James K. Boyce's and Léonce Ndikumana's book Africa's Odious Debts was recently discussed during a side event at the sixth African Economics Conference on Wednesday in Addis-Ababa. The event attracted researchers, policy makers and civil society representative, who had in-depth discussions on the various themes and message it conveys.
"The book is relevant in support to African research," African Development Research Department Director and chair of the meeting, Desire Vencantachellum, said.
External borrowing by African countries imposes a double burden on these nations. Public funds that could be used to provide social services, such as health care and education, are diverted to servicing debts some of which fueled capital light; and the heavy debt burden makes these countries ineligible for external financing to support national development initiatives.