President Hakainde Hichilema Wants Quick Debt Restructuring to Boost Recovery

President Hakainde Hichilema Wants Quick Debt Restructuring to Boost Recovery (News Central TV)

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema has urged the country’s creditors to agree to a fast debt restructuring in order to boost the country’s economic recovery efforts.

President Hichilema made the comments during a visit to Zambia by International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, who met with Hichilema, Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane, central bank governor Denny Kalyalya, and other top government officials.

President Hakainde Hichilema Wants Quick Debt Restructuring to Boost Recovery (News Central TV)

Zambia became the first African country to default on its sovereign debt in 2020, amid the COVID-19 epidemic.

In August of last year, it received IMF permission for a $1.3 billion three-year loan package to help relieve strain on its public finances while it negotiates a $13 billion restructuring.

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“If (the debt restructuring is) not concluded soon, it is going to distort all the good efforts that we have been making to reconstruct the economy and bring investment,” Hichilema told Georgieva in remarks heard by reporters, according to Reuters

He added that if the reform was concluded by a government deadline of the end of the first quarter of this year it may help a lot to free up areas that are sometimes producing bad attitude.

Georgieva praised the administration for shifting away from excessive spending and toward more responsible fiscal management. She stated that the IMF would like to collaborate with Zambia to achieve economic growth.

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Georgieva, who has lobbied hard for faster debt relief progress, has stated that she hopes Zambia would be the second country, after Chad, to complete a debt treatment process under the Group of 20 major economies’ Common Framework.


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