Eswatini Daily News

LUSAKA (Reuters) – Zambia’s official creditors are close to signing a memorandum of understanding on debt relief, Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane said on Friday.

“We are close but not yet there. By now we should have had an MoU signed by official creditors giving the IMF assurances,” Musokotwane said at a media briefing.

Zambia became the first African country to default on its sovereign debt during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, but it has struggled to finalise restructuring talks on external debt that reached $18.6 billion at the end of last year.

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Sources told Reuters earlier this week that Zambia’s official creditors were getting closer to signing the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on debt relief, a key step to pave the way for more International Monetary Fund funds.

China is Zambia’s largest bilateral creditor and many Western officials have blamed it for delays in the restructuring process — a position Beijing strongly denies.

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