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Is a New Debt Crisis Mounting in Africa?

“Africa’s debt crisis hampers its fight against Covid-19” and “African nations sitting on debt volcano.” These are all headlines from as far back as August 2019, from various international and African media outlets, aiming to objectively inform the general public about Africa’s finances. The problem with these headlines? They are not impartial. They all come from a constrained narrative about debt—a narrative that is largely shaped from outside the African continent and goes back to the late 1970s. It has its origins in the colonialism that many African countries fought so hard to finally escape from in the 1960s. And it needs changing in at least four distinct ways.