Politics

Africa is a continent of opportunities, yet with many troubles – IMF boss

Kristalina Georgieva, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Kristalina Georgieva, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has revealed that 40% of African countries are in debt distress.

“Are we worried about debt levels in Africa? Yes, because 40 per cent of the countries have gone into debt distress levels,” the new IMF boss said.

According to the IMF boss, Africa is a continent of opportunities and also one with many troubles.

“Africa is a continent of opportunities and what we are looking for is for this opportunity to be harnessed to the maximum. It is also a continent with many troubles; so, we have to be mindful of these risks especially security risks,” she said.

“In some cases, we are concerned about that but in other cases, we see that investment is going to pay off over time.

“Take the case of Kenya, we advise Kenya to be more cautious in building debt but we have seen good macroeconomic policy in Kenya.

“In cases where debt is dangerous like Zambia, we do say you need to get a handle on your debt. In Ethiopia, we say you need to renegotiate some of your debts because it is non-concessional for things that should be on a concessional basis.

“One has to remember that debt on its own is not bad.  It is bad when it goes with the wrong things and when it goes with the speed that the economy cannot handle.”

She noted that the IMF would hold a concentrated meeting with African leaders in December over debt sustainability.

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