Programs Policy in Context - Africas External Debt


  • Date:
    Feb 28, 2023
  • End Date:
    Feb 28, 2023
  • Time:
    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Location:


Should Africans be concerned about their countries’ growing debt stock?

Virtual Program

Tuesday, February 28, 2023 | 12:00PM – 1:00PM ET

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The Africa Center is pleased to present a virtual discussion with George Bodo and Dr. Adedeji Adeniran in the first installment of our new Policy in Context series. The moderated conversation will examine issues of economic sovereignty, administration of the state, and socioeconomic development as they relate to Africa’s accumulating external debt. Debt is complex, and in many parts of Africa has played a prominent but controversial role in the continent’s developmental trajectory to date. While the rapidly rising rates of consumption and investment across Africa have been stimulated in large part by financing from debt, the economic development in many of these countries has come at a large price–currently, 22 African countries are either in debt distress or at high risk of debt distress and the total external debt stock of Sub-Saharan Africa rose to over USD 700 billion in 2020.

With the covid-19 pandemic exacerbating financial pressures on both lenders and borrowers alike, the servicing, restructuring, and defaulting on debt is likely to play an increasingly important role in the continent’s near future. The public can therefore benefit a great deal from a more comprehensive understanding of the basics of Africa’s current debt situation and a nuanced explanation of how, if at all, the situation can be expected to affect their lives.




Adedeji Adeniran is the Director of Research at the Center for the Study of the Economies of Africa in Abuja, Nigeria. Dr Adedeji Adeniran has been working in the area of international development for more than a decade with specific expertise in the sustainable development, fiscal policy, education and digital economy. Adedeji is a mixed-methods researcher with vast experience in leading policy-oriented, multi-year and multi-country research projects on social and economic development in Africa. His research focuses on how African can effectively leverage on south south cooperation including development finance and debt for sustainable development. He is also keen on translating research into effective policy practice through innovative policy engagement and capacity development.




George Bodo is the CEO and Director of Research at Callstreet Research & Analytics in Kenya. He holds a BA in Business & Information Technology from Swarthmore University in Nairobi. His professional interests are primarily in the fields of macroeconomics in Africa, equity and non-equity analysis, and investor relations. He is also a frequent contributor on CNBC Africa on issues related to the banking sector in Kenya and across sub-Saharan Africa. 




Tunde Olatunji is the Associate Director of Policy at The Africa Center, working on programming and initiatives to further the institution’s policy practice and contribute to thought leadership on African policy issues. His background is in policy research and analysis primarily in the international development and climate change spaces, having worked on several research and evaluations projects across Africa and the Middle-East. He is interested in climate & renewables policy, political economies, and people-centered policymaking. He holds a BA in International Studies from the University of Richmond, a Master’s in Public Policy from Georgetown University, and an MPA in Environmental Science & Policy from Columbia University.