List Of African Countries With The Highest IMF Debt

List Of African Countries With The Highest IMF Debt

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is one of the biggest lenders to African countries, but its loans come with conditions
  • Egypt tops the list of African countries with the highest IMF debt, with an outstanding loan of $11,272,939,177
  • Market analyst Rufas Kamau explained that loans from international lenders help countries such as Kenya increase their forex reserves

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a key player in global finance, providing financial support to countries facing economic challenges.

President William Ruto has held several meetings with IMF MD Kristalina Georgieva.
President William Ruto (right) with IMF MD Kristalina Georgieva at State House, Nairobi. Photo: William Ruto.
Source: UGC

In times of economic crisis, countries frequently turn to the IMF as a last resort to stabilise their financial systems.

These loans mitigate any economic hardships the aforementioned nations may be experiencing.

Why do African countries borrow from the IMF?

According to FX Pesa lead market analyst Rufas Kamau, loans from the Bretton Woods institution also help countries such as Kenya increase their forex reserves, stabilising their currencies.

Read also

World Bank says Kenya's economy to slow in 2024

"It's in the interest of the Kenyan government to enter bilateral deals with our top trade partners to ease the pressure on foreign currency reserves. This is expected to strengthen the Kenya shilling in the short run," Kamau told

The loans also improve a nation's reputation among international investors. This increase in trust could result in increased foreign direct investment and improved access to global capital markets.

However, the loans often come with conditions that result in job losses and harsh austerity measures that governments must implement.

"Scaling down of infrastructural projects is an austerity measure being implemented across the board by the IMF and World Bank. It is a structural adjustment recommendation tied to their loans," Kamau added.

Which African countries have the highest IMF debt?

According to the IMF, the following countries have the highest debt as of June 2024.

Read also

Brazil economy picks up as shoppers spend more

1. Egypt

Egypt's outstanding debt on April 30 stood at $11,272,939,177 (KSh 1.46 trillion).

The North African country has since repaid $418,808,333 (KSh 54.27 billion). Its current debt stands at $10,854,130,844 (KSh 1.41 trillion).

2. Angola

Angola is another African country that has borrowed billions of dollars from the IMF.

The IMF revealed the Southern African nation's debt stood at $3,079,316,668 (KSh 399.05 billion).

The international financier noted Angola’s capacity to repay the loans was adequate despite elevated risks.

3. Kenya

The IMF board met on January 17 and approved a loan of KSh 150 billion to Kenya.

IMF approved an immediate disbursement of KSh 100.9 billion to relieve Kenya's financial struggles.

As of June 3, the IMF's total funding to Kenya across three facilities was $2,566,263,300 (KSh 332.56 billion).

4. Ghana

Ghana is one of the African countries that has been borrowing from the IMF to meet its financial needs.

Read also

Ghana gets $250 million from World Bank for financial stability project

In April, its loan was $2,055,925,000. It has since repaid $13,284,000, leaving a balance of $2,042,641,000.

5. Cote d'Ivoire

Cote d'Ivoire's total loan owed to the IMF stands at $1,940,385,704 (KSh 251.5 billion).

In March, the international lender approved a $1.3 billion (KSh 168.4 billion) loan to the West African country under a 30-month lending agreement.

Cote d'Ivoire is the largest grower of cocoa worldwide.

6. South Africa

South Africa has taken loans worth $1,907,000,000 (KSh 247.13 billion) from the IMF.

The IMF has been lending loans to South Africa since April 8, 1958 when it issued the first credit valued at $25,000 (KSh 3.2 million).

7. Nigeria

Despite economic reforms under recently elected President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, investors remain cautious about Nigeria, one of the largest economies in Africa.

This is due to record inflation, a declining value of the naira, and a shaky financial framework. Some corporations fled from the country.

Read also

African tech startups cater to continent's needs

Nigeria owes $1,227,250,000 (KSh 159 billion) to the IMF.

List of poorest African countries drops

Earlier, reported that the World Bank had released a list of the poorest countries on the continent.

The World Bank noted over 198 million could have fallen into poverty between the period when COVID-19 started and the end of 2022, hitting countries like Central African Republic, South Sudan and Burundi very hard.

New feature: Сheck out news that is picked for YOU ➡️ click on “Recommended for you” and enjoy!


Berlinda Entsie avatar

Berlinda Entsie (Copy Editor) Berlinda Entsie is a Copy Editor at She has worked as a proofreader and editor since 2016. Berlinda has over 5 years' experience editing and writing for leading publications in Ghana. She previously worked with Graphic Communications Group LTD, Business Insider SSA and She obtained a B.A in English Studies from the Methodist University College in 2016 and a Diploma in Broadcast Journalism from the GH Media School in 2019. Reach out to her via

Peter Ansah avatar

Peter Ansah (Entertainment Editor) Ansah Peter is an entertainment editor at He studied Development Planning at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, graduating in 2018. His professional career in entertainment journalism dates eight years back as a showbiz and arts blogger for the now-defunct, continuing to Muse Media Networks, acting as the editorial manager for the network's flagship multimedia platforms. He has also managed several PR roles with top clients, including Afro Nation Ghana and Morgan Heritage. You can reach him at

Online view pixel