5 African countries with the highest debt-to-GDP ratio in 2024

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African countries exhibit a wide range of debt-to-GDP ratios. While some countries have a relatively low level of debt relative to their GDP, others have high debt burdens. Of the 10 countries with the highest debt-to-GDP ratios in the world, only Sudan makes the list. While some African countries are suffering severe debt distress a good number can boast of sustainable debts, especially considering the continent’s economic prospects.

  • Business Insider Africa presents 5 African countries with the highest debt-to-GDP ratio in 2024.
  • This list is courtesy of Yahoo Finance.
  • Sudan tops this list.

A report by Yahoo Finance listed the 30 countries in the world with the highest debt-to-GDP ratio, of which about 6 African countries made the list.

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According to the report, “the global debt-to-GDP ratios were on a decades-long rising trend before the pandemic. Global public debt tripled since the mid-1970s, reaching 92% of GDP or $91 trillion by the end of 2022. Private debt also tripled to 146% of GDP, reaching $144 trillion between 1960 and 2022.”

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The report also notes that debt vulnerabilities disproportionately impact emerging and low-income economies. 25% of emerging economies are in high danger of experiencing “default-like” spreads on their sovereign debt. In low-income nations, around 15% are in debt difficulty, with another 45% at high risk of debt crisis.

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With that said, below are the 5 African countries with the highest debt-to-GDP ratio in 2024, as of January 29th.

RankCountryDebt-to-GDPWorld rank
2.Cabo Verde109.712th
4.Republic of Congo91.024th


Yahoo Finance used data from the IMF’s General Government Gross debt-to-GDP database to build or list the nations with the greatest debt-to-GDP ratios in 2024.

Additionally, they used GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity, (GDP PPP) statistics from the IMF database. In ascending order of debt-to-GDP ratios, the nations with the greatest debt-to-GDP in 2024 are listed.

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