Zambias external debt has continued on its growth trajectory and stood at USD$10.05 billion as at December 2018 compared to USD 8.74 billion at the end of 2017.
The rise in debt is attributed to increased disbursements on previously contracted loans for on-going economic infrastructure programmes aimed at supporting economic diversification and structural transformation.
Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe said External debt service during the period was US$759.9 million and Government guaranteed debt stood at US$1.3 billion.
She said in a statement that domestic debt stood at K58.3 billion at the end of 2018 compared to K48.4 billion in 2017 with the increase partly attributed to the Government’s effort to realign the composition of Zambia’s public debt in line with the Medium-Term-Debt-Strategy.
Mrs. Mwanakatwe said Domestic debt service in 2018 was K8.20 billion compared to K5.5 billion in 2017.
She added that the close of 2018, total domestic arrears stood at K15.1 billion and in an effort to dismantle the arrears, a total of K4.5 billion was paid out in 2018 against the budget target of K1.3 billion budget.