IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and Zambia President Hakainde Hichilema. PHOTO | Courtesy

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has urged Zambia creditors to seal debt treatment agreements with Zambia as soon as possible in order to ease the country's debt distress.

The mineral reach African country has seen its total external debt balloon to more than $17 billion dollars prompting it to enter debt restructuring agreement with the G20 and Paris Club countries under the Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI).

“Zambia also needs swift resolution of its debt situation to complement these reform efforts and preserve the positive growth momentum,” said Georgieva on her visit to Zambia Tuesday  where she met President Hakainde Hichilema, Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane, and Central Bank Governor Dr Denny Kalyala .

She added, “We recognize that these are complex and challenging discussions, but it is clear from my visit that Zambia is doing its part, so I strongly encourage creditors to move forward and reach an agreement on a debt treatment as soon as possible. That would ensure we can move forward with the first review of the Fund-supported economic program and resolve a key source of uncertainty weighing on the outlook.”

In December last year, the World Bank said Zambia is in debt distress and urgently needs deep and comprehensive debt treatment in line with the Joint WB-IMF Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) that called for $8.4 billion in debt relief in 2022-2025 and additional relief through 2031.

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