fears revived

Should we stop making a fuss about African debt?

in depth

This article is part of the dossier:

Africa’s new debt deals

By Stéphane Ballong

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Posted on June 13, 2022 15:48

The economic consequences of the Covid-19 crisis have revived fears about the indebtedness of African countries. Is this alarmism justified? We investigate this question in our four-part series.

This is part 1 of a 5-part series.

African debt… Often presented as a burden, it has this annoying tendency to return like a boomerang every time we think we have finally tamed it. It was thought to be more or less under control, but in the last two years, African debt has once again been at the heart of debates. This is largely due to the Covid-19 crisis as well as the economic and social emergencies that countries on the continent have suddenly found themselves facing.

In recent days, fears have been heightened by the rise in interest rates on international markets, particularly in Europe and the United States, where many African states have been mobilising resources.

It should be noted that in 2021, the massive injection of liquidity into Western economies to deal with the pandemic’s consequences had made borrowing “almost free”.

A painful and endless story

Debt and Africa have a

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