Zambia is committed to improving the transparency of its debt management and will ensure that debt levels remain sustainable, President Edgar Lungu said on Tuesday, responding to concerns about rising debt in Africa’s second-largest copper producer.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) rejected Zambia’s borrowing plans earlier this year and said the southern African country was at high risk of debt distress, unnerving investors holding Zambian debt.
“Zambia will remain steadfast in ensuring that our debt remains sustainable and does not compromise our sovereignty,” Lungu told a conference organised by the World Bank.
“This country is implementing bold measures to ensure that we achieve debt and fiscal sustainability.”
World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva said at the conference in Livingstone, south of the capital Lusaka, that African countries needed to act decisively against growing debt.
Lungu said his government was ready to heed advice from donors and would ensure that it took out only concessional and low-interest loans.
The IMF said on Monday that it had held constructive talks with Zambian authorities during a visit to the country last week but made no mention of any plans for new loans to Zambia.
Zambian Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe said last week that the government planned to send a delegation to China, an important player in the Zambian economy by the end of this year to discuss debt restructuring.