Debt Relief

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."

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.

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.

US Suspends Four Countries from AGOA: Reassessing the Human Rights Trade Nexus

The US Government announced on October 30th that the Central African Republic (CAR), Gabon, Niger, and Uganda will be removed from the list of 35 sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries that are eligible for market access under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The announcement came on the eve of the 20th AGOA Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa, on the 2nd to 4th of November 2023. According to the US Government, CAR and Uganda have engaged in gross violations of internationally recognised human rights. This paper reflects on the decision, which is not the first by the Biden administration in the last few years. This paper argues that the recent decision by the US is an example of developed countries using trade incentives and sanctions to achieve their geopolitical interests in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) under the pretext of promoting human rights standards.

Eighty Fifth Sovereign Debt News Update: Rwanda successfully repays its debut $400m Eurobond in time even as it subverts the IMF'S conditions

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.

Seventy First Sovereign Debt News Update: Ethiopia Turns Directly to China and France in Quest for Debt Relief

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.

Sixty Eighth Sovereign Debt News Update: Zimbabwe’s Arrears Clearance, Debt Relief, and Restructuring Strategy

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.

African Sovereign Debt Justice Network’s Statement on the 2022 Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank: A Call for Governance Reforms

We reiterate our position that African countries did not take part in designing the current international financial architecture, embedded in their historical subjugation. Resultantly, as highlighted by the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, it is “skewed significantly against developing and emerging economies” in favor of rich countries. A reform of the governance structure of the Bretton Woods institutions is required as a significant step towards recognizing African countries and citizens as rule makers in the re-design of the international financial and debt architecture.