In 2021 the debt-to-GDP ratio of several Sub-Saharan African countries rose above the threshold for debt sustainability according to the IMF. Much of this is attributed to the increased appetite among African governments towards borrowing for COVID-19 management. In Sub-Saharan Africa, about 5 countries were in debt distress in autumn of 2021 with many more at risk of distress. Although efforts have been made since 2019 to resolve this debt problem, however, more needs to be done. In this webinar, our guests will discuss the dynamics of Africa’s rising public debt, what it means to Africa’s current fiscal system, the need for transparency among African governments, and the possibilities of restructuring and reducing Africa’s debt burden.

Dr. Ayodele Odusola is the resident representative for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in South Africa. Prior to this, he was a senior economist in UNDP Nigeria. Dr. Odusola is an economist, a published author, and a top researcher. His interests and research, focus on national and local economic empowerment and development strategies, human development, and national development. He has served as the African visiting scholar to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Mma Amara Ekeruche is a development economist and a writer. She is a senior research fellow at the Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa. Her interests, research, and policy focus cut across development economics, public finance and debt management, macroeconomic and fiscal management. She has served as an IMF Youth Fellow.

Dr. Magalie Masamba is a senior fellow of the African Sovereign Debt Justice Network and has a recent publication on debt management and restructuring in SADC countries. She is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (South Africa) and the Global Development Policy Center, Boston University (USA). Her research focuses on sovereign debt and its impacts on development.