Zambia’s Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane is pictured in a file photo.Reuters/Maxon Wasamnu/File Photo
LUSAKA: Zambia’s Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane said on Sunday that he would not pay out a $750 million Eurobond due in September until new payment terms were agreed between the government and bondholders. rice field.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a $1.3 billion, 38-month loan program on Thursday. This comes after his main creditors China and France agreed in July to talks to restructure the debt of the southern African country.
“The bond will expire, but we will not pay on it, let’s talk. Let’s agree on new terms before we start the service,” Musokotwane said in an interview with local news channel ZNBC. rice field.
Negotiations with private creditors are likely to be tough, but Zambia has the support of the international community, he said.
Zambia became the first African country to default on its debt during the 2020 pandemic, saddled with debt that reached 120% of its gross domestic product.
In addition to the $750 million Eurobond, Zambia has a $1 billion Eurobond due in 2024 and another $1.25 billion due in 2027.
Musokotwane said the government had agreed with the IMF to take steps to keep Zambia out of unsustainable debt.