done deal

Zambia: Creditors agree to restructure debt


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Posted on June 23, 2023 09:56

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema
Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema. Andy Buchanan/POOL/AFP

Zambia’s lenders, including major creditor China, have agreed to restructure the country’s public debt, officials said Thursday, providing financial relief to the first African nation to default after the Covid pandemic.

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema said the country had “reached an agreement on a debt treatment with our official creditors”, calling it a “significant milestone in our journey towards economic recovery (and) growth”.

The agreement on $6.3 billion of Zambia’s debt was confirmed by a French official on condition of anonymity, on the sidelines of a summit aimed at revamping the international financial system to better tackle climate change and poverty.

Zambia, Africa’s biggest copper producer, with a population of nearly 20 million people, defaulted on its $18.6 billion external debt in 2020 but negotiations had stumbled over differences between China and Western creditors.

The United States had accused China of delaying the debt agreement.

The deal involves bilateral debts between Zambia and other countries, with the bulk — $4.1 billion — being its debt with China, the French

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