By Enyichukwu Enemanna
The Government of Somalia has held a celebration in the country’s capital, Mogadishu, in response to a debt relief amounting to $4.5bn granted in favour of the debt-ridden nation by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
The relief is “equivalent to relieving every Somali person of a debt of more than $300”, the Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre said on Wednesday.
“This is a testament that our country and our people are financially viable, attracting foreign investment, and we are no longer debt-ridden,” he adds.
IMF and World Bank pardoned Somalia’s debt under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) programme, which was created in 1996 to help poor countries facing an unmanageable debt burden.
Also included in the $4.5bn debt relief are pardons by other multilateral, bilateral and commercial creditors.
“Somalia’s external debt has fallen from 64% of GDP in 2018 to less than 6 percent of GDP by end 2023,” the institutions said in a joint statement.
PM Barre says the relief is monumental as it will allow Somalia to invest in development programs, revitalise the economy and borrow money from international lending institutions.