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Ethiopia debt restructuring plan faces hurdles of transparency

Ethiopia debt restructuring plan faces hurdles of transparency

Economy
Ethiopia’s plan to seek debt restructuring under a G20 common framework agreed in November triggered a sell-off in African debt at the end of January on fears of a contagion effect. The framework enables debtor countries to seek an IMF programme to strengthen their economies and renegotiate their debts with public and private creditors. But such a debt restructuring for Ethiopia would face barriers due a lack of transparency, analysts say. Any attempt to reconcile balance of payments and published public external debt figures with underlying debt-creating flows shows information gaps and supports “a narrative of opaque lending”, argues Irmgard Erasmus, senior financial economist at NKC African Economics in Cape Town. Along with Djibouti and Zambia, Ethiopia’s dealings with Ch...