KAMPALA – Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija has cautioned policymakers to strike a balance between financing projects and ensuring debt sustainability.
Kasaija was Friday, February 28 speaking at closure of the three-day regional conference on public debt management and sustainable economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa at Speke Resort Munyonyo.
“I believe we have all agreed on the need to enhance our capacity to negotiate for better terms and conditions during the loan acquisition process,” said Kasaija.
He acknowledged the importance of spending on infrastructure and social services to unlock the potential of countries.
The conference was on Wednesday opened by Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda who said that debt itself may not be a problem if it is incurred for development reasons and at affordable costs.
Rugunda said that the conference was timely because 40% of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are in debt distress or have a high risk of it.
The Prime Minister added that International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s record shows that the average level of total debt of Sub-Saharan African countries had risen to 55% of GDP in 2016 compared to 35% in the early 2010’s.
According to the Finance Ministry, the objective of the conference was to empower debt managers to identify practical steps to ensure that public debt is used to foster sustainable economic growth.