Saturday, February 24, 2024

IMF Managing Director Commends Zambia’s Efforts to Tackle Debt and Economic Reforms, Pledges Continued Support

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This morning, the President of the Republic of Zambia, Hakainde Hichilema, welcomed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, and her team to State House for a crucial meeting to discuss the economic situation of the country. During the meeting, Hichilema thanked the IMF for supporting Zambia’s home-grown economic transformation agenda and urged them and other similar institutions to do more in ensuring that their programs have an immediate impact on the people of Zambia.

“We are grateful for the support that the IMF has provided to our country in these difficult times. However, we believe that more needs to be done to ensure that our programs have a tangible and immediate impact on the lives of our people,” said President Hichilema.

The meeting focused on the need for tangible and speedy progress in resolving Zambia’s debt restructuring process in order to quickly put the country on a more sound economic footing. Ms. Georgieva commended the Zambian government’s good use of public resources in pivoting towards areas of social growth such as education. She affirmed the Fund’s commitment to the Zambian people, whom she hailed as the country’s best resource.

“The Zambian people are our country’s best resource and the IMF is committed to supporting them in any way that we can,” said Ms. Georgieva.

Ms. Georgieva was impressed with the efforts made by the Zambian government to tackle the country’s debt situation and key economic reforms, which have laid the foundation for sustainable economic growth. In December 2021, the IMF team reached a staff-level agreement with the Zambian authorities on a new arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for 2022-2025 in the amount of about US$1.4 billion to help restore macroeconomic stability and provide the foundation for an inclusive economic recovery.

“The Zambian government has made significant efforts to tackle the country’s debt situation and key economic reforms, which have laid the foundation for sustainable economic growth. We are pleased to have reached a staff-level agreement with the authorities on a new arrangement under the ECF for 2022-2025,” said Ms. Georgieva.

Ms. Georgieva said she is elated that Zambia has made tremendous progress towards restoring the economy supported by the IMF, which seeks to restore fiscal and debt sustainability. She also stated that the IMF is keen to continue its engagement with Zambia to generate more momentum for economic growth.

“We are thrilled to see the progress that Zambia has made towards restoring its economy, and we look forward to continuing our engagement with the country to generate more momentum for economic growth,” said Ms. Georgieva.

ZAMBIA, LUSAKA: Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva shares a light moment with President Hakainde Hichilema and minister of finance Situmbeko Musokotwane (left) at State House in Lusaka on January 23, 2023 - Picture by Salim Dawood
ZAMBIA, LUSAKA: Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva shares a light moment with President Hakainde Hichilema and minister of finance Situmbeko Musokotwane (left) at State House in Lusaka on January 23, 2023 – Picture by Salim Dawood

Meanwhile, President Hichilema said that further delay in debt restructuring may affect the gains that have been made so far and hopes that the restructuring program can be concluded before the end of the first quarter of 2023. The head of state said that the expedition of the debt restructuring program will create fiscal space for the much-needed social spending, investment, and strengthen economic governance.

“We cannot afford to delay the debt restructuring process any further. It is essential that we conclude this program as soon as possible in order to create fiscal space for the much-needed social spending, investment, and strengthen economic governance,” said President Hichilema.

 

In conclusion, this visit gives renewed hope for heightened collaboration between the Zambian government and the IMF and reaffirms the Fund’s confidence in Zambia’s home-grown reform agenda. The President and the Managing Director are both optimistic that the debt restructuring process will be concluded before the end of the first quarter of 2023, and with the IMF’s support, Zambia will be able to achieve sustainable economic growth and improve the lives of its people.

Meanwhile, Speaking when the IMF Managing Director paid a courtesy call at his office, Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane said that addressing Zambia’s excessive debt has been top on the Government’s agenda.

He further said that this is why the Government is focused on pushing for debt relief.

Dr. Musokotwane further thanked the IMF for the continued support towards addressing Zambia’s debt.

In 2020, Zambia defaulted on its sovereign debt hence, becoming the first African country to do so during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In December 2021, the IMF team reached a staff-level agreement with the Zambian authorities on a new arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility -ECF- for 2022-2025 in the amount of about US$1.4 billion to help restore macroeconomic stability and provide the foundation for an inclusive economic recovery.

And in August last year, Zambia won the IMF approval for a US$1.3 billion IMF bailout package, a three-year loan programme intended to help ease pressure on its public finances while it conducts US$1.3 billion restructuring discussions, and the approval was met to also help the Zambian government to clear the outstanding debt owed to local contractors.

21 COMMENTS

  1. The IMF is not an effective financial and economic watchdog of the world. It looks away when issues of tax dodging by international business arises despite the damaging financial and economic imbalances that this causes. Unfortunately I see little awareness of this among elites in Zambia.

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  2. She’s come to sell us more expensive debts. I don’t see the point of this trip if the creditors are not involved or part of the delegation. Why is this woman trying to negotiate our debt with China but at the same time we are boing told that China wants to colonise us when in truth they are the ones itching to do so?

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  3. The simple point is if international business paid its fair share of taxes, there would be fewer international debt problems and more financial stability, assuming of course that governments would spend wisely.

  4. Fellow bloggers apart from upnd supporters, I am unfortunately not feeling well. High temperature and shivering. I have also been vomiting. Pray for me. Hh anilowa

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    • Yes. He believes in witchcraft. Thats why he hasnt shifted to State House. He thinks Lungu left a chitumwa in one of the bedrooms and it could confuse him. In the night it could start dictating to him China policies and cancelling ties with Israel. And this ilomba could tell him to reverse recognition of Saharawi and shun Zambia’s newly found ties with Morocco too

  5. If you think the Chinese love you because you are black, …………think again

    They actually despise you………..

    and only tolerate you because of raw materials and your large and mass with low population

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  6. Ooooh the lord knows that I hate the IMF with all those who consort with them with HUGE passion. Is hate sinful? I have committed sin.
    How do these niggaz honestly think that the IMF will fix things in Zambia. They have never done that anywhere they take their masushi.
    IMF is more dangerous than China. In fact none of these entities are any better. Zambian politicians are huge failures. Especially the contemporaries in Government. Very naive. You can’t sit on the sidelines and allow the white niggaz to control you no matter what. Debt or otherwise. You can’t drive when you don’t control.

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  7. @ Thorn in The Flesh: Its simple , cos you Africans cant fix anything for yourselves! Ok ,if we chase IMF now, who will help us with the money we need to restructure debt ?Who? You and your father?

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    • The mines, agriculture. We are giving away in mining taxes more than we are getting from IMF. Next question, please. It is not we are completely hopless

    • There’s a terrible inferiority complex exuding from this Nyawa tembo. He even runs away from his identity saying “you Africans”. Why not say We Africans? You’re so ashamed of being an African?
      Who will help us? is an expression of helplessness, desperation. What a silly question. Help yourself! The answers are always here never there.

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