Zambia to Agree on Conditions for Debt Relief

Secretary to the Treasury, Felix Nkulukusa on Thursday said Zambia hoped to agree on key conditions for restructuring three billion dollars of its bonds no later than the first quarter of 2024.

Debtor countries were meant to agree on comparable restructuring deals with official and commercial creditors under the G20’s Common Framework process, which was established in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Before we go to the (bondholder) steering committee, we have to agree on what we mean by comparability of treatment,’’ Nkulukusa said.

“This should be concluded not later than the first quarter of 2024,’’ he added.

In a major setback for Zambia, its official creditors, which included China and members of the Paris Club of creditor nations, rejected a preliminary restructuring deal in November.

They argued that the deal with bondholders, which was approved by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), did not offer comparable debt relief to what they were offering. Naira Lost 11% as Banks Issue New Update on FX Spending

Zambia, which was one of the African continent’s largest copper producers, defaulted on its debts three years ago during the COVID-19 pandemic, and its restructuring efforts have been beset by delays.