October 13, 2021

COVID-19: How Can The G20 Address Debt Distress In SSA?

The Covid-19 pandemic occurred at a time when sovereign debt had already increased substantially in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Between 2010-2017, government debt as a share of GDP averaged 34.5% in SSA but increased significantly to 51.5% in 2019 (IMF 2021a, p. 25). Similarly, in SSA, official external debt as a share of GDP averaged about 15% between 2010-2017 but rose substantially to 23.6% in 2019 (IMF 2021a, p. 27). One main reason behind these accumulated debt levels was a shift in the debt structure from concessional towards more non-concessional financing with relatively higher interest rates. Increased debt ser-vice payments diminished fiscal space in most SSA countries. Moreover, non-concessional financing includes private credit, such as Eurobond issuance. Another reason is the growing momentum to close the continent’s infrastructure deficit, which the African Development Bank (AfDB) has estimated will cost about US$130 to US$170 billion annually (AfDB 2019).

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Increasing Female School Enrollment In Nigeria: Some Policy Options

This brief examines two policy alternatives which government can adopt in order to increase the enrollment of girls in the primary school and also help eliminate gender disparity in Nigerian schools: Provide free primary education with Stipends or provide free primary education with Transportation.

Small but Impactful: African-Led SSC Initiatives

South South Cooperation (SSC) basically refers to formal and informal sharing of resources, knowledge and technology among developing countries to fast-track economic growth and promote sustainable development.