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African Leaders Push Back on Western-led Debt Narrative, U.S., European Officials Should Take Note.

Macky Sall (L), the President of Senegal, Kristalina Georgieva (C), the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, and Amina J. Mohammed (R), the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, during a conference co-organized by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on sustainable development and debt at the Abdou Diouf de Diamniadio conference centre in Diamniadio, on December 2, 2019. SEYLLOU / AFP

For years U.S. and European leaders have been warning their African counterparts about the dangers of taking on too much debt, particularly from China. Now, it appears that some African leaders have had enough of these lectures and they’re starting to push back. They’re saying that even at levels of 50-60% GDP, African levels of debt are lower than many other regions around the world and borrowing this money is absolutely critical for their countries’ development. 

And the political discourse, as it is elsewhere, is coarsening. 

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