Tunisia clears all 2023 debts despite financial pressure

Bisola David
Bisola David
Tunisia clears all 2023 debts despite financial pressure

Tunisia has managed to pay off all of its internal and external debts for 2023, despite significant pressure on the state resources.

Reuters reported that this was confirmed by the Finance Minister, Sihem Boughdiri on Monday, putting an end to concerns about the possibility of a default.

However, an official document stated that Tunisia will pay $4 billion in foreign loans in 2024, a 40% increase from the previous year.

This comes at a difficult time for the North African country, which is facing a lack of external financing while attempting to manage its decreasing public finances.

Economists say that Tunisia heavily relied on fresh internal loans to settle its external debts, which decreased liquidity and hindered banks’ support for the economy.

They expect a difficult year ahead due to rising international debt and the complexities of frequent reliance on internal financing.

In 2024, the government anticipates the total public debt to be around 140 billion dinars ($45.17 billion), or around 79.8% of GDP, up from 127 billion dinars.

A growing number of African countries have found themselves entangled in the difficult web of debt distress, a situation exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and global economic slowdown.

According to World Bank and International Monetary Fund data, nearly half of African countries are struggling to meet their debt repayment obligations.

Tunisia’s issues reflect the difficult choices that governments throughout the continent must make when it comes to supporting their economies.

Due to the heavy debt burden, three African countries have halted the servicing of their external obligations.

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