AfDB appoints debt managers as 13 African nations grapple with debt challenges

AfDB Launches African Debt Managers Initiative Network (ADMIN) to Address Debt Challenges

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has taken a significant step towards addressing the debt challenges faced by African countries with the launch of the African Debt Managers Initiative Network (ADMIN). The initiative aims to provide tailored and home-grown solutions to the debt issues plaguing the continent.

According to AfDB Director, Coulibaly Abdoulaye, 13 African countries are currently at high risk of debt distress, with six already in debt distress. The network will focus on strengthening the debt management capacity of African countries’ officials and institutions to tackle these challenges effectively.

Eric Ogunleye, the AfDB Institute Director, highlighted the factors driving Africa’s increasing debt, including the growing financing needs for infrastructure development, poverty reduction, climate change mitigation, and security measures. He emphasized the need to strengthen debt management capacity in African countries to address rising debt vulnerability.

Former Director of Debt Management at South Africa’s National Treasury, Johan Krynauw, emphasized the importance of African countries collaborating on debt management issues. He encouraged knowledge-sharing and mutual support among African countries to find effective solutions to their debt challenges.

While the AfDB did not disclose the specific African countries facing debt distress, concerns have been raised about Nigeria’s debt profile. With the recent approval of a $2.25 billion loan by the World Bank, Nigeria’s public debt has increased to $110.48 billion. The country has seen a significant surge in foreign debt servicing costs, with a 96% year-on-year increase by the end of May 2024.

The launch of the ADMIN initiative signifies a crucial step towards addressing Africa’s debt challenges and promoting sustainable debt management practices across the continent. It highlights the importance of collaboration and knowledge-sharing among African countries to find effective solutions to their debt issues.

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