Facts, Financial List

Top 20 Most Indebted African Countries

Even though Africa has the fastest-growing continental economy, the cause of great concern is debt. The continent’s borrowing binge started in 2007 and it continues unabated. African countries have the smallest debts in the world compare to other countries. Countries like Kenya didn’t make the top 20; as of March 2014 it has one of the lowest external debt in Africa and the world at $3.6 billion.

Here are the top 20 African nations with the most debt, according to World Bank and CIA World Factbook with information regarding external debt of each country in US dollars. External debt is the total public and private debt owed to nonresidents, repayable in internationally accepted currencies goods or services.

20) Uganda – $4,126,000,000

The economy of Uganda has been reformed and growth has been better. The nation has a Human Development Index of 0.484 and is ranked 164 out of 186; one of the lowest in the world. In 2000, it was among the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt relief initiative worth $1.3 billion. Despite the average annual economic growth of 2.5% at the time Uganda’s poverty reduction did not change. In December 2012 Uganda’s external debt was $3.6 billion.

Uganda Map

19) Namibia – $4,204,000,000

Even though Namibia enjoys high political, economic and social stability, the income gap between rich and poor is one of the most marked in the world. The nation’s total debt represents an annualized growth rate of 14.41 percent. Its $4.2 billion external debt was last calculated in 2012.

Namibia world map with a pixel diamond texture.

18) Algeria – $4,344,000,000

Algeria’s economy is largely based on hydrocarbons. It is Africa’s 10th richest country (GDP per capita) and the second largest oil producer in Africa. The nation is classified as an upper middle income country by the World Bank. Algeria’s external debt of $4.3 billion (2012) is low when compared to other African nations. Algeria is the largest nation by area in Africa.


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    Sooner than later, South Africa will assume the status of the likes of nations like, Venezuela and Greece whose public debt puts in total financial burden. I hope that the illiterate politicians will realize then, that they have done more harm than good to the poorest of the poorest in South Africa.

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