This April, Zambia will go head-to-head with the largest investment company in the world, BlackRock. For the financial giant, it’s just business as usual. But for the Zambian people, the stakes are much higher.
Zambia is in the middle of a huge debt crisis. Debt payments were already higher than health, education and social spending combined. But it is the Zambian people who are paying the ultimate price.
BlackRock is one of Zambia’s biggest lenders. During the pandemic they refused the request to suspend debt repayments, alongside other big global banks. Sky high interest rates mean that Zambians are due to pay back double what was initially borrowed. Is it any wonder that the country has reached breaking point?
Over the next few months, the Zambian government will be negotiating with BlackRock and other lenders, and trying to get some of the huge amount of unjust debt written off.
Zambian campaigners are calling for debt cancellation – but what BlackRock doesn’t know is that they are not alone. Thousands of us are standing up for the future we want. Our world is one where countries like Zambia won’t ever have to choose between funding public services or paying off harmful debts.
It is Zambia vs BlackRock, David vs Goliath. But when Zambia goes into those negotiations in April, we must stand with them.