Zambia's Debt Default - A Lose-Lose Situation

It is almost a year since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. G-20 countries mobilised more than U.S.$11 trillion in stimulus packages, printing additional money to combat its scourge. Some of the world's poorest countries lack available liquidity to keep their economies afloat, let alone tackle the Covid-19 pandemic and care for its citizens. This is the case with Zambia, Africa's second-largest copper producer. Even before the pandemic, It has struggled with its finances, owing U.S.$11.1 billion in private, bilateral and multilateral debt. For months, it has faced the difficult choice between making debt repayments, or keeping its economy afloat and investing in healthcare. While Zambia was eligible for debt service suspension from some of its bilateral creditors under the G-20 debt service suspension initiative, this has had limited impact because of the composition of the country's debt, writes Edwin Ikhuoria for allAfrica.

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