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Gates-Backed Think Tank Seeks $50 Billion for Africa Debt

  • Finance for Development Lab was launched last month in Paris
  • Group seeks debt guarantees, commodity-price protection
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A Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-backed think tank is seeking $50 billion in backing to help African nations with distressed debt to re-enter capital markets and to protect against future defaults.

The amount is the “median estimate” of what’s needed, said Daniel Cohen, chairman of the Paris-based Finance For Development Lab, which was launched last month. The money would be used to “enhance” the quality of debt by providing guarantees, and may also be employed to help African commodity exporters and importers hedge against price fluctuations, said Cohen, who is also president of the Paris School of Economics.