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Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (ADB), sounded an alarm at the Semafor World Economy Summit regarding Africa’s mounting debt crisis. With the continent’s debt soaring to $824 billion in 2021, Adesina underscored the urgent need for transparency and accountability in managing these financial obligations.

During the event, held on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank 2024 Spring Meetings, Adesina highlighted the detrimental impact of opaque resource-backed loans on Africa’s economic prospects. He emphasized the importance of addressing these challenges to prevent further complications in debt resolution and to safeguard future growth.

Africa faces significant financial strains, with countries dedicating a substantial 65% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to servicing debts. This year alone, the continent is expected to pay a staggering $74 billion in debt service payments, representing a sharp increase from $17 billion in 2010.

The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing fiscal pressures, alongside infrastructure needs and rising inflation rates. Adesina stressed the importance of tackling structural issues in Africa’s debt landscape, particularly the shift towards more expensive and short-term commercial debt, such as Eurobonds, which now constitute 44% of the continent’s total debt.

Adesina’s call for transparency and prudent fiscal management resonates as a critical step towards mitigating Africa’s debt crisis. The continent’s economic future hinges on navigating these challenges with resilience and foresight to unlock sustainable growth opportunities.

photo source: Google

By: Montel Kamau

Serrari Financial Analyst

22nd April, 2024

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