Blown up

Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal…countries where debt has exploded

in depth

This article is part of the dossier:

Africa’s new debt deals

By Joël Té-Léssia Assoko

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Posted on June 15, 2022 09:38

The level of external debt has risen sharply since 2015, but not all countries are in the same boat. Their capacity to cope with the challenge differs greatly. We look into this situation in part 4 of our series.

This is part 4 of a 5-part series

The resurgence of a financial crisis in sub-Saharan Africa, similar to those of the 1990s and 2000s, seems unlikely – although not excluded. However, there is no doubt that the level of debt owed by countries in the region has increased dramatically over the past half-dozen years. Between 2015 and 2020, the public external debt stock of sub-Saharan countries increased by 67.5% to $454bn, according to the World Bank.

This development has not failed to alert development economists, including Brahima Sangafowa Coulibaly, head of the Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institution (an American think-tank). “Due to the rapid increase in the debt burden in recent years, one-third of sub-Saharan African countries are either in debt distress or at high risk of debt distress, including the majority of countries that benefitted from debt relief in the

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