Zambia – Stumbling into a debt crisis

15th December 2017
A mountain of loans for expensive infrastructure and equipment is rapidly growing along with other loans that many fear are unsustainable
Amid growing concerns over the scale and urgency of Zambia’s impending debt crisis, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have joined those who believe the country is heading for financial disaster. The relationship between the Fund and the government has ‘become almost a saga’, said the Fund’s Resident Representative in Zambia, Alfredo Baldini, at an IMF presentation on 4 December in Lusaka. He said the level of debt was ‘scary’ and ‘very worrying for the Fund’.
The World Bank has also added its voice to the growing chorus of concerned onlookers, saying in its report How Zambia can Borrow without Sorrow, published on 7 December, that the real ‘tragedy’ is ‘the lack of productive assets Zambia can show from the borrowing’. In other words, the vast sums borrowed were not put into productive investment.
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