Development Centre

DevTalks: Debt sustainability and COVID-19: what’s next for Africa and Latin America?



 Friday, 27th November 2020, 14.30 – 16.00 - Register here

Join the new online DEV Talks series - Reshaping development

Mario Pezzini, Director of the OECD Development Centre and Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Development, in co-operation with the Groupe d’Etudes Géopolitques (GEG) and the think tank A New ROAD by Cabinet Gide, are pleased to invite you to a discussion on is pleased to invite you to an online discussion:

Debt sustainability and COVID-19: what’s next for Africa and Latin America?


Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Director ONE France and former French Minister of National Education, Higher Education and Research

Carlos Lopes, Professor at the University of Cape Town and former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

Jose Antonio Ocampo, Chair of the UN Committee for Development Policies

Abebe Aemro Selassie, Director of the African Department, IMF

Moderated by Mario Pezzini, Director of the OECD Development Centre



The COVID-19 crisis poses a great challenge to fiscal sustainability in developing countries. In Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), many countries faced socio-economic vulnerabilities, weakening financial conditions and rising debt levels prior to the breakout of the pandemic. The shock will amplify through these channels and have a disproportionate impact on these countries’ current situations and future development perspectives. With soaring fiscal deficits and plummeting revenues, average public debt ratios could rise up to 70% of GDP in Africa by 2020, and even over 100% in at least 7 African countries. In Latin American countries, they could reach 75% of GDP by 2021. Many countries could be forced into financial and debt crises while they try to fight the ongoing one.

For developing countries, guaranteeing debt sustainability and increasing fiscal space will therefore play a fundamental role in responding to the crisis and providing resources to build back better during the recovery. The international community will have to establish co-operation mechanisms to complete the efforts already achieved through the G20 and the Paris Club’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). This new DEV Talk will provide a platform for stakeholders to engage in an informed and open discussion on debt sustainability in Africa and LAC, and share the latest perspectives on which measures, actors and trends should be accounted in this critical aspect of international development policy. 


To attend this DEV Talk, please register here

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