Japanese Ambassador to Zambia and COMESA, Mizuuchi Ryuta and Finance and National Planning Minister Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane, MP, yesterday morning conferred to discuss development cooperation.
During the meeting held at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning Headquarter in Lusaka, Ambassador Mizuuchi Ryuta reiterated Japan’s strong support for Zambia’s debt restructuring process, and added that, the world’s 4th largest economy “also looks forward to the IMF board approval of Zambia’s programme once all the processes are completed.”
Mr. Ryuta confirmed that a private sector mission of Japanese firms, mostly those based in South Africa, will visit Zambia during the course of the year for information exchange and investment exploration purposes.
At the meeting, Dr Musokotwane thanked Japan for its unwavering support for Zambia’s debt restructuring process and other developmental affairs.
He took the opportunity to invite the Japanese private sector to develop strong partnerships with their Zambian counterparts so as to optimize the best of both worlds in industrial development, manufacturing, commerce, and trade.
“We want to see more Japanese investors coming to set-up businesses in Zambia in collaboration with the local private sector for the mutual benefit of both parties,” he said.
The key beneficiary sectors of Japan’s (through JICA) cooperating and assistance in Zambia are education, health, energy and mining, and water resources and disaster management. Others include transportation, natural resource and energy, private sector development, and agricultural and rural development.
Dr. Musokotwane was accompanied at the meeting by Secretary to the Treasury Felix Nkulukusa and Permanent Secretary for Economic Management and Finance, Danies Chisenda.
Meanwhile, Zambia’s public sector debt rose 18% to $31.74 billion by the end of 2021 from end-June. This is according to a Ministry of Finance document published this week. This is at a time when Zambia is negotiating to restructure its crippling debt.
Foreign currency debt accounts for 54% of Zambia’s borrowing, rising 2% in the second half of 2021 to $17.27 billion.
Local currency debt jumped 43% to $14.47 billion.
In 2020, Zambia became the first country to have defaulted in the pandemic era, buckling under a debt burden of more than 120% of GDP.
It reached a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in December 2021 on a $1.4bn three-year extended credit facility.
Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane told Reuters in February that he hoped to get a formal IMF agreement signed off in May, but the timeline was deemed ambitious by analysts as the group of Paris Club creditors and China have yet to form a creditor committee.
President Haikainde Hichilema pledged to deal with the “unsustainable” debt burden when sworn in as Zambia’s new leader in August 2021.
Investors cannot develop Zambia but Zambians can.They only bring their investment where they can reap quickly.
Debt is going up and no sign of IMF bailout
As it looks we can get in to more debt then
Japanese investors don’t like corruption, and will not come when they find out that Bally’s socalled fight against graft have proven to be nothing more than empty words. And with government not acting on the IMF conditions for the loan, especially the reluctance to abolish fuel and electricity subsidies, that loan won’t be forthcoming. The debts are only increasing! Not what you promised Me President!
Situmbeko Musokotwane’s call doesn’t make sense. How many Japanese owned businesses are in Zambia? I can’t any except franchise holders. The Japs regards us as a market, even what they do here is to harness that market. Even their presence in South Africa is largely through franchise holders like Toyota SA, GC Africa, etc. We have our own Toyota Zambia or Marunouchi Motors, so which businesses is Situmbeko talking about? Zambia’s economic emancipation doesn’t lie with foreign investors. We’ve been singing this same song since kingdom come. He’s supposed to encourage Zambians to fill the void and not foreigner. Paul Kabuswe is making the same call in RSA at Jubilee Minerals. He’s failed to run the Black Mountain so he wants boers to come and take over, brainless Ministers!
Our Zambia will only develop when we start to realise that we should be the investors we running around looking for. Its time we forget about european, chinese etc investments. are we all so stupid that we can not exploit the natural resources in our country ?
I agree with you 100%…why do we always look elsewhere to find investors…why not Zambians…..Spaka and Tarino Orange blah blah blah 24hours on Lusaka Times instead of thinking of investing in Zambia….anyway Spaka and Tarino Orange are now using different names to criticize HH the demagogue President……we know the deal….
@Moto : you say Investors cannot develop Zambia but Zambians themselves. Ok very true but mere wishful thinking,cos if Zambians can develop Zambia,why havent they done so in since 1964? its now,let me calculate, 58years of independence and yet all you can do 58yrs later is sit and complain “oh foreigners cannot develop but us we will – how? probably when commenting here u are using a fokong windows 7 from honkhong,you havent even made you keyboard yet – just tell me how?
58 years after independence you are still importing toothpicks, so which “‘Zambians will develop Zambia” are you talking abt.
We have been reduced to beggars.
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