July 16, 2018 / 10:00 AM / in a month

IMF team due in Zambia to discuss its debt levels

LUSAKA (Reuters) - An International Monetary Fund team is expected in Zambia next week as part of consultations on the country’s debt levels, Treasury secretary general Fredson Yamba said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past the International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo at its headquarters in Washington, U.S., May 10, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

In February the IMF rejected Zambia’s borrowing plans, saying they risked making it harder for the southern African country to sustain its debt load.

Copper-producing Zambia has since come up with a new debt plan it hopes will clear the way for the IMF to agree a $1.3 billion loan.

Zambia’s debt was sitting at $9.3 billion, roughly a third of its gross domestic product, at the end of March.

“We want to look at our debt figures. They submitted a number of questions, which we have responded to. We are just verifying how the numbers are seated,” Yamba told Reuters.

Yamba said the consultations would take place from July 23-28 and address Zambia’s debt, fiscal deficit and related issues though not its request for a new IMF aid program.

Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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