Reflecting on the one year anniversary (13 Nov 2020) since Zambia became the first African country to default on its debt during the pandemic, Edwin Ikhuoria, ONE Africa’s Executive Director, said:
“Zambia’s default should’ve served as a wake-up call to address the looming debt crisis in Africa. It didn’t. With another 21 African countries still at risk or already in debt distress, it’s frustrating that we’re no closer to charting a way out of the economic turbulence exacerbated by the global pandemic.
“A messy default is a lose-lose situation for all. Not only does it set a country’s growth back by two percentage points per year – half the IMF forecast for Sub-Saharan Africa in 2022 – but creditors have also historically lost twice as much on their investment.
“Unless we address this problem head-on, we will face a deeper crisis in the future. All creditors must back the Common Framework and ensure that countries aren’t punished for applying for debt relief.”