Zambia Finance Minister: Official Creditors Have Second Meeting to Discuss Debt Relief

Zambia's official sector creditors met on Thursday to discuss the type of debt relief to offer the country, Finance Minister Situmbeko Musoktwane told Reuters. Zambia became the first African sovereign default in the COVID-19 era in late 2020 and has been struggling to restructure debt that reached 133% of GDP at the end of 2021, which analysts have blamed partly on the high number and diversity of creditors. "We are hoping that this can be done quickly so that we can be given the much-needed relief," he said, adding that it was not known how long the meeting would take due to the high number of official bilateral lenders. Zambia won approval for a $1.3 billion, 38-month loan programme from the International Monetary Fund in August 2022 after its official creditors, the largest of which is China, pledged in July to restructure the country's debts. Zambia's external debt was $14.87 billion at the end of June 2022.">Read more.