France signs $306m debt relief deal with Somalia

Somalia and France have signed a deal to cancel debts amounting to $306m that Mogadishu owed to Paris, Finance Minister Abdirahman Dualeh Beileh has announced.

“It was an honour to sign the agreement on the reorganization of debts between #Somalia & #France with @FranceinSomalia s @AlineMenager today. This is the result of reaching Decision Point under HIPC [Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative] & attaining debt relief from the Paris Club creditors through reforms. Merci,” the minister said in a tweet.

“France and Somalia just signed a bilateral agreement on debt relief, as part of the HIPC process. A sign of commitment to the development and state-building process in Flag of Somalia. France is the 4th bilateral creditor to Somalia,” the French Embassy in Somalia also tweeted.

Two months ago, US Ambassador to Somalia Donald Yamamoto and Mr Beileh signed a bilateral agreement detailing ways of reducing and restructuring debt owed by the Horn of Africa country to three American State agencies.

At the time Minister Beileh said that since the US is a major member of the Paris Club, the deal would lead to more agreements with other donor countries.

Since 2016, Somalia embarked on a long journey of economic reforms under successive IMF Staff Monitored Programs.