Zambia’s official creditor committee were on summer holidays, thereby stalling negotiations for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with them, says Secretary to the Treasury, Felix Nkulukusa.
The country has to seal the recently reached agreement on a comprehensive debt treatment with its Official Creditors under the G20 Common Framework by signing the MoU.
Nkulukusa, in giving an update on how government had dealt with the negotiations, said the official creditor committee members were on summer holidays hence the discussions for the MoU had stalled.
He said this on Tuesday at a Mid-Year Economic Performance and 2024-2026 Medium Term Budget Plan in Lusaka.
“We are now negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the official creditor committee and I know someone will ask a question as to why it has taken so long.
“Ordinarily, for our colleagues in the West, July and August are summer holiday, schools close and almost everyone goes on leave for their summer holidays,” he said.
He, however, mentioned that the negotiations had resumed.
“But we have resumed and we are having the discussions and we are hoping to reach the agreement very soon.
“Once we sign that MoU, then we will go and have bilateral agreements of official creditors signed based on the MoU that we have signed with the official creditor committee,” Nkulukusa said.
He also said government had scheduled several meetings in September to advance discussions on a comparable debt treatment to private creditors.
Speaking earlier, Finance and National Planning Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane, projected that Zambia would attain real Gross Domestic Product growth rate of at least 4.7 percent over the Medium Term from 2024 to 2026.
Musokotwane said despite Zambia recording a slowdown in the economy, positive growth was expected to be recorded in sectors such as manufacturing, tourism and agriculture.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) representative Preya Sharma expressed concern at the rising inflation in Zambia.
Sharma urged the Bank of Zambia to put more efforts in curtailing the inflation rate.
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