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Africa’s Debt Dilemma: The Urgent Need for More Equitable Borrowing

For the first time in years, a few African countries are venturing back into the bond market to raise funds for infrastructure and to pay down their debts. However, borrowing more from private creditors is a risky move given the difficulties that many African governments, namely Zambia, have encountered in restructuring their existing debt portfolios.

And if Zambia’s experience is anything to go by, it’s taught us that whatever global financial safety net was in place to help countries in distress was wholly inadequate to meet the challenge.

William Kring, executive director of Boston University’s Global Development Policy Center, and Marina Zucker-Marques, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of London’s Centre for Sustainable Finance, recently published a new article that explored the inability of the current financial system to protect the poorest, most vulnerable states.

William and Marina join Eric & Cobus to discuss the situation in Africa and China’s role, in particular, as one of the continent’s largest and most important creditors.

Show Notes:

About William Kring and Marina Zucker-Marques:

William N. Kring is the Executive Director of the Boston University Global Development Policy Center. His research and teaching interests focus on international political economy, global economic governance, international financial institutions and Southern-led financial institutions. He actively conducts policy-oriented research on global economic governance and works regularly with government officials and staff officials of various international financial institutions, particularly regional financial arrangements. He has served as a consultant for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and has been awarded grants by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, the Academy of Korean Studies and UNCTAD. His work has appeared in World DevelopmentDevelopment and ChangeGlobal Policy, Global Governance and International Relations of the Asia-Pacific.

Marina Zucker-Marques is a postdoctoral researcher at the “Debt Relief for a Green and Inclusive Recovery” project. Previously, she worked at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in the Debt and Development Finance Branch (Globalization and Development Strategies). Marina holds a PhD from Freie Universität Berlin, where she defended her thesis on institutional and political-economic drivers of renminbi Internationalization. Marina is Brazilian and holds a Bachelor’s degree from FACAMP, and a master’s from Zhejiang Gongshang University.

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