AFRODAD highlights Africa’s dual achievement, debt crisis on Africa Day

B&FT’s Senior Business Journalist, Kizito Cudjoe, receiving a certificate from the Campaigns & Communication Manager- AFRODAD, Fidélité Nshimiyimana, during the 4th edition of the AFRODAD Media Initiative (AFROMEDI) IV in Abidjan

By Kizito CUDJOE

The African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD) has celebrated the continent’s significant advancements in global economic influence but warned of a deepening debt crisis, on Africa Day.

AFRODAD recognized Africa’s increasing presence in major international forums. For instance, the African Union (UN) recently secured membership in the G20, and several African countries have attained key leadership roles.

‘Egypt now chairs the Tax Ad Hoc Committee, Burundi co-chairs the Fourth International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD4) process, South Africa co-facilitates the 2024 FfD Forum, Ethiopia hosts the first preparatory session for FfD4 Outcome negotiations, Rwanda hosts the Third United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDC3), Uganda chairs the G77, and Namibia co-facilitates the Summit of the Future (SOFT) negotiations.’

The Executive Director of AFRODAD, Jason Braganza said “These platforms provide the continent with a historic opportunity to assert its role as a ‘Rule Maker’ in solving the crippling debt crisis and addressing other pressing challenges facing Africa.”

Despite these diplomatic gains, AFRODAD stressed the continent’s alarming debt situation. Since 2010, Africa’s debt levels have surged by 183 percent, with nations spending a total of US$74 billion on debt service in 2024 alone—equivalent to US$203 million daily.

This burden, AFRODAD eckoned, severely restricts the continent’s ability to foster inclusive growth and sustainable development as envisioned in the Agenda 2063 “The Africa We Want.”

Credit rating agencies exacerbate the issue by assigning negative ratings to African nations, resulting in high-interest rates that complicate debt repayment and strain governments’ capacities to fulfill social obligations to their citizens.

AFRODAD and its partners, therefore used the occasion to call for urgent measures to address the debt crisis and presented three key demands:

1. Unconditional Debt Cancellation: Creditor nations should cancel all African debt, redirecting funds into productive ventures with stringent performance evaluations. AFRODAD argued that Africa, as a net creditor to the world, has already paid its dues through the exploitation of its resources.

2. Reform of Global Debt Architecture: The global debt framework requires an overhaul to balance the loan contraction processes and improve debt sustainability frameworks and credit rating assessments. African Development Bank Group President Akinwunmi Adesina emphasized the urgency of these reforms to reduce costs and legal complexities in restructuring African debt. UN Secretary-General António Guterres echoed this sentiment, noting, “We can’t build a future for our grandchildren with a system built for our grandparents.”

3. Advancing Africa’s Rule-Making Position: The African Union, supported by African leaders, civil society, media, and the public, must assert Africa’s sovereignty and self-determination in global policy-making.

AFRODAD maintained that while Africa’s newfound influence in global economic discussions is a cause for celebration, the continent must confront and resolve its debt challenges to ensure sustainable development and inclusive growth.

AFRODAD is a civil society organisation established in 1996 as a regional platform advocating for sustainable debt and equitable development finance policies in Africa.





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