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Zambian president to meet IMF, World Bank in Washington By Reuters


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: President Hakainde Haichilema, Zambia, addresses the 76th General Assembly of the United Nations at U.N. Headquarters in New York (U.S.A) on September 21, 2021. Spencer Platt/Pool via REUTERS

LUSAKA (Reuters) – Zambia’s president is due to meet the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington, his spokesman said on Wednesday, as the southern African nation tries to secure a lending programme to help it emerge from a debt crisis.

Anthony Bwalya (President Hakainde Hichilema) issued the statement from New York. He did not specify when they would be taking place.

Following a failure to make payments of nearly $13 trillion in international debts, Zambia became the first African sovereign debt defaulter. One quarter of this debt is owned either by China or Chinese entities. These deals are shrouded under secrecy provisions, which makes negotiations for IMF relief difficult.

Hichilema will be in America for the United Nations General Assembly. He won a landslide election victory in August, beating incumbent Edgar Lungu, and has pledged to reduce the fiscal deficit, restore economic growth and review mining policies in Africa’s second-largest producer.

Last month, his finance minister stated that securing an IMF program was crucial to restore creditor confidence as well as giving government access to longer-term financing at a lower cost.

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