In 2020, Zambia became the first on the continent to default on its estimated $17.3 billion foreign debt during the pandemic. 

In December, the government secured a $1.4 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund, but the three-year agreement in principle was given in exchange for the government’s commitment to undertake deep economic reforms. 

After the Official Creditor Committee for Zambia provided its financial assurances clearing the way for a Fund program, Zambia is set to access a 1.3 billion dollars IMF-support fund bailout which was validated just after Zambia’s creditors agreed to provide debt relief. 

The committee of creditors co-chaired by China and France announced on Saturday they were ready to negotiate the restructuration of Lusaka’s crushing debt load. IMF’s support plan had been signed in December 2021 but was suspended until the green light was given. 

Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF’s managing director, said that she was “very pleased” the fund could be unlocked. “Amid elevated debt levels and tightening financial conditions, I look forward to the Common Framework working for other countries facing debt problems” she tweeted 

Situmbeko Musokotwane, Zambia’s finance minister, expressed confidence that his nation will put the “economy back on a sustainable growth track.” Despite the fact that Zambia still has to negotiate the terms of the relief and reach a similar deal with private creditors.   

 

  

 

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