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Despite challenges, Africa’s debt is still under control – ADB

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The African Development Bank has said that Africa’s debt has increased in recent years but not to unsustainable levels.

“We need to continue to generate financing and spur growth without increasing debt, said Simon Mizrahi, Director of Service Delivery, Performance Management and Results at the Bank during the 2019 Annual Meetings of the Bank currently underway in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

Africa’s debt has increased in recent years “but not to unsustainable levels,” Mizrahi indicated but he pleaded for caution.

Sharing insights on Africa’s path forward, Mizrahi underscored the need to harness the continent’s incredible potential in renewable energy.

Africa is the most vulnerable continent and suffers the most from climate change but “with the right vision, investments and political commitments, Africa can lead a global energy revolution and leapfrog to renewable technologies.  This is why the Bank is putting its money where its mouth is and investing more than any other development Bank in helping the continent transition towards more resilient and sustainable economies,” he concluded.

 

Mizrahi also said that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfTCA) is ushering a new era in intra-African trade with an integrated market of 1.3 billion consumers.

“This is important because Africa will struggle to be competitive at the global scale, if it continues to operate as 54 fragmented economies. The continent needs to be more integrated, it needs larger economic spaces so that Africa can attract more investors, create more and better jobs, boost internal trade and create continent-wide value chains that are globally competitive.”

The panel moderated by the Victor Oladokun, the Bank’s Director of Communication, noted that AfCFTA is expected to boost cross-border infrastructure, drive competitiveness and make the continent a smaller place by integrating markets.

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