The Zambian government has awarded a six month contract to a UK consultancy to help manage communications regarding the country’s debt restructuring process.
Highgate Advisory Ltd will handle Zambia’s public relations issues on debt for six months at a cost of GBP 333,403.54
According to information on its website, Highgate is strategic counsel advisory firm, working directly for CEOs, political leaders, and prominent individuals throughout the world.
“Drawing on senior expertise from the political, corporate intelligence and media sectors, Highgate’s consultants design and execute political, business and communication strategies, manage crises, and improve clients’ operations, reputation and stakeholders’ relations,” the website states.
The decision to award the contract to Highgate was confirmed by Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba in a statement.
“As part of Government’s ongoing process aimed at restoring Zambia’s public debt sustainability, it became necessary to engage a specialized communication firm with experience in debt restructuring related communication to ensure effective communication with all creditors and stakeholders,” Mr Yamba said.
Mr Yamba stated that it is international best practice for countries restructuring their external debt to hire a financial advisor, a legal advisor and a communication advisor to assist in the restructuring process.
Mr Yamba said the recruitment of Highgate was done in line with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act and that five international firms were invited to participate in the international tender and three submitted their proposals.
“Highgate Advisory Ltd was the best evaluated bidder during the evaluation process and was therefore engaged by the Government for this assignment. The engagement is for a period of six (06) months, at a total cost of GBP 333,403.54.”
He said Highgate is specialized in debt restructuring communication and has assisted a number of countries in debt restructuring programs.
“As the Communication Advisor to the Republic of Zambia, Highgate will work in collaboration with Zambia’s financial and legal advisors, Lazard Freres and White & Case LLP respectively, to manage communications with respect to all aspects of the debt management process in order to promote transparency during the debt management process and facilitate timely dissemination of information about the debt management process to all domestic and international stakeholders.”
He said the consulting is also expected to facilitate and support Zambia’s communication with all creditors including international bondholders,
promote Zambia as an investment destination a d foster international diplomatic support from bilateral partners including the enhancemeng of communication of Zambia’s economic developments with all stakeholders and encourage support from both international and domestic stakeholders to the Government’s debt management exercise.
He said Government is confident that the engagement of the communication advisor will add value to the ongoing debt management process and will facilitate the timely and transparent flow of information to its domestic and international stakeholders regarding this process.
“Due to the nature of the debt restructuring exercise, it may be necessary to procure such specialized short term advisory/consultancy services as and when required.”