Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Guinea's $2.1bn debt cancelled

27 September 2012, 12:04

Conakry - More than $2.1bn of Guinea's foreign debt is being cancelled in a major boost for the deeply impoverished West African nation whose mineral riches were looted over decades of corrupt dictatorship, officials said on Wednesday.

Two-thirds of Guinea's total foreign debt is being eliminated because it has qualified for the IMF and World Bank programme for heavily indebted poor countries, according to a government statement.

The decision to support $2.1bn in debt relief for Guinea was later announced by the IMF and the World Bank following a meeting of their administrative council on Wednesday.

"This will allow Guinea to free up substantial resources," said Ansoumane Camara, an economist and consultant in Conakry who said the money could be redirected toward improving health and educational programs.

Guinea's finances were left in ruins after nearly a quarter-century of rule by Lansana Conte, who pillaged state coffers to make his family fabulously wealthy before his death in 2008, according to economists.

Won't help the people

In 2010, the country held its first democratic election but the political reforms have not translated into immediate improvements for the lives of most Guineans, who remain deeply impoverished. About 75% of the country's 10 million people live below the poverty line, according to the United Nations.

Fatou Bonte Bangoura, who sells smoked fish at a port in Guinea's capital, said Wednesday's announcement would mean little for Guineans who are struggling to support their families.

"Our children need to eat, they need to be taken care of, they need to go to school," she lamented. Guinea's debt elimination won't result in individual families receiving money. "It doesn't feed me," she says.

President Alpha Conde called Wednesday's announcement "the first step on the path to economic recovery."

"It gives us the opportunity to make a historic new start," he said while visiting a women's business cooperative. "We will now redouble our efforts, and no one will be left by the wayside."

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...