USB Events

  Online event   18 Augustus

Date:                 Thursday, 18 August 2022

Time:                16:00 – 18:00 (SAST)

Venue:            Online

Enquiries:       Surita Basson| [email protected]

Almost half of the African nations face the threat of debt distress, with Mozambique and Zimbabwe already in debt distress, while Comoros, Malawi, and Zambia at high risk of debt distress.1 The overall external debt stock doubled between 2012 and 2020 from US$380.9 billion to US$702 billion. Of this debt, up to US$ 119 billion and US$ 208 billion was owed to official creditors in 2012 and 2020 respectively. The expanding number of creditors (adding the likes of China, India, Turkey, African Export-Import Bank, New Development Bank, etc. to the traditional lenders like the World Bank/IMF), with differing debt sustainability frameworks, puts Africa in a precarious position of poor debt risk assessment. The situation is exacerbated by the increase in the issuance of sovereign bonds by African states over the past 10 years, to insurance companies, investment banks and individuals, as well as pension and hedge funds. Just as debt repayments were beginning to nose-dive between 2018 and 2019, the COVID19 pandemic happened, shocking economies and curtailing the growth that had delivered the much-desired positive debt outcomes.

The high debt burden, and the reversal in growth prospects due to the pandemic, have consequences for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals for African countries. The 2020 Africa Development Report acknowledged that after four years of implementing the SDGs, the African continent was only halfway towards achieving the SDG goals and targets, with progress recorded in the areas of infectious diseases, maternal and infant deaths (Health sector), and literacy and primary school enrolment (Education sector). However, these sectors were adversely affected by the pandemic, with potential reversals in the gains made in these sectors. Moreover, issues of climate change, and the effect of the pandemic on gender and inequality, are forcing development financiers to rethink their funding models.

The ACDF is bringing together finance and experts in academia, policy makers, multilateral finance institutions, and private and public development partners, to explore the intersectionality between Africa’s sovereign debt and the achievement of the SDGs. By focussing on Africa’s progress towards achieving the SDGs, the Forum aims to explore low-hanging fruits that can be prioritised as countries navigate the razor-edge path of raising development funds post the pandemic and managing their sovereign debt burden.

The Forum is an initiative of the African Centre for Development Finance in its efforts to conduct topical investigations and generate policy-oriented responses to current challenges in financial development and economic policy. In this regard, the Forum intends to highlight policy research ideas and initiatives that Development Finance students and practitioners can develop to address the financing gap experienced by African states. Other expected outcomes include possible research topics in inclusive finance, and themes for follow-up debates on finance for development in Africa. Ultimately, the Forum is intended to provide the development finance ecosystem with insights into the entry points to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and Targets in Africa.


The Forum will comprise of two sessions. The first session will profile Africa’s sovereign debt, and the facilities that have been put in place by development financiers and partners towards debt liquidity and sustainability. The second session will highlight Africa’s progress towards achieving the SDGs, incorporating the effect of the pandemic. This session will also highlight the intersectionality of Africa’s debt burden and the achievement of the SDGs. Experts will highlight issues related to the structure of Africa’s financial sector which call for novelty in mobilising resources domestically and undertaking investments which have real impact to society.



  • Policy makers
  • National, Regional & Multilateral Development Finance Institutions (WB, IMF, AfDB, IFC, AfriExim, DBSA, IDC, etc)
  • Financial sector practitioners
  • Think tanks/Academia
  • USB Students (Development Finance Programme, MBA Finance for Development)
  • Development Finance Alumni
  • The ACDF Board & University authorities


The ACDF is a research, educational and service institution, of the University of Stellenbosch Business School. It was constituted in 2017 with a focus on three topical areas namely: Development Finance, Inclusive Finance and Financial Markets Development in Africa. The Centre conducts theoretical and empirical research, as well as policy-oriented investigations, responding to current challenges in financial development and economic policy. It also undertakes projects and consultancy services commissioned by clients in the private and public sectors; provides non-degree programmes in development finance areas for public and private financial institutions as part of capacity building in Africa and; liaises with international financial institutions, development banks, microfinance institutions and consulting companies operating in the development finance milieu.



Dr Ayodele Adusola

Resident Representative for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in South Africa

Ayodele Odusola is the Resident Representative for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in South Africa. Prior, he was Chief Economist and Head of the Strategy and Analysis Team for UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA).

He coordinates the preparation of regional flagship reports including the Africa Human Development Report, the African Economic Outlook, Africa MDG/SDGs reports. He provides technical leadership on Roundtables to mobilize partnership and finance for the implementation of national development plans and visions across African countries.

Dr. Odusola provides intellectual leadership to SDG acceleration frameworks in sub-Saharan Africa, managing the network of Senior Economists in UNDP Africa Country Offices and providing strategic advice on policy matters to the RBA Director. He is deeply involved in advising African countries development planning and visioning, structural economic transformation and the future of Africa’s development. He is the Chair of the UNDP Corporate Technical Team on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs).

Prior to joining the United Nations, Dr. Odusola worked with the Presidency of Nigeria (1993-2005); and from 1999 to 2005, he served as the Director of the Research and Macroeconomic Training Programme under the President’s Economic Management Think-Tank. He has worked in several African countries.  Served as Senior Consultant on fiscal policy management to several organizations like the World Bank, the West African Institute of Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), and the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI).

He led UNDP’s strategic partnership with pan African organizations like the African Union, the Pan African Parliament, NEPAD, the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and the African Development Bank.

Academically, Dr. Odusola has lectured several universities in Africa and has published over 50 articles in national and international journals, editing and authoring books as well as technical reports. He is a co-author of the best-seller entitled the Income Inequality Trends in sub-Saharan Africa: Divergence, Determinants, and Consequences. In 2001, he was the African Visiting Scholar to the International Monetary Fund.

For more information on Dr Adusola, please visit

Japhet Justine

Commissioner: Sovereign Debt Management, Ministry of Finance and Planning, Tanzania

Japhet Justine is the Commissioner – Sovereign Debt Management in the Ministry of Finance and Planning in Tanzania. His expertise stretches in the areas of Sovereign Debt, Fixed Income, Digital Economy, Policy Advisory, and Board Leadership.

He is a proficient Development Finance Practitioner with wide experience in leading, managing and transforming banks at national and international levels. Prior to his current portfolio, Mr Justine was the Managing Director of the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank ((the only Agriculture Policy Bank in East Africa); Managing Director of Tanzania Women’s Bank Plc; NMB Bank; Regional Head African Banking Corporation in charge of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique and Rwanda, and Plc in Tanzania.

Rising from Financial Analyst to commissioner of sovereign debt, Japhet highlights his capacity to transform financial institutions to move beyond the transaction portfolio, and towards a more holistic approach that adds value to the ecosystems altogether. His approach not only repositions institutions towards a more strategic and competitive direction but also cultivates an enabling policy environment for collaboration and systematic resolutions.

Dr Magalie Masamba

Postdoctoral Fellow at the International Development Law & Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria

Dr Magalie Masamba is a legal and policy advisor and researcher specializing in global economic governance, international financial institutions, sovereign debt, and private sector development. She has had extensive experience working with international organizations, African governments, civil society organizations, and the private sector.  Magalie is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Human Rights.

Prof Daniel Bradlow

South African Research Chair Initiative (SARCHI) Professor of International Development Law and African Economic Relations, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria and Professor Emeritus, American University Washington College of Law

Daniel D. Bradlow was previously Head, International Economic Relations and Policy Department, South African Reserve Bank; Chair, Roster of Experts, Independent Review Mechanism, African Development Bank; and consultant to numerous international organizations. He has published articles and books on topics including international law, and international financial institutions, finance and human rights, and global economic governance. A list of his publications is available here.

Dr George Kararach

Lead Economist at the African Development Bank Group

Dr George Kararach is an experienced and numerate graduate with an outstanding background in policy analysis, development economics, strategic planning, working with multilateral development banks including the African Development Bank; establishing, monitoring and evaluating projects. He has a good understanding of donor fund raising and the UN system as well as the operational activities of multilateral agencies such as the African Capacity Building Foundation and international think-tanks. He has worked with fragile states and in unstable environments.

Dr Kararach is widely published. Some of his books include Economic Management under Hyperinflationary Environment: The Political Economy of Zimbabwe, 1980-2008. (Oxford University Press, with Raphael Otieno (eds), 2016), Development in Africa: Refocusing the Lens after the Millennium Development Goals (Policy Press, with Besada, H. and Shaw, T.M. (eds), 2015), Development Policy in Africa: Mastering the Future? (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

Tags  Business Management, information session, #KeepLearning


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