- African countries are in huge debt and a new report has shown how precarious the situation has become as relief period expires in 2022
- China, International Monetary Fund and also World Bank are some of Africa's biggest creditors and there might be money enough to repay
- Data from the debt management office shows Nigeria is currently owing over N38 trillion as at the end of September 2021
A report has highlighted the debt mess African countries are in as an era of extraordinary pandemic-induced stimulus and relief for poor nations draws to an end.
Using data from Standard Bank Group Ltd, the report noted that key African economies will face debt risks over the next two years.
The Johannesburg-based lender named Ghana, Kenya, Angola, Ethiopia and Zambia as the “fragile five” while naming Uganda as among the continent’s brightest stars in 2022.
Despite the fact that Nigeria was not featured among the nations with significant financial concerns, the study classified it among the 18 countries with significant debt.
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African countries and their debt status according to standard chartered bank
The bank rated the debt level to bring elevated pressure to the country leader due to deteriorating public finances
Standard Chartered argued that Ghana probably needs an International Monetary Fund package to restore confidence in investors.
It also stressed that with China more cautious about lending to African nations, the IMF is Ghana’s main hope if the country can’t improve its fiscal position.
The report reads:
"Stabilizing public finances may prove difficult given the government’s “overly ambitious” revenue estimates, while efforts to cut spending could face hurdles with public-sector wages and debt-service costs accounting for more than half of expenditure."
Standard chartered described the debt level of the East African nation as a Growing Concern arguing that the country's debt-service costs make up more than a third of forex reserves
On Kenya the report reads:
"Kenya is still able to refinance its debt and is thinking of issuing a $1 billion Eurobond in the first half of the year, but political risks associated with elections scheduled for August could impede attempts to limit borrowing and reduce the budget deficit."
According to Standard Bank, the largest economy in East Africa has accumulated debt, particularly a high concentration of commercial loans, which has resulted in service costs that currently account for 35% of foreign exchange reserves and 43% of tax revenue.
Another on the list is Angola which the report shows debt level is a mounting risks.
During the pandemic, Angola was a major beneficiary of the G-20 nations’ Debt Service Suspension Initiative, allowing the crude-rich nation to delay almost $3 billion of payments last year.
But with an IMF program drawing to an end, uncertainty about further bilateral debt talks and weak investments in the oil sector that could curb production the report noted on Angola.
The country is said to be on the Brink of potential default as it debt profile continues to grow.
The bank report reads:
"Ethiopia's debt may seem manageable because so few of its loans are held by commercial lenders, but for that to be true, the country needs to "reprofile" due to severe foreign exchange shortages brought on by the epidemic and a protracted civil war."
Zambia is Africa's first pandemic-era defaulter the bank says. The banks says helped will be need for the country to bounced back and repay its debt.
Railway, satellite lead list of 15 projects Nigeria agreed N2.50trn loan with china
Meanwhile, the Debt Management Office (DMO) has announced Nigeria's overall public debt has risen to N38 trillion as of September 30, 2021.
The loan from China is one area many Nigerians are interested in amid stories of assets being seized from nations unable to repay their debt.
DMO has now released a thorough analysis of loans received from China in the last 13 years, including how much has been returned and for what projects the funds were obtained.