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Zambia’s external debt rises to $14.3 billion, as govt blames financing of ongoing priority projects


Zambia’s external debt has reached US$14.3 billion as at end, September 2023, driven by continued costs on existing project loans largely from multilateral institutions.

Secretary to the Treasury, Felix Nkulukusa, attributed the continued increase in the external debt to a few bilateral creditors in financing on-going priority infrastructure projects.

Nkulukusa stated that the external debt had swelled from US$13.9 billion recorded as end December 2022.

He said this on Friday at the Symposium on the 2023 Budget Performance and Economic Developments in Lusaka.

Read more: Official and private creditors urged to prioritise, execute restructuring of Zambia’s debt, others

“The Central government external debt stock increased to US$14.3 billion as at end-September 2023 from US$13.9 billion as at end December 2022.

“The increase was on account of continued disbursements on existing project loans largely from multilateral institutions and a few bilateral creditors to finance on-going priority infrastructure projects,” he said.

Nkulukusa also said the domestic debt stock increased to K232.6 billion as at end-December 2023.

This was from K210.0 billion recorded as at end 2022.
He explained that the increase during the period was mainly attributed to increased domestic refinancing and budget support.

Nkulukusa also stated that the stock of audited and verified domestic arrears amounted to K91.2 billion as at end-September 2023.

He indicated that this was from K79.4 billion in 2022.

“The bulk of arrears are on fuel, electricity, personal emoluments, Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds, road projects, capital expenditure, compensation and awards as well as on other goods, works and services,” he said.

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