African debt: China to ‘co-chair’ debt restructuring talks with Zambia

By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Posted on Thursday, 28 April 2022 11:23

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi holds talks with Zambian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Stanley Kasongo Kakubo in Tunxi, east China's Anhui Province, March 19, 2022. (Xinhua/Zhou Mu)
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi holds talks with Zambian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Stanley Kasongo Kakubo in Tunxi, east China's Anhui Province, March 19, 2022. (Xinhua/Zhou Mu)

Zambia’s heavy indebtedness and lack of clarity on debt restructuring has taken its toll on key infrastructure projects across the country. But recent engagement from the Asian lender around debt restructuring may free up funds and kickstart Zambia’s infrastructure development again.

During the latest IMF/World Bank Spring meetings in April this year, People’s Bank of China governor Yi Gang announced that the country was willing to join the IMF’s Common Framework to help restructure Zambia’s debt by June this year.

Sources within the Zambian Treasury who attended the Spring Meetings said that Yi had indicated that China plans to co-chair the committee to have more influence on proceedings. They also said that Western lenders did not publicly state any opposition to China’s request.