Adverse weather conditions have affected crop production and stifled power generation in Zambia. President Edgar Lungu has consequently cut the country’s 2019 economic growth forecast.
The country is also struggling with high debt levels. Foreign currency reserves are down and the International Monetary Fund says growth is likely to remain subdued over the medium term. The Breton Wood institution sees a 2 per cent growth this year, from an initial projection of 4 per cent.
In an address to parliament, President Lungu said Zambia will endeavour to tackle domestic arrears and maintain debt within sustainable levels. The country’s debt rose to $10.5 billion at the end of last year, compared to $8.74 billion a year earlier. This raises fears that Africa’s second-largest copper producer is headed for a debt crisis.
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