Zambia’s Implementation of Economic Program is Impressive, IMF Says

Ms. Antoinette M. Sayeh, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), recently visit Zambia and issued a statement at its conclusion in which she praises the authorities’ efforts in restoring macroeconomic stability.

In her statement, she thanked Zambia’s President Hichilema, the Minister of Finance and National Planning Musokotwane, and other senior officials for their hospitality, and civil society organizations, parliamentarians, and the donor community for their engagement.

“I was happy to have the opportunity to hear about recent economic developments, including the impact of rising global commodity prices, and their implications for the economic outlook. I welcomed the sustained commitment of the authorities to the reform plans outlined in the context of the December 2021 staff-level agreement on an IMF-supported program. Zambia’s implementation to date of its homegrown economic program is impressive. This is a robust program that can achieve the authorities’ goals of restoring macroeconomic stability and laying the foundations for more resilient and inclusive growth,” she noted.

She also praised the authorities’ focus on greater investment in education and health and was pleased to hear that the execution of this spending is on track.

The statement concludes: “We (the IMF) are encouraged by the news that the official creditor committee will meet today to begin deliberations on Zambia’s request for a debt treatment under the G20 Common Framework. We urge creditors to provide financing assurances as soon as possible, as they are needed before staff can put forward Zambia’s program for consideration by the IMF Executive Board. This will allow Zambia to access Fund resources, and also unlock access to critical financing from other partners, to help boost its economic recovery.”

Zambia and the IMF

In December 2021, the IMF team reached a staff-level agreement with the Zambian authorities on a new arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for 2022-2025 in the amount of about SDR 980 million or USD 1.4 billion to help restore macroeconomic stability and provide the foundation for an inclusive economic recovery.

The government’s ambitious reform program, supported by the IMF, seeks to restore fiscal and debt sustainability, create fiscal space for much-needed social spending, and strengthen economic governance and transparency.

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