IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The outlook for commercial bank lending to sub-Saharan Africa


  • Sirleaf, Ellen Johnson
  • Nyirjesy, Francis


Since its peak in 1980-82, medium- and long-term commercial bank lending to sub-Saharan Africa has been declining - partly because of many banks'perception that lending to the African market represents high risks unjustified by the available returns. The prospects for an appreciable increase in such lending are not promising. Despite some progress under economic adjustment programs, banks are skeptical about sub-Saharan African governments'ability and willingness to continue with reform. And in a time of tight regulation, most banks have ample opportunities in other parts of the world. The purpose of this paper is to identify and examine key issues involved in the future of long-term commercial bank lending to Africa. It presents the historical record and briefly reviews the nature of commercial bank lending and the changing profile of foreign commercial bank presences in the region. It examines the constraints to and opportunities for increased commercial bank lending as perceived by a representative sampling of commercial banks in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Finally, the paper presents a scope for action, a pulling together of ideas that could help remove constraints to lending to a select number of sub-Saharan African markets in the short-term, with a view to stimulation of lending to the entire region in the long-term.

Suggested Citation

  • Sirleaf, Ellen Johnson & Nyirjesy, Francis, 1991. "The outlook for commercial bank lending to sub-Saharan Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 720, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:720

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. M. O. Odedokun, 1996. "Foreign Creditors' Perception of Risks in Lending to African Countries: Evidence from Interestā€Rate Spread," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 14(4), pages 391-408, December.

    More about this item


    Banks&Banking Reform; Financial Intermediation; Financial Crisis Management&Restructuring; Economic Adjustment and Lending; Economic Theory&Research;


    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
    1. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Wikipedia Romanian ne '')
    2. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Wikipedia Indonesian ne '')


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:720. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.