The IMF has released its Debt Sustainability Assessment for Zambia. The documents say that $8.4 billion of debt payments needs to be cancelled by government and external private creditors between 2022 and 2025, further cancellation will be needed of payments between 2026 and 2031 but sets no limits on payments after 2031. Debt Justice has estimated that $8.4 billion of debt payments is 90% of payments to government and external private creditors between 2022 and 2025.
Reacting to the release Tim Jones, Head of Policy at Debt Justice said:
“It is welcome that the IMF is pushing for large scale cancellation of Zambia’s external debt payments in the next four years. But these must be cancelled permanently, not rolled over to the 2030s to fuel another debt crisis next decade. Zambia’s private lenders such as BlackRock lent at high interest rates because they said the loans were risky. That risk has materialised and they need to be made to permanently cancel a large amount of the debt.”
The Zambian Civil Society Debt Alliance and Debt Justice estimate that at least two-thirds of the debt, and all interest, needs to be cancelled by governmental and external private lenders.