Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Yellen’s Visit to Zambia Reveals US Interest in Critical Minerals, Amid Complex Lending Landscape

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US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen concluded her visit to Zambia and other African countries, sparking speculation about the purpose of her trip. According to the President of Socialist Party Zambia, Dr Fred M’membe, Yellen’s visit was to address Zambia’s debt with China and to undermine China’s position in Zambia and Africa. The reason for this, according to Dr M’membe, is critical minerals.

The timing of Yellen’s visit also coincided with that of International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva’s visit to Zambia. Dr M’membe stated that Georgieva’s mission to Zambia was transparent in all her meetings, including one with President Hakainde Hichilema. Dr M’membe also said that the media was present, and that it was nothing but a PR stunt by the IMF to claim that the institution had become better and more humane.

Posting on his Facebook page, Dr M’membe said, “What was the purpose of US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s trip to Zambia and other African countries? To address Zambia’s debt with China, to undermine China’s position in Zambia and Africa, and for what? Critical minerals! And it coincided with International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Kristalina Georgieva’s visit to Zambia. What was Georgieva’s mission to Zambia? The answer was transparent in all her meetings in Zambia, including one with President Hakainde Hichilema – the media was present. From what we observed this was nothing but a PR stunt by the IMF to claim that the institution had become better and more humane.”

Zambia has requested a 38-month arrangement from the IMF under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement (ECF) in the amount of SDR 978.2 million (Special Drawing Rights) – 100 percent of Zambia’s quota. The proposed ECF-supported program aims to restore macroeconomic stability and foster higher, more resilient, and more inclusive growth. To support this, the IMF is seeking extensions of maturity dates and reduction of interest payments.

However, there are serious challenges in this situation, according to Dr M’membe. Unlike the debt relief efforts of the 1990s and early 2000s, where lenders were mainly bilateral and multilateral, and all belonged to the Paris Club, today, lenders include private bond market holders. These lenders have different characteristics and motives, and today there’s also China, which was not one of the lenders of the 1990s and 2000s. The Chinese debt is a mixed basket of private, quasi-government and government creditors. This makes it very difficult to reach a common framework. Even when the characteristics of the lenders were similar under the Paris Club, it took more than ten years to agree on the debt relief received in the early 2000s.

Dr M’membe said, “It may take a long time to reach a deal or some consensus and it will not be fair and just to blame China for this. It is important to remember that the Chinese debt is a mixed basket of private, quasi-government and government creditors. This makes it very difficult to reach a common framework. Even when the characteristics of the lenders were similar under the Paris Club, it took more than ten years to agree on the debt relief we received in the early 2000s. And how long has it taken the IMF and the Zambian government to reach a deal? They started negotiating in 2017. This complex mixture of lenders may take a long time to reach a deal or some consensus.”

13 COMMENTS

  1. We warned you. The imperialist are very excited knowing that they now have a puppet in power to help them finish off what they started during privatisation. Look how humbled hh is in front of whltes. Anakula kumunzi.

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    • Saint Please apply even if these guys look like they dont want an editor. I’m sure you would improve it. The article above has no by line. We are not told who wrote it and why and the LT editorial think its ok. Yayi mwe.

  2. Both USA and China have similar interests in Zambia and Africa as a whole. Resources! Who does not know that? Ba Fred, ikalenife panshi. Talk too much for none.

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  3. Zambia shouldn’t be dealing with the brutal American regime. These people murder their own people through the police on a daily basis. The finance wars in Africa, middle east and now Europe. Why should we be doing business with them when they represent everything we consider bad? Imagine if the US were an African country?

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    • Have you ever asked yourself why so many Africans die trying to emigrate to western world? Don’t ‘push’ propaganda here. What Mumembe says is not to be trusted on face value!

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    • They die because of organised criminals who pray on people with your kind of mentality. You are asking the wrong question by the way. The question you should be asking is why are they not received with open arms when they try to go to Europe? If they haven’t helped you in the last 500 years, why would they want to help you now? No propaganda here just common sense.

  4. This is terrible, this was her own child. This woman has a problem for sure and she did this after the child went to visit her own mother,the child’s grandmother. What is happening in this world? The woman needs serious counseling up to the level of Chainama Mental hospital and possibly also prayers. No one one should attack a child no matter the circumstances like this let alone your own child.

  5. Fred M’membe never asks himself why so many Chinese mainlanders were trying to go to HongKong before 1978. He never asks himself why so many North Koreans are trying to get to South Korea and why so many East Germans were trying to get to West Germany before the Berlin wall was torn down. Capitalism has seen many crises but it eventually adapts and continues to exist.

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  6. Very soon Western Media will be applauding Zambia as the most democratic and economically advanced country in Africa even the bag of the our staple food will be costing 300 Kwacha.

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