Some highlights from Finance Minister Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane’s interview on Hot-Fm today:

✅The Government of the Republic of Zambia is delighted that it has reached and concluded the debt restructuring with Eurobond holders over the country’s US$3.5 billion.
✅Debt restructuring is a milestone for Zambia because it was very complicated unlike the heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative which was a slightly different process in the sense that during the HIPC Initiative, Zambia only owed few creditors.
✅Those owed were the world Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and bilateral countries which made it easy for creditors to provide debt relief for Zambia with a clear road map of what the country needed to do for a successful debt relief.
✅And the Minister stressed that debt restructuring was very complicated because Zambia owed many different categories of private creditors and there was a need to collectively negotiate interest rates which was not easy hence the delay in concluding the deal.
✅Once the country’s economy stabilises, Zambia will be allowed to pay more than what has been agreed now to dismantle the debt faster.
✅ Citizens should not expect prices of essential commodities to drastically drop, but some will come down.
✅Without the support of IMF and other donors, Government would have had challenges to provide services to its citizens and without debt restructuring Zambia would have faced severe consequences.
✅IMF will be coming into Zambia every after six months to check if the country is adhering to the commitments.
✅The Minister, however, revealed that Government is still dealing with commercial banks who leant money to the Zambian Government and other local service providers.
✅With the debt restructuring which will give Zambia breathing space, there is need to increase copper production to three million metric tonnes as opposed to the 750, 000 metric tonnes which Zambia has been producing for many years now.
✅There is need to increase agricultural productivity to improve the economy and the country’s food security.
✅If Zambia defaults, the debt restructuring programme will collapse.
✅Zambia should not expect to borrow and expect lenders to cancel the debts.
✅The debt restructuring deal gives Zambia a chance to invest more for the economy to grow and stabilize
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