Zambia Plans to Cancel over $2 Billion Projects to Rein in Debt

Zambia is cancelling more than $2 billion worth of projects financed by commercial loans to reduce the risk of accumulating more non-concessional debt, the ministry of finance said, Reuters reported. In 2020, Zambia became the first nation to default in the COVID-19 era. At the end of 2021, its external debt stood at $17.27 billion, of which China held $5.78 billion, and it is in negotiations with creditors and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to lift itself out of this debt hole. Zambia was in the process of cancelling projects worth an estimated $2.1 billion, the medium-term budget plan published by the ministry of finance late on Saturday showed, although it gave no details. Zambia's economic growth in 2022 is expected to slow down to 3.1% from 3.6% recorded in 2021 mainly due to the expected reduced output from the agricultural sector. Read more.