WORKING PAPER 02 - May 1, 2019
KEYWORDS: public debt, middle-income countries, debt crisis, debt dynamics, Sub-Saharan Africa, debt relief
Several African countries are headed into another debt crisis, just a decade or so after their slates had been wiped clean by debt relief. This is based on an assessment of country-specific debt dynamics: the debt to GDP ratios, the rate of growth of debt, the terms at which debt is being contracted relative to economic growth rates, and the willingness of governments to run primary budget surpluses if necessary.
WORKING PAPER 01 - April 22, 2019
KEYWORDS: growth, growth prospects, middle-income countries, energy access, infrastructure, education, domestic revenues, domestic revenue mobilization, Sub-Saharan Africa
Several smaller economies such as Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Senegal are showing that African transformations can be as rapid as those in Asia. These economies deserve international recognition and support because they will inspire others through example. But Sub-Saharan Africa's prospects will depend mainly on what happens in Nigeria, South Africa, and Angola, the three largest middle-income economies that together add up to almost two thirds of the region's economy. The economic outlook does not look good even if oil and commodity prices increase, because these countries have many of the structural attributes more typical of low-income countries in other parts of the world. We discuss three development deficits that may be the most critical: access to electricity, the quality of education, and domestic revenues.