5 African Countries With The Highest Debt Burdens

ghana market

African countries have long struggled with economic issues, particularly large amounts of debt to foreign agencies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Loans and financial assistance are used to promote economic growth and development in these countries. However, rising debt levels have sparked concerns about the country’s long-term viability and capacity to make repayment obligations. HowNg takes a look at the realm of debt in Africa, focusing on the countries with the most significant financial loads.

1. Ghana 

Ghana has maintained its status as Africa’s most indebted country to the IMF, despite a huge increase in debt burden over the past year. Ghana’s debt to the IMF accounts for 9.55 percent of total loans due by African countries to the Fund, according to statistics from the IMF’s Quarterly Finances for July-ending 2023. This is a source of concern for Ghana’s economic stability, as the country struggles to meet the challenges of servicing this massive debt.


2. Kenya

Following closely behind Ghana is Kenya, which has the unenviable distinction of being Africa’s second-largest IMF debtor. Kenya owed the IMF SDR 1.008 billion as of July 31, 2023. This significant debt load reflects Kenya’s economic challenges as it attempts to combine the need for development with its international obligations.


3. DR Congo

Among African countries, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has the third-largest outstanding debt position with the IMF. As of July 31, 2023, the DRC’s debt to the Fund amounted at SDR 1.142 billion. This circumstance calls into doubt the DRC’s ability to efficiently manage its economic affairs while dealing with such a massive international debt burden.


4. Sudan

Sudan remains Africa’s fourth-largest debtor to the IMF, with an outstanding debt of SDR 992 million as of July 31, 2023. The country has faced a complicated web of economic issues, including political insecurity and the need for economic change, all of which are inextricably linked to its debt status.


5. Uganda

Uganda completes the top five African countries with the largest IMF debt burdens. Uganda owed the Fund SDR 812 million as of July 31, 2023. Uganda, like many other African countries on this list, faces the difficult task of reconciling development ambitions with the necessity to service international debt.

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