Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), recently concluded a two-day official visit to Zambia.
During his visit, he met with Zambia’s President Hakainde Hichilema to discuss additional support for Zambia as it emerges from a successful debt restructuring of USD 6.3 billion for bilateral debtors, under the G20 Common Framework on debt treatment.
President Hichilema acknowledged that while significant progress has been made on official creditor debt, there remains a need to address debt owed to local and external commercial creditors, including Eurobond holders.
“We have lost a lot of time under the ‘python of debt’. We want to now unlock growth and prosperity for our people,” Hichilema stated.
Dr Adesina lauded the Zambian government for reaching an agreement with its bilateral creditors under the G20 Common Framework on debt treatment.
This agreement sets Zambia on a path towards economic recovery and sustainable debt management.
“You have created a sense of hope in the country and confidence in the economy, paving the way for investments to return and accelerate the drive to achieve prosperity for the country,” Adesina expressed to President Hichilema.
The AfDB President outlined several supporting measures, including initial budget support of up to USD 150 million for consideration for approval by its board of directors.
In addition to the planned USD 150 million in budget support, Dr Adesina stated that the Bank will assist Zambia to access another USD 168 million per year from the non-concessional window of the Bank.
The Bank will also support Zambia in accessing the regional financing window of the ADF to finance large transformative infrastructure, including energy, road, and rail transport connections with Mozambique, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
President Hichilema expressed his gratitude to Dr Adesina for his “tremendous work for the African Development Bank and Africa.” He added, “Your leadership has raised the bar regarding the Bank’s status and performance.”
The African Development Bank currently has 25 active projects in Zambia, with total financing of USD 1.02 billion.