Sao Tome and Principe: France pardons archipelago’s debt

17 March 2008

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 17 March – France has decided to pardon the debt owed to it by Sao Tome and Principe estimated at 7.6 million euros, following a convention signed by both countries, French government representative in Sao Tome, Frederic Marlet said Friday.

The convention to write of Sao Tome and Principe’s debt, resulting from bilateral action within the scope of the Paris Club, was signed Friday in the capital of Sao Tome by French diplomat Frederic Marlet and by the Sao Tome minister for planning and finance, Raul Cravid.

According to the document signed this debt pardon is part of the conclusion of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) program that a little less than a year ago led to the annulment of 90 percent of the archipelago’s foreign debt, which was estimated at US$300 million.

This decision by the French authorities aims to encourage investment in projects to combat poverty, designed and carried out by the Sao Tome authorities in partnership with France’s development agency based on the bilateral convention of the Paris Club set up on September 13, 2005.

Speaking to journalists, Marlet said that cooperation between the two States “is evolving in a fruitful way,” having announced the presentation of a document for the organization and planning with the aim of France’s intervention over the next four years in Sao Tome and Principe.

As part of bilateral cooperation, France has invested in the education sector, by granting scholarships, creating a professional training center, the agricultural sector, the media, and the project for combating poverty. (macauhub)