African Sovereign Debt Justice Network (AfSDJN)

The African Sovereign Debt Justice Network, (AfSDJN), is a coalition of citizens, scholars, civil society actors and church groups committed to exposing the adverse impact of unsustainable levels of African sovereign debt on the lives of ordinary citizens.

Convened by Afronomicslaw.org with the support of Open Society for Southern Africa, (OSISA), the AfSDJN's activities are tailored around addressing the threats that sovereign debt poses for economic development, social cohesion and human rights in Africa. It advocates for debt cancellation, rescheduling and restructuring as well as increasing the accountability and responsibility of lenders and African governments about how sovereign debt is procured, spent and repaid.  

Focusing in particular on Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Nigeria and Senegal, the AfSDJN will also amplify African voices and decolonize narratives on African sovereign debt . Its activities include producing research outputs to enhance the network’s advocacy interventions. It also seeks to create awareness on and elevate the priority given to sovereign debt and other economic justice issues on the African continent and beyond throughout 2021. 

One Hundred and Eighth Sovereign Debt News Update: Nigeria’s Public Debt to hit N95trn as Senate Approves President Tinubu’s Request to Securitise N7.3 trillion owed to the Central Bank

It remains imperative for both the executive and lawmakers to find the political will to push for judiciousness in debt management; thus, eliminating the danger of excessive and unproductive debt. The government of Nigeria must adopt responsible borrowing practices in order to arrive at a sustainable debt stock. As it stands, the Ways and Means advances facility may be prone to abuse if Presidents can easily approach the CBN for loans without repaying and transferring the burden to the average citizen. The AfSDJN recommends that the Tinubu administration only approaches the Central Bank as a “lender of last resort” in strict conformity with Section 38 (1) of the CBN Act. The Federal Government must devise more proactive ways of raising revenue to reduce such borrowing activities as it increases Nigeria’s debt servicing burden as highlighted. Convened by Afronomicslaw.org with the support of Open Society for Southern Africa, (OSISA), the AfSDJN's activities are tailored around addressing the threats that sovereign debt poses for economic development, social cohesion and human rights in Africa. It advocates for debt cancellation, rescheduling and restructuring as well as increasing the accountability and responsibility of lenders and African governments about how sovereign debt is procured, spent and repaid.

One Hundred and Seventh African Sovereign Debt News Update: Ghana’s Bilateral Creditors Close to Issuing Memorandum of Understanding

As Ghana navigates the complexities arising from its debt crisis, it is equally faced by a galloping inflation, a depreciating currency, a general decline in the quality of life coupled with the high cost of living. It has become clearer that the completion of the review and unlocking of the $600 million disbursement hinges on Ghana’s official creditors swiftly reaching an agreement on specific terms of debt treatment. The AfSDJN continues to urge the IMF to actively and urgently commence deliberations on a new comprehensive, fair and effective sovereign debt restructuring mechanism based in the United Nations that would be binding on all creditors, including commercial creditors, and that would make it difficult for hold-out creditors to prevent sovereign debt workouts.

One Hundred and Fifth Sovereign Debt News Update: Ethiopia Agrees on Bilateral Debt-Service Suspension and Seeks Eurobond Restructuring

Amidst all this, Ethiopia's reputation with foreign credit agencies continues to suffer as a result of the national treasury's declining foreign exchange reserves. The downgrade of Ethiopia's long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating to “CC” from “CCC-” by Fitch Ratings has brought attention to this financial vulnerability. With Ethiopia's external cash dwindling and major gaps in external funding, Fitch downgraded the country, raising the possibility that default is imminent. The Fitch assessment states that although China has offered to postpone Ethiopia's debt service obligations for a year, it anticipates that these bilateral negotiations will not be "sufficient to address the large financial gaps and improve debt sustainability."

One Hundred and Fourth Sovereign Debt News Update: Zambia Announces that its Debt Restructuring with Eurobond Creditors Cannot be implemented at this time

The AfSDJN notes that Zambia’s experience continues to prove the case for a new comprehensive, fair and effective sovereign debt restructuring mechanism based in the United Nations that would be binding on all creditors, including commercial creditors, and that would make it difficult for hold-out creditors to prevent sovereign debt workouts.

The 10th anniversary of China’s $1tn Belt and Road Initiative and its Impact on Africa

While China has achieved its primary objective of expanding its global influence, the resultant economic viability and heavy debt burden remain questionable. As the Belt and Road Initiative begins its second decade, the AfSDJN calls on African governments to reflect objectively on the impact and trends of Chinese foreign financing on their economies in the past decade, and advocate for a cautious Belt & Road era as the initiative continues.

One Hundred and Third Sovereign Debt News Update: Malawi gets Approval on US$174m Extended Credit Facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Against the background of the highlighted liquidity injections, the Malawian government needs to be wary of the funds that are being continuously extended to them in the name of “foreign direct investments”. While it is anticipated that these financial facilities “will greatly enhance our foreign exchange reserves position and provide the macroeconomic stability needed for economic and business growth”, the AfSDJN cautions against liquidity injections that are accompanied by conditionalities that have not been made public. It is imperative that these conditionalities be explicitly defined, and that the terms and conditions be made accessible to the public.

Statement of the African Sovereign Debt Justice Network (AfSDJN) on the Occasion of the 28th Meeting of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28)

Africa is grappling with a great number inequities in the climate change context. For example, despite having contributed the least to climate change globally (less than 4% of global carbon emissions), it is home to most of the world’s most climate vulnerable countries and yet it is struggling to mobilize the financial resources required to address climate change. The situation is more dire for fragile and conflict affected States. The average annual climate flows of USD 30 billion are far below the annual climate finance needs of USD 250 billion. Commitments made by developed countries to pledge USD 100 billion annually between 2011 and 2020, in line with their financial obligations under the international climate legal regime, were not met in any single year.

One Hundred and Second Sovereign Debt News Update: Governance Reforms Risk Posing a Challenge for Zimbabwe’s Arrears Clearance and Debt Resolution Process

The African Sovereign Debt Justice Network, (AfSDJN), is a coalition of citizens, scholars, civil society actors and church groups committed to exposing the adverse impact of unsustainable levels of African sovereign debt on the lives of ordinary citizens. Convened by Afronomicslaw.org with the support of Open Society for Southern Africa, (OSISA), the AfSDJN's activities are tailored around addressing the threats that sovereign debt poses for economic development, social cohesion and human rights in Africa. It advocates for debt cancellation, rescheduling and restructuring as well as increasing the accountability and responsibility of lenders and African governments about how sovereign debt is procured, spent and repaid.

One Hundred and First Sovereign Debt News Update: Zambia and its Official Creditor Committee Agree on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Comprehensive Debt Treatment

The African Sovereign Debt Justice Network, (AfSDJN), is a coalition of citizens, scholars, civil society actors and church groups committed to exposing the adverse impact of unsustainable levels of African sovereign debt on the lives of ordinary citizens. Convened by Afronomicslaw.org with the support of Open Society for Southern Africa, (OSISA), the AfSDJN's activities are tailored around addressing the threats that sovereign debt poses for economic development, social cohesion and human rights in Africa. It advocates for debt cancellation, rescheduling and restructuring as well as increasing the accountability and responsibility of lenders and African governments about how sovereign debt is procured, spent and repaid.