The impact of credit ratings on the costs of development finance in Africa

Friday, April 14, 2023, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. EDT

The role of credit rating agencies is critical in determining sovereign creditworthiness and, consequently, the cost of debt for both sovereign and corporate borrowers. Questions have been raised about the determination of these ratings in Africa, where there is a dearth of relevant data and where ratings agencies may not have a presence in the countries. This dynamic could have dire implications for much-needed development finance across the continent.

Against this background, on April 14, the Brookings Africa Growth Initiative (AGI), Africatalyst, and UNDP’s Africa Bureau will host a high-level panel of African finance ministers and central bank governors for a conversation on the impact of credit ratings on the costs of development finance in Africa. The event, which will take place on the margins of the 2023 World Bank/IMF annual spring meetings in Washington DC, will feature findings from a new UNDP report that analyzes credit ratings methodologies in Africa, discusses financial and development ramifications, and proposes alternative approaches for countries where relevant data is scarce.

This event will seek to:

  1. Raise awareness about the significant development costs that subjective credit ratings have, especially in Africa.
  2. Discuss various policy options and identify concrete steps forward.
  3. Create a new stand-by facility (comprising a concilium of high-level advisors and a bespoke database of key macroeconomic indicators) ready to help African countries in the credit process.

Viewers can submit questions by emailing or via Twitter @BrookingsGlobal by using #AfricaCreditRatings.

Register to watch online:

The Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

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