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10 African countries with the highest debts to IMF

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As Africa grapples with economic challenges exacerbated by the global pandemic, a spotlight shines on the ten countries on the continent burdened with the highest debts owed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

These nations face a formidable task in managing their financial obligations while striving to foster sustainable development and economic stability.

According to data sourced from the IMF, here are African countries with the largest IMF loans and the impact of these loans on their economies:


Leading the list is Angola, where economic diversification efforts have been hampered by persistent debt issues, owing approximately $3.7 billion to the IMF.

The IMF said that the loan was to help the southern African country restructure state-owned enterprises and take other measures to improve economic governance.


Following closely is Egypt, with a debt of $3.2 billion, navigating a delicate balance between economic reforms and social welfare amidst political transitions.

South Africa

South Africa stands out as Africa’s most industrialised economy but grapples with significant IMF debts, amounting to $2.8 billion.

The IMF approved the loan for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government to address “the challenging health situation and severe economic impact of the Covid-19 shock” on Africa’s most industrialised economy.

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Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, confronts economic headwinds compounded by its $2.6 billion debt to the IMF.


The list continues with Ethiopia, facing mounting pressures with $2.4 billion owed, as it navigates developmental challenges while aiming for sustainable growth.


Kenya follows suit, managing a debt of $2.3 billion amidst efforts to bolster infrastructure and spur economic expansion.

Tunisia & Morocco

Tunisia and Morocco represent North Africa on this list, with debts of $2.2 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively, grappling with the impacts of regional instability alongside economic reforms.

Ghana & Cote d’Ivoire

Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire also feature prominently, each with IMF debts totaling $1.6 billion and $1.4 billion, respectively, as they seek to harness their economic potential amid fiscal constraints.