1. October 2018

Africa – on the creditors’ hook

Conference on development finance and new debt crises in Africa

6. December 2018 noon to 7 pm at „Seminar
mit Spreeblick“ An der Schillingbrücke 4 Berlin (near „Ostbahnhof“)

Is Africa once again on the hook of rich creditors and does it steer into a next ­continent-wide debt crisis? The conference centers around dramatically increasing debt indicators in lots of African countries. Where do these loans come from and how did they get to Africa? What are the social implications of the rising debt?  What challenges arise for the public in Europe? Are there links between climate change, forced migration from Africa and unsustainable debt levels? And how could it be prevented that these unsustainable debts lead to a social disaster?

We ask these questions to experts from civil society in Zimbabwe, ­Mozambique, Uganda and Côte d’Ivoire. And we discuss them with those who promote private and public financing in Africa on behalf of the German government.


12:00pm – Arrival, registration, finger food, coffee, and informal exchange

12:30pm – Africa’s debt problems in 2018

Is Africa on the creditors’ hook? Overview of the continent’s debt situation

  • Dr. Fanwell Bokosi, AFRODAD, Zimbabwe

Where does the money come from? Financial tools for Africa – their opportunities and risks

  • Dr. Kathrin Berensmann, DIE

Questions and discussion

2:00pm – Coffee break

2:30pm – Going in-depth into the topic in three groups

Private infrastructure investments in Africa and their risks from the perspective of donors such as China and Germany, African governments, and civil societies

  • Julius Kapwepwe, Uganda Debt Network
  • Dr. Fanwell Bokosi, AFRODAD

Extractivism as a development strategy – opportunities and risks

  • Dr. Eufrigina dos Reis, Grupo Moçambicano da Dívida

Climate change, flight causes, and debt burdens

  • Joël N’da Nguessan, MESNTIC
  • Jan Christensen, Environment Pastor from the North Church

4:00pm – Coffee break

5:00pm – Panel discussion with political decision-makers from Germany, academia, and African civil society

Do initiatives such as the Marshall plan with Africa and the Compact with Africa from the G20 keep the continent on the creditors’ hook? How can the renewed high debt burdens in African countries be prevented that prevent the urgently needed investments in social areas and in the infrastructure necessary for citizens? People need to have confidence in their prospects in life. What role do German politics play?

  • Dr. Stefan Oswald, BMZ
  • Dr. Kathrin Berensmann, DIE
  • Dr. Fanwell Bokosi, AFRODAD

7:00pm – End of conference


  • Dr. Fanwell Bokosi is Director of the African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD), a continental debt relief network based in Harare, Zimbabwe. The network works on debt management, domestic resource mobilisation, and effective development financing.
  • Dr. Kathrin Berensmann is Development Finance Officer at the German Development Institute (DIE) in Bonn.
  • Julius Kapwepwe is Programme Director of the Uganda Debt Network in Kampala, focusing on public debt and development.
  • Dr. Eufrigina dos Reis is Director of the Mozambican debt relief network Grupo Moçambicano da Dívida.
  • Joël N’da Nguessan is an economist and founder of the NGO Mouvement de l’Entrepreneuriat de la Science du Développement et des TIC (MESNTIC) in Côte d’Ivoire.
  • Dr. Stefan Oswald is head of department at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) of the “Marshall Plan with Africa and Flight and Migration” department.


There will be simultaneous German/English translation.

Participation is free, registration is requested.


  • Brot für die Welt
  • erlassjahr.de – Entwicklung braucht Entschuldung
  • Kirchliche Arbeitsstelle Südliches Afrika (KASA)
  • Netzwerk Afrika Deutschland (NAD)
  • Solidaritätsdienst International (SODI)