President Hakainde Hichilema has said it is important to expedite the implementation of the debt restructuring deal in order to ensure that its benefits reach the people of Zambia and stimulate economic improvement. He specifically called upon the World Bank to take swift action in executing the debt restructuring agreement and assured that no obstacles would hinder the process.
President Hichilema acknowledged the critical partnership between the Zambian government and international financial institutions, expressing gratitude for the support received thus far. He also highlighted the government’s readiness to assist other countries in debt restructuring if the need arises.
During a courtesy call by the World Bank Country Director, Nathan Belete, at State House, President Hichilema expressed his appreciation for the bank’s support during the debt restructuring negotiations. The World Bank has already approved over $1.1 billion for Zambia through the Common Framework since the commencement of the discussions. This substantial support reflects the government’s commitment to fiscal discipline, reforms, and the country’s growth agenda.
Mr. Belete, who congratulated Zambia on the successful debt restructuring deal, pledged the World Bank’s continued commitment to building partnerships that drive economic growth. He expressed optimism about expanding the collaboration between the Zambian government and the World Bank in the coming years. Furthermore, Mr. Belete shared his satisfaction that the World Bank President would hold bilateral talks with President Hichilema, further enhancing the partnership.
President Hakainde Hichilema, in response to the meeting, expressed his delight at hosting Mr. Nathan Belete, the World Bank Country Director for Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. He expressed gratitude to the World Bank Group for its significant role in the successful debt restructuring agreement reached in Paris, France, last week. The President highlighted that the debt restructuring program marks the beginning of tangible efforts to transform the Zambian economy by increasing investment in critical areas such as human capital, agriculture, infrastructure, energy, private sector development, climate, and gender empowerment.
The President also appealed for additional support to diversify Zambia’s industrial base through robust value addition, particularly for small-scale entrepreneurs. This strategic approach aims to generate more job opportunities, especially for the country’s youthful population. President Hichilema emphasized the government’s commitment to enhancing technological and digital platforms to improve efficiency across various sectors, including revenue collection and public services.
Looking ahead, President Hichilema expressed his eagerness to continue collaborating with the World Bank on their shared vision of triggering inclusive growth and uplifting the people of Zambia. The debt restructuring agreement serves as a stepping stone toward achieving the country’s economic transformation agenda and promoting prosperity for all.