bold, revenue-based, anchored in medium-term frameworks, vaccine-compatible and equitable.

“Investing in people makes economic and social sense…”

They said African policymakers should be “bold in their objectives to build forward a greener, smarter (more digitally connected), and fairer (with opportunities for all) world.

“Revenue-based to increase domestic resources instrumental to expand much needed fiscal space for development spending; anchored in medium-term frameworks to address debt vulnerabilities and resolve them in a sustainable way, while making room for the recovery,” the statement read.

“Vaccine-compatible so every country can get adequate and timely access to vaccines; and equitable, working first and foremost, for the people, and with the people, by investing in human capital and strengthening social protection systems.”

The statement noted that since the start of COVID-19, IMF has assisted Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries with over $17.5 billion, Team Europe has contributed €6.2 billion, while the European Union has provided more than €1 billion.

“Our common goal is to continue to work closely with countries to support ongoing efforts in the fight against this pandemic, including by securing fair and equitable access to safe COVID-19 vaccines for all,” the statement read.

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“Despite these concerted efforts, 2021 is likely to be another very challenging year for the region. Even if vaccines become widely available, daunting development challenges remain.

“While the international community faces a moral and economic imperative to help all countries, especially those less privileged, fight the pandemic and build forward better, African policymakers will play a central role, as the crisis offers the opportunity to shape the recovery by embracing ‘BRAVE’ fiscal policies.

“Investing in people makes economic and social sense, as human capital will determine the capacity of the region to create enough jobs, reduce informality, climb the income ladder, and put poverty back on a squarely downward trend.”

The European Commission and IMF both pledged to continue its partnership with SSA countries to promote catalytic funding and the implementation of its reform agenda.

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