Why Africa’s Growing Debt Is A Threat to Future Generation
The number one wish of every true Pan-Africanist is to fight for a better future for Africa. Each of us wants to see a united Africa with competent leadership that will effectively combine transformational ideas with our resources to champion development-driven policies for the continent’s betterment. However, this future that we so desire seems to be morphing into a neo-colonial catastrophe.
After the disastrous and brutish gun and colonial chain approach of old that saw powerful countries using their influence, technology and weaponry to capture and rule Africa, many people thought the continent was indeed free from the influence of the imperialists as asserted in the “independence” impression created. In reality, the colonial influence method was just being transformed from the obviously radical approach to seemingly friendly but deadly ones
One of the newly found methods is the DEBT TRAP. In response to the poverty rate and development issues of the continent, which is a direct product of colonialism plus a limited percentage of local mismanagement, many of these powers designed the DEBT TRAP and disguised it as aid to lure and recapture the continent. Many vulnerable individual African countries are choked in debt with some having their major infrastructural facilities gradually confiscated. Debt distressed countries like Eritrea, Zambia, Gambia, Ghana, Cameroon, among others, are typical examples.
The total amount of debt owed by Africa is estimated at £317 billion. According to Jubilee Debt Campaign, 20% of Africa’s external debt is owed to China alone. At worst, the continent’s Eurobond debt has already passed the $100- billion milestone. A record of $27.1 billion was issued in 2018, followed by a $7.6 billion issued in 2019 by just Egypt, Ghana and Benin with more countries expected to follow. According to RenCap, debt servicing cost alone doubled from 5% in 2012 to 10% in 2017 with a current worrisome trend that may lead to a whooping sum of $12 billion repayments in 2024 if care is not taken.
The main problem here is that, whilst other continents establish major developmental achievements for their future generations, Africa, through the DEBT TRAP, is ignorantly incapacitating its future generations with huge debts. They will grow up and inherit these amounts but be expected to compete with people who inherit advanced technologies and booming economies the same way the successes of the current African generation is being measured against countries who sent us centuries behind development by stealing from us.
If we don’t desist from following the bait into the DEBT TRAP, we will end up handing the potency of the African future generations directly into the hands of these lenders cum neocolonialist. Let’s change this narrative together!