Zambia and IMF to resume virtual talks


Zambia will begin virtual talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a possible program under the Extended Credit Facility (EFC), a government official said on Wednesday.

The virtual talks will start on Nov. 4, 2021.

“The aim of the discussions with the IMF is to achieve a staff level agreement that outlines an agreed policy reform package and a related medium-term macro-fiscal framework that, together with a debt restructuring package, would restore fiscal and debt sustainability, boost inclusive growth, and strengthen economic governance,” Felix Nkulukusa, Secretary to the Treasury said.

The government, he said, was committed to foster economic recovery and restore debt sustainability as part of its plan to build a more resilient and productive economy in order to create jobs, drive innovation, and protect livelihoods.

Last week, the finance ministry said an IMF deal was key before restructuring the nation’s debt and expressed confidence that discussions would be concluded as planned.

Zambia defaulted on its sovereign debt a year ago, becoming the first African nation to do so during the COVID-19 era.

Zambia is banking on the IMF deal so that it could restructure its debts with other creditors.

Zambia’s external debt stood at 12.91 billion U.S. dollars at the end of June 2021, according to finance ministry figures. Enditem

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