African countries’ bond sales ‘raise refinancing risk’


African countries’ recent flurry of debt-raising increases the risk that they will face refinancing problems, rating agency Fitch Ratings has warned.

Higher commodity prices and fiscal reforms in some countries have helped to stabilise debt levels in relation to economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa, Fitch said, but the growing use of international debt markets is adding an increasing debt financing burden to governments’ budgets.

Sub-Saharan African countries will have to repay $6.5bn of debt in the five years to 2023, up from $1.4bn in the last five years, according to Fitch.

“[Debt] maturities appear manageable in the near term, but public financial management in the region is often weak, meaning…

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