Last year was an annus horribilis for most of Africa. The continent experienced its first recession in 25 years as per the International Monetary Fund (IMF), suffering under the weight of lower commodity prices, Covid shocks and a rapid rise in the cost of funding.

Faced with this trifecta, and with already weak balance sheets, many countries struggled to find the fiscal resources to fulfil their external obligations. This left them with three options in the face of rapidly escalating debt-service costs: delay, restructure or default...

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