Economic and Financial Review


Central Bank of Nigeria


Debt, Africa


The purpose of the paper is to outline the profile of Africa's debt burden since the early 1980s. The paper reviews the economic performance of African countries, trends in their external debt stock and structure as well as their debt burden measured by the conventional debt ratios. It also undertakes a review of the causes of increased debt burden of African countries. The major findings are that deteriorating economic performance in Africa since the early 1980s was accompanied by increased external debt burden fcatu1·ing lower export earnings, reduced income growth and mounting (paid and unpaid) external debt obligations. Some of the determinants of rising debt burdens were the persistence of external shocks, volatile interest and exchange rates, massive out flaw of resources out of the continent and poor economic management. The paper concludes that the impact of current debt management strategies will remain insignificant unless a radical transformation of African economies takes place.

Author Bio

Dr. M.O. Ojo is Director of Research, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

Publication Title

CBN Economic and Financial Review





Recommended Citation

Ojo, M. O. (1994). Africa's Debt Burden in Historical Perspective. CBN Economic and Financial Review, 32(2), 95-111.



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