Zambia pays over US $800m towards debt
MORE than US$ 800 million has so far been paid in debt servicing this year alone, Minister of Finance Margaret Mwanakatwe has announced.
This is why within the current session of Parliament, I will be presenting specific details on the implementation of austerity measures related P.4 to debt — Ms Mwanakatwe.
And Ms Mwanakatwe described the just-ended 2018 annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group that were held in Bali, Indonesia, as a successful. The minister said government was working round the clock to ensure that the country’s bonds and debt returned to the level that other emerging market bonds were trading at. She said in a statement that the successful bilateral meetings with development partners, the cordial business meetings and the great investor forums which the Zambian delegation had in Bali were signals that the country’s economic reform policies and programmes were of international market standard. Ms Mwanakatwe said that the policies and programmes would continue to attract quality stakeholder interest, both locally and in the international community because they had credible third party international validation. “Apart from attending the meetings, public events and dialogue with the two Bretton Woods organisations, my delegation held bilateral meetings with institutions such as the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom, the Japanese Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Arab Bank for African Development (BADEA). “The delegation also had a country-level bilateral meeting with Sweden and had business meetings with Standard Chartered Bank, Franklin Templeton, Goldman Sachs, Lazard, White Oak, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s. The minister also requested World Bank and IMF, based on their respective mandates, to help Zambia in further strengthening the fiscal position by improving debt management capacity, increasing domestic resource mobilisation and deepening local capital markets. Ms Mwanakatwe said that through such interactions, Zambia was working round the clock to ensure that the bonds and debt return to the level that other emerging market bonds were trading at. She said government’s thoughts resonated with those of its development partners that debt vulnerabilities over the last few years posed the risk of reversing the benefits of earlier debt relief initiatives. “This is why within the current session of Parliament, I will be presenting specific details on the implementation of austerity measures related to debt,” said Ms Mwanakatwe. Ms Mwanakatwe said that the effort was already being complimented by solid policy frameworks, plans for adequate fiscal and external buffers as stated in the 2019 Budget Address, and sustainable and transparent lending practices as espoused in the Medium Term Debt Strategy.