Saturday, July 20, 2024

Dr Musokotwane confirms Zambia’s first creditor meeting is set for Thursday

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Zambia will hold its first meeting with its international creditors on Thursday, Finance Minister Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane said, but acknowledged that the government’s aim of concluding negotiations by the end of June no longer looked tenable.

“We are one step closer to debt resolution because those discussions are beginning this Thursday,” Dr. Musokotwane told a media briefing on Tuesday.

France, which hosts the Paris Club forum for international creditors, and China are co-chairs of the bilateral negotiations to restructure Zambia’s external debt, which stood at $17.27 billion at the end of 2021, according to government data.

Zambia reached a staff-level deal on a $1.4 billion three-year extended credit facility with the International Monetary Fund in December and needs to finish bilateral talks to secure the funding.

Dr. Musokotwane said that he was hopeful the IMF programme would kick in after the creditor meeting and that Zambia had been ready for the meeting since December, but creditors had their own issues which had now been resolved.

“We are another step forward towards resolving this problem of unsustainable debt,” he said.

Dr. Musokotwane had previously repeatedly said he hoped the restructuring process would be done by the end of June, a timetable analysts had long deemed ambitious.

Last month, sources with knowledge of the process said China was holding up the debt relief discussions.

China said it was ready to support Zambia with its debts.

China and Chinese entities held $5.78 billion of Zambia’s debt at the end of 2021.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Instead of taxing the mines that are making huge profits at the current copper prices, our government have chosen to give tax holidays then go begging for the money that is their own. How do you repay debt by borrowing? Please business men educate me here. HH was very critical criticizing PF for borrowing now he and his Finance Minister are the chief beggars on the continent.

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  2. You criticised others for borrowing and this is same thing you are doing. The much talked 1990s privatisation, the sale of the mines and parastatal companies left many Zambians jobless and destitutes,while a few individuals got rich.A lot of companies that were privatised went under.

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  3. I know the result already of this meeting: BIG FAT ZERO! Those creditors have had enough and want their money!

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