Zambia calls for debt restructuring under common G20 framework
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Zambia, which became Africa’s first sovereign default in the era of the pandemic late last year, said on Friday it had officially asked to restructure its debt in the framework of a new common framework supported by the Group of 20 major economies.
A number of African countries have seen their already precarious debt compounded by the economic fallout from the global pandemic. Zambia failed to make a coupon payment on one of its dollar bonds in November, officially defaulting it.
After initially offering temporary debt relief, including the suspension of debt service to official creditors, the G20 adopted a framework that encourages governments to defer or negotiate external debt reduction.
“Zambia is committed to ensuring transparency and equal treatment of all creditors in the restructuring process,” Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu said in a statement.
“Our request to benefit from the G20 common framework will hopefully reassure all creditors of our commitment to such treatment.”
All G20 and Paris Club creditors are expected to coordinate their engagement with Zambia through the common framework, the statement said.
Zambia is due to begin negotiations to establish and schedule with the International Monetary Fund next week.
Zambia’s sovereign dollar bonds were unchanged at just over 50 cents on the dollar.
Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Karin Strohecker