Despite Africa having one of the lowest nominal debt levels internationally, the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to pushing this debt to unsustainable levels.
African countries spend roughly a quarter of their budgetary revenues to pay for their debt service, at a significant cost to spending on health and welfare. Levels of capital migration across the continent are also high but supporting the development of capital markets, including through regionalisation, will boost economic momentum.
At this event, panellists discuss multilateral and bi-lateral initiatives for debt cancellation, debt relief, and debt restructure. The event reflects on the importance of reducing capital migration and consider what policy makers can do to address the unfavourable risk premium associated with the continent.
The meeting is held as part of the Policy for Recovery in Africa series, in partnership with the UNDP, which brings together expert speakers and decision-makers to examine and exchange on key challenges, potential solutions, and approaches for implementation as African countries confront the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The series provides careful analysis and evidence-based policy solutions towards recovery and progress towards the SDGs and the AU’s Agenda 2063.
Keynote address: Dr Ernest Addison, Governor, Bank of Ghana
Ayodele Odusola, Resident Representative in South Africa, UNDP; Manager, Pretoria Africa Financial Hub
Ferishka Bharuth, Economist, Standard Bank Group
Mary Wangari Wamae, Group Executive Director, Equity Bank Group
Samuel Sule, Acting CEO – Nigeria and Head – Financing Group Africa, Renaissance Capital (RenCap)
Schwan Badirou Gafari, Secretary General of the Paris Club, French Treasury
Chair: Professor Carlos Lopes, Associate Fellow, Africa Programme, Chatham House; Professor, Mandela School of Public Governance, University of Cape Town