EYEAFRICA TV: Kampala, Uganda: The Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has said debt challenges and opportunities need to be tackled at a regional level because 40% of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are in debt distress. According to the IMF, the average level of total debt for Sub-Saharan African countries increased from 35% of GDP in the early 2010’s to 55% in 2016.
The Premier attributed the rising debt burden to the increasing levels of investment requirements needed to achieve development goals, and also peace and stability which facilitates borrowing through attraction of creditors among other factors. He called for proper utilization of the acquired debt.
The Premier said regional collaboration was key in abating the debt crisis faced by countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, through engaging in holistic approach.
The Minister of State for Finance, Hon. David Bahati said Uganda’s debt is sustainable, though highlighted that a reduction in grants has led to a rise in non-concessional borrowing in the country.
The Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development and Chief Economist Department of Economic and Social Affairs for United Nations, Elliot Harris, said partnerships are important in managing debt. He noted that although Africa’s debt ratio is still below 50%, it is rapidly rising which calls for action.