Africa’s growing debt crisis: Who is the debt owed to?

This research briefing investigates who African governments’ external debt is owed to, and whether loans from China are as large a portion of the debt as has been recently claimed in the media. It finds that:

  • African government external debt payments have doubled in two years, from an average of 5.9% of government revenue in 2015 to 11.8% in 2017
  • 20% of African government external debt is owed to China
  • 17% of African government external interest payments are made to China
  • In contrast, 32% of African government external debt is owed to private lenders, and 35% to multilateral institutions such as the World Bank
  • 55% of external interest payments are to private creditors

Read the briefing here.


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