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Thursday, 20 November 2008

Zambia's rising external debt..

For those among tracking Zambia's external debt :

The latest report of the parliamentary committee on economic affairs and labour, states that the increase represents a 10.1 per cent.

“An analysis of the structure of Zambia’s external debt revealed that at the end of December 2007, 52.7 per cent was Government external debt while 47.1 percent was external debt contracted by the private sector,” the reports reads in part.

Government’s external debt increased by 5.9 per cent to US$1.1 billion last year from US$990.2 million in the preceding year. This was mainly as a result of disbursements from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the Poverty Reduction Growth Facility (PGRF) and from the World Bank.

Magande's position on borrowing was discussed here. No word yet on what the new Minister thinks. We have been promised new external debt monitoring arrangements, but so far nothing has been done. I suspect one day we may yet wake up and find ourselves in a pre-HIPC position. Regular readers will recall the JCTR Submission on Debt Legal Framework to the NCC.

In the meantime, JCTR along with other stakeholders are taking a more practical approach of actually monitoring how the money is being spent on specific projects. That may well be our best hope, in the absence of a clear national framework on external debt.

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