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Wednesday, November 2 • 09:30 - 11:00
Debt Transparency: Mitigating Development Crises in Africa and the Middle East // Transparence de la dette : atténuer les crises de développement en Afrique et au Moyen-Orient // شفافية الديون: التخفيف من الأزمات في إفريقيا والشرق الأوسط
African and Middle East governments are struggling to pay the debts that they incurred on behalf of their states. In 2020, sub-Saharan Africa had a total external debt stock of USD 702.4 billion, compared to USD 380.9 billion in 2012.
Growing debt over the last two decades has left many resource-rich African countries on the verge of debt crises. Since the early 2000s, African and Middle East countries have steadily taken on increased amounts of debt while the quality of public institutions and debt management policies have deteriorated over the same period. As commodity prices dropped unexpectedly during the pandemic; and the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, African and Middle East countries have been left with even greater challenges for repaying debt. In many countries, public debt payments outweigh government spending on critical social services with many countries now spending more on debt repayment than on education, health and social protection.
Opaque debt accounts for a significant portion of this new debt. Lending for big infrastructure projects – much of which is not officially tracked – has contributed significantly to new debts since the mid-2000s. And this lack of transparency complicates efforts to mitigate debt crises as international financial institutions (IFIs) are unable to accurately estimate countries’ debt burdens, provide recommendations to limit debt distress, and determine appropriate debt relief packages.
Transparency and accountability of governments involved in the contraction and management of public debt is, therefore, an urgent priority of accountable, sustainable management of debt that can benefit leaders and citizens alike.


Francis Ben Kaifala

The Commissioner (Head), Anti-Corruption Commission of Sierra Leone

Dickson Omondi

Regional Director for Southern and East Africa, National Democratic Institute

Dr. Yungong Theophilus Jong

Acting Executive Director and Head of Programmes, The African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD)

Lucy Akello

National Democratic Institute (NDI) Group, The Parliament of Uganda

Wanjiru Gikonyo

Founding Trustee and National Coordinator, The Institute for Social Accountability (TISA)

Mohamed Savadogo

Ministry of Public Service Labor, and Social Protection

Wednesday November 2, 2022 09:30 - 11:00 GMT+01
Palm Plaza Hotel - Chapiteau Av. du 7ème Art, Marrakech 40000, Morocco