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Russia’s War Is Heightening Africa’s Debt Risk, World Bank Says

  • High risk of debt distress seen in sub-Saharan African states
  • Economic growth rate for 2022 to drop to 3.6% from 4% in 2021

Russia’s war with Ukraine has escalated sovereign-debt risks in sub-Saharan Africa, increasing the need for better relief measures to avert a “large wave” of crises among the region’s developing countries, the World Bank said.

The share of countries in the region at high risk of debt distress has grown to 60.5% from 52.6% in October, the Washington-based lender said Wednesday in the April edition of its Africa’s Pulse report. Fears about debt sustainability are reflected in the widening of sovereign spreads for several sub-Saharan African nations, driven by rising interest rates in developed economies and the war in Ukraine, it said.