News & Analysis: Angola

IMF Executive Board Completes the Third Review of Angola’s Extended Arrangement Under the Extended Fund Facility and Augments Disbursement to Address the Impact of COVID-19

“The Executive Board of the IMF today completed the third review of Angola’s economic program supported by an extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility. Completion of this review unlocks access to SDR 731.7 million (about US$1 billion), bringing total disbursements under the extended arrangement to SDR 1,804.7 million.”

via IMF

Africa’s catastrophic COVID-19 response

“As COVID-19 began to sweep across the planet earlier this year, countries on the African continent rushed to follow the lead of rich nations that were visibly struggling to cope with pandemic. Many closed borders, shut businesses and locked down citizens. Such actions won praise from global health bodies. Yet were blunt lockdowns really the right approach in Africa?”

via Unherd

Bondholders need to forgive some African sovereign debt

“A high risk of default has been priced into African bonds. The warning signs have been clear for everyone to see. The pandemic brought the day of reckoning forward.”

via Financial Times

External debt complicates Africa’s COVID-19 recovery

“For sub-Saharan African economies, interest repayments constitute the highest expenditure portion – and fastest-growing expenditure – of budgets.”

via Sierra Leone Telegraph

The promise of digitising cash transfers in sub-Saharan Africa during COVID-19 and beyond

“This year, the coronavirus pandemic has forced governments to grapple with difficult questions regarding lockdowns, contact tracing and the provision of emergency financial assistance to citizens now without work. In developing countries, these hardships are magnified with the World Bank estimating that remittances – money transfers sent from foreign workers to their home countries – to low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are projected to fall by 19.7 percent (from $554 billion in 2019 to $445 billion in 2020). Considering the significant role that remittances play in alleviating poverty and improving nutrition, many governments have turned to mobile cash transfers for vulnerable citizens to use while minimising COVID-19 exposure.”

via Africa Portal

China dithers on Africa debt forgiveness over ‘complex’ loans

“In June, President Xi said China would cancel interest-free debt owed by ‘relevant’ African countries as part of Beijing’s move to help the continent during the COVID-19 pandemic. But most of China’s debt is concessional or issued by private entities meaning the credit is harder to forgive.”

via The East African

Fitch: Sub-Sahara African debt burdens rising faster than elsewhere

“Government debt burdens across sub-Saharan Africa are rising at a faster pace and to higher levels than elsewhere in emerging markets, heightening the risk of further rating downgrades and defaults, ratings agency Fitch warned.”

via Reuters

Africa free-trade vision clouded by virus and pace of talks

“AfCFTA was supposed to take operational effect on Wednesday, July 1, but the timeline has slipped, under the complications caused by the COVID-19 outbreak but also the slow pace of negotiations themselves.”

via The East African

The Day After COVID-19: Overcoming the Novel Coronavirus double jeopardy in Central Africa

“Central Africa countries announced various stimulus packages to alleviate the impact of the crisis on the population and on the economy. However, those measures had only redistributive impacts in the very short term, without significant effect on the overall production level.”

via CNBC Africa

Is Africa drowning in COVID-19 debt?

“Our analysis shows that the total debt repayments owed by African countries in 2018 were 1.4 times larger than the budgets that African countries have now put aside to address the effects of COVID19 (which, incidentally, have risen by US$9bn since our last estimate two weeks ago, to US$53bn in total now).”

via Development Reimagined