Editor’s Note: April 26, 2018

Can Africa be trusted with its debt?

Borrowing is becoming one of the major themes for Africa in 2018. S&P expects sub-Saharan Africa to rack up $57bn in debt this year, with Eurobond issuances surging. Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and Kenya have already gone to market with the likes of Angola, Côte d’Ivoire and Zimbabwe lining up.

With this comes greater scrutiny of how African governments are dealing with mounting debt, including doubts about the transparency of borrowing. 

In early April reports circulated that Zambia’s foreign debt could be double the size the government has admitted. The mere suspicion was enough to draw comparisons to Mozambique, where undisclosed loans have helped plunge the country into an economic crisis.

This comes after Kenya got into trouble in February for allegedly misleading investors about the state of a suspended $1.5bn credit facility from the IMF.

The incidents reflect growing unease about borrowing on the continent. Average public debt has soared to 53% from 34% in 2013, fuelling concerns that another debt crisis is in the works. 

It is critical for governments to be open and honest about their debt. In the current climate anything less risks undermining confidence in the continent.

From The Continent

Rwanda's lower house has ratified the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement, which was signed at an African Union summit in Ethiopia last month. The deal was signed by 44 African countries and would, if ratified, establish the biggest free trade area since the creation of the WTO. More: CGTN


Nigerian lawmakers on Wednesday voted to summon president Muhammadu Buhari before the House of Representatives to answer questions about outbreaks of communal violence that have left hundreds dead. Violence between settled farmers and herdsmen has cast a shadow over Buhari’s government in recent months. More: Reuters

The Daily Stat

43

The number of goals Egyptian Premier League football star Mohamed Salah has scored this season. More: BBC

The Global Perspective

Chinese state-owned car maker BAIC Group has announced plans to build an electric-car manufacturing plant in South Africa with production capacity of 100,000 vehicles annually.The move comes amid expansion on the continent by major firms including Volkswagen. More: CTV News

Sub-Saharan Africa  is the world’s third most dangerous region for journalists according to the 2018 press freedom index, released by Reporters Without Borders. The 180-country index covers five regions, with North Africa and the Middle East being the worst performers. More: Reporters Without Borders

The Daily Follow

CAF @CAF_Online: News and updates from the Confederation of African Football.