Global Upfront Newspapers
Africa Cover News

Zambia asks China for debt relief

President of Zambia, Edgar Lungu has has gone cap-in-hand begging for debt relief and cancellation from China due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, his office said.

Lungu was said to have made the appeal in a telephone call with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Monday.

“President Lungu called for debt relief and cancellation in light of reduced revenue due to the negative impact of the pandemic, as well as competing needs for the country, to secure adequate resources to fight the pandemic and to stimulate the economy,” the presidency said in a statement released late Monday.

Zambia, Africa’s second largest copper producer is one of China’s prominent debtors, owing billions of dollars.

“Chinese project finance loans to Zambia amount to between US$6 billion and US$9 billion, based on unofficial sources,” said Robert Besseling, director of risk assessment firm EXX Africa.

“However not all the funds have been disbursed, while the Zambian government itself has been unable to account for its obligations to China. An official audit has been withheld for several years,” he said.

Zambia’s external debt is projected to soar above 60 percent of her GDP this year.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week predicted that Zambia’s economy will contract by five percent in 2020, compared to growth of 1.5 percent posted last year, due to the coronavirus pandemic and severe drought.

To date the country has recorded 2,980 coronavirus cases, including 120 deaths.

EXX Africa expects Zambia’s debt rating to “deteriorate significantly in 2020” and says it will remain “one of Africa’s worst country risk performers in the year ahead”.

“Zambia’s sovereign has been unable to maintain payments on various loan agreements and contractor commitments over the course of 2019,” said Besseling.

Mining revenue dropped nearly a third between February and April this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the country’s mining chamber.

Nearly half of the country’s tax revenues goes towards debt servicing.

AFP

Advertize With Us

See Also:

Hundreds of scientists say coronavirus is airborne, ask WHO to revise recommendations

Global Upfront

COVID-19 Lockdown: FG agrees to pay salaries of private school teachers

Global Upfront

World Health Organization halts hydroxychloroquine trials

Global Upfront

Trump threatens to ‘strongly regulate’ or shut down social media platforms after Twitter labels his tweets

Global Upfront

Gulf of Guinea Commission must be fortified by member States for optimal performance in curbing maritime crimes – Buhari

Global Upfront

Update Buhari speaks 8pm tonight

Global Upfront

P&ID: Nigeria will not negotiate with P&ID for fraud – Malami

Global Upfront

Navy rescues 18 crew members on board Chinese vessel, arrests 10

Global Upfront

Mustapha warns on dangers of almajiri “Army” of non-school children

Global Upfront

Hunger could kill millions more than COVID-19, warns Oxfam

Global Upfront

This website uses Cookies to improve User experience. We assume this is OK...If not, please opt-out! Accept Read More