The African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) will host its 49th Plenary Session of the Biannual Research Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya from 2 to 6 December 2018 at the Safari Park Hotel.
The event, which targets sub-Saharan Africa, will bring together over 200 researchers, academics, policy makers, non-state actors, and economists, providing a forum for participants to interact with a worldwide network of professionals to discuss issues relevant to Africa’s economic development.
In attendance will be Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary, National Treasury, Hon. Henry Rotich, who will preside over the opening ceremony, the World Bank’s Vice President for Africa, Hafez Ghanem, and Professor Mthuli Ncube, Minister of Finance, Zimbabwe who will both address the subject matter; “The Looming Debt Crisis in Africa.”
The 49th Plenary Session gives impetus to the growing debate about public debt in sub-Saharan African countries with World Bank figures showing the number of countries at high risk of debt distress rising from 8 in 2013 to 18 in 2018 in the region alone.
The AERC’s 49th Biannual Plenary will seek to examine various aspects of Africa’s rising debt to provide a better understanding of the appropriate sustainability indicators to be used in analyzing the issue. That is the analysis of the implications of the rising debt burden on Africa’s growth and inclusive development. It will also provide options and feasible solutions to mitigate further deterioration and to prevent relapse into indebtedness
Professor Njuguna Ndung’u, AERC’s Executive Director, says that although Africa’s public debt hasn’t yet reached the proportions that triggered the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative, the concerns regarding the continent’s present debt is the fact that the debt has risen sharply in a very short space of time.
“In the face of slow economic growth, weak global commodity demand, and inefficiencies in the use of debt, heavy debt servicing potentially raises concerns regarding sustainability and carries immediate implications for macroeconomic stability and thus economic growth and development. The possibility of recessionary conditions in Africa also has grave implications for the global economy,” he said.
A roundtable session following the keynote will feature distinguished economists, private and public sector leaders from across the continent. It will be chaired by AERC’s former Executive Director, Professor Lemma W. Senbet.
Categorization of debt with maturity profile; debt and technological capture; regulating private sector debt; an instrument of debt restructuring and the likely impact of the looming debt crisis on fiscal consolidation, monetary policy and the macroeconomic policy environment will be among the issues under consideration by the roundtable.