Main Article Content


The socio-economic crisis associated with COVID-19 is threatening progress towards attaining sustainable development goals. In this regard, global GDP is to contract in 2020 by 5.2% as against 2.8% in SSA. In addition, as the global recession is imminent, developing countries stand to accommodate about 60 million people into extreme poverty amid rising debt. However, as an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, United Nations and African Union resolve to eradicate extreme poverty through aspirations for inclusive growth by 2030 and 2063, respectively. It is on this background this paper examines the impact of debt and COVID-19, as well as the effectiveness of growth inclusiveness for sustainable development in SSA. Imperatively, using a panel of 43 countries over the period 2016-2019, it is established that the level of employment increases, just as life expectancy improves, in tandem with inclusive growth. Also, the timeline analysis of the COVID-19 period reveals that the unemployment rate, as well as public debt, is increasing substantially above the levels before the outbreak; thereby portending a setback on the gains so far achieved towards sustainable development in the region. As such, total debt cancellation is suggested along with more financial assistance to economies in the region.

Article Details

How to Cite
Kolawole, B. O. (2021). Debt, COVID-19 and Inclusive Growth for Sustainable Development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Management & Economics Research Journal, 3(2), 104-134.
Cited by


  1. Adegboye, E. (2018). Entrepreneurship – A pathway to sustainable development in Africa. In The Andela Way.
  2. African Development Bank. (2013). Recognizing Africa’s informal sector.
  3. African Development Bank. (2020). African economic outlook 2020: Developing Africa’s workforce for the future.
  4. African Union. (2014). Agenda 2063: The Africa we want. Second Edition, Popular Version.
  5. Arellano, M., & Bover, O. (1995). Another look at the instrumental variables estimation of error-components models. Journal of Econometrics,68, 29–51.
  6. Balogun, A. (2016). Infrastructure development in Nigeria: Better late than never. Advisory Outlook: PricewaterhouseCoopers Ltd.
  7. Baltagi, B. H. (2008). Econometric analysis of panel data. 6th Edition, Chichester: Wiley.
  8. Baqaee, D., Farhi, E., Mina, M., & Stock, J. H. (2020). Policies for a second wave. BPEA Conference Draft, June 25, Brooking Papers on Economic Activity.
  9. Barrero, J.M., Bloom, N., & Davis, S.J. (2020). COVID-19 is also a reallocation shock. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity2020(2), 329–383.
  10. Barro, R.J. (1991). Economic growth in a cross section of countries. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 106(2), 407–443.
  11. Bitler, M.P., Hoynes, H.W., & Schanzenbach, D.W. (2020). The social safety net in the wake of covid-19. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity2020(2), 119–158.
  12. Blundell, R., & Bond, S. (1998). Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models. Journal of Econometrics,87, 115–143.
  13. Catholic Agency For Overseas Development [CAFOD]. (2014). What is “inclusive growth”? CAFOD Discussion Paper (Full Version).
  14. Cecchetti, S. G., Mohanty, M. S., & Zampolli, F. (2010). The future of public debt: Prospects and implications.BIS Working Papers No. 300, Basel: Bank for International Settlements.
  15. Collier, P. (2007). The bottom billion: Why the poorest countries are failing and what can be done about it. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  16. Delong, J.B., &Summers, L.H. (2012). Fiscal policy in a depressed economy. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity,2012(1), 233–297.
  17. Duraiappah, A.K. (2015). Sustained inclusive growth re-examined. A contribution of IHDP, the International Human Dimension Programme on global environmental change of ICSU, the International Council for Science, and UNU, the United Nations University.
  18. Economic Commission for Africa (2017). Inclusive and sustainable development in Arica: Institutional arrangements for implementing the 2030 agenda and 2063 agenda. Addis Ababa: Economic Commission for Africa.
  19. Economic Commission for Africa. (2020). Covid-19 in Africa: Protecting lives and economies. Addis Ababa: ECA Printing and Publishing Unit.
  20. Filmer, D., & Fox, L. (2014). Youth employment in sub-Saharan Africa. Africa DevelopmentSeries.Washington, DC: World Bank.
  21. Gandhi, D., & Golubski, C. (2020). Africa in the news: African governments, multilaterals address covid-19 emergency, debt relief.
  22. Goldberg, P.K., & Reed T. (2020). The effects of the coronavirus pandemic in emerging markets and developing economies: An optimistic preliminary account. BPEA Conference Draft, June 25, Brooking Papers on Economic Activity.
  23. Golubski, C., Kanos, D., & Treacy, M. (2020). Africa in the news: Covid-19, financial assistance, and political updates from Malawi, Burundi, and Rwanda.
  24. Greene, W. H. (2011). Econometric analysis. 7th Edition. Pearson Education: New York University.
  25. Han, J., Meyer, B. D., & Sullivan, J. X. (2020). Income and Poverty in the COVID-19 Pandemic. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity2020(2).
  26. Harbi, S. E., Grolleau, G., & Bekir, I. (2011). Entrepreneurship and growth: What causes what? Advances in the study of entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Economic Growth, 22, 73–91.
  27. International Monetary Fund [IMF]. (2020a). Regional economic outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa: Covid-19: An unprecedented threat to development. Washington DC: IMF.
  28. International Monetary Fund. (2020b). Fiscal monitor: Policies to support people during the covid-19 pandemic. Washington DC: IMF.
  29. International Monetary Fund. (2020c). Regional economic outlook June 2020 update: Sub-Saharan Africa: A cautious reopening. Washington DC: IMF.
  30. Judson, R. A., & Owen. A. L. (1999). Estimating dynamic panel data models: A guide for macroeconomists. Economic Letters, 65, 9–15.
  31. Kolawole, B.O. (2016). Government spending and inclusive-growth relationship in Nigeria: An empirical investigation. Zagreb International Review of Economics & Business, 9(2), 33–56.
  32. Kumar, M.S., & Woo, J. (2010). Public debt and growth. IMF Working Paper 10/174, Washington, DC: IMF.
  33. Mahler, D.G., Lakner, C., Aguilar, R.A.C., & Wu, H. (2020). Updated estimates of the impact of covid-19 on global poverty.
  34. National Bureau of Statistics (2020). Key statistics:
  35. Ncube, M., Lufumpa, C.L., & Kararach, G. (2017). Introduction: Infrastructure in African development. In Ncube, M. &Lufumpa, C.L. (eds.), Infrastructure in Africa: Lessons for Future Development, pp. 1–22. University of Bristol, UK: Policy Press.
  36. Nickell, S. J. (1981). Biases in dynamic models with fixed effects. Econometrica, 49, 1417–1426.
  37. Obonyo, R. (2016). Africa looks to its entrepreneurs. Africa Renewal, 30(1), 16–17.
  38. Okonjo-Iweala, N., Coulibaly, B.S., Thiam, T., Kaberuka, D., Songwa, V., Masiyiwa, S., Mushikiwabo, L., & Duarte, C. (2020a). Africa needs debt relief to fight covid-19.
  39. Okonjo-Iweala, N., Coulibaly, B. S., Thiam, T., Kaberuka, D., Songwa, V., Masiyiwa, S., Mushikiwabo, L., & Manual, T. (2020b). Covid-19 and debt standstill for Africa: The g20’s action is an important first step that must be complemented, scaled up, and broadened
  40. Olubusoye, O. E., Salisu, A. A., & Olofin, S.O. (2016). Applied panel data analysis, (Vol.1). Centre for Econometric and Allied Research (CEAR), Ibadan: Ibadan University Press.
  41. Oostuizen, M., & Cassim, A. (2016). Informality and inclusive growth in sub-Saharan Africa. ELLA Regional Evidence Papers, Development Policy Research Unit, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
  42. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD]/Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO] (2016). Agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa: Prospects and challenges for the next decade. In OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2016-2025.
  43. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD] (2018). The framework for policy action on inclusive growth. Meeting of the OECDcouncil at ministerial level.
  44. Oyinlola, M. A., Adedeji, A. A., Bolarinwa, M.O., &Olabisi, N. (2020). Governance, domestic resource mobilization, and inclusive growth in sub-Saharan Africa. Economic Analysis and Policy,65, 68–88.
  45. Reynolds, P. D., William, D., Bygrave, E.A., Larry, W.C., & Michael, H. (2000). Global entrepreneurship monitor 2000 executive report. Wellesley, MA/London: Babson College/London Business School.
  46. Reynolds, P. D., William, D., Bygrave, E. A., Larry, W.C., & Michael, H. (2002). Global entrepreneurship monitor 2002 executive report. Wellesley, MA/London: Babson College/London Business School.
  47. Secon, H. (2020). A comprehensive timeline of the new coronavirus pandemic, from China’s first covid-19 case to the present. comprehensive-timeline-of-the-new-coronavirus-pandemic-from-chinas-first-covid-19/sbb9e4z.
  48. Srinivasu, B., & Rao, S. (2013). Infrastructure development and economic growth: Prospects and perspective. Journal of Business Management & Social Sciences Research, 2(1), 81–91.
  49. Stam, E. (2008). Entrepreneurship and innovation policy. In Nooteboom, B., & Stam, E. (eds.), Micro-Foundations for Innovation Policy. Amsterdam and Chicago: Amsterdam University Press and Chicago University Press .
  50. Suryanarayana, M. H. (2013). Inclusive growth: A sustainable perspective. Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, United Nations Development Programme, India.
  51. Thorbecke, E. (2014). The structural anatomy and institutional architecture of inclusive growth in sub-Saharan Africa. WIDER Working Paper, 041, United Nations University, UNU-WIDER.
  52. Todaro, M. P., & Smith, S. C. (2003). Economic development. Eight Edition. Delhi: Pearson Education.
  53. Toussaint, B. (2019). World bank: Sub-Saharan economic growth remains slower than expected.
  54. Trading Economics. (2020). Angola/South Africa unemployment rate.
  55. United Nations. (2015). Transforming our world: The 2030 agenda for sustainabledevelopment.
  56. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development [UNCTAD]. (2005). Entrepreneurship and economic development: The Empretec showcase. English only.
  57. United Nations Development Programme [UNDP] (2017). Strategy for inclusive and sustainable growth.
  58. Vellala, P. S., Madala, M. K., & Chhattopadhyay. (2014). A theoretical model for inclusive economic growth in India context. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 4(13), 229-235.
  59. Whajah, J., Bokpin, G.A., & Kuttu, S. (2019). Government size, public debt, and inclusive growth in Africa. Research in International Business and Finance, 49, 225–240.
  60. World Bank. (2007). World development report 2008: Agriculture and development. Washington DC: World Bank.
  61. World Bank. (2019). Growth in sub-Saharan Africa remains below three percent three years after crisis. Press Release.
  62. World Bank. (2020a). The global economic outlook during the covid-19 pandemic: A changed world. Washington DC: World Bank.
  63. World Bank. (2020b). World development indicators. Washington DC: World Bank.
  64. World Economic Forum. (2017). The inclusive growth and development report 2017.
  65. World Economic Forum. (2018). The inclusive development index 2018 summary and datahighlights.
  66. Yalnizyan, A., & Johal, S. (2018). Race to the top: Inclusive growth is the new growth model.