What Zambian Debt Talks Could Mean for Chinese Borrowers in Africa
MIN READAug 2, 2022 | 20:05 GMT
Newly elected Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema delivers a speech during his inauguration at the Heroes Stadium in Lusaka on Aug. 24, 2021.
(SALIM DAWOOD/AFP via Getty Images)
Ongoing negotiations to restructure Zambia's debt are most likely to end in a compromise that will offer insight into China's potential position in other countries' creditor talks, especially if Beijing decides to grant debt forgiveness to Lusaka. On July 30, Zambia's bilateral creditor committee co-chaired by China and France released a statement committing to negotiating with the Zambian government under the terms of the Group of 20 (G-20) Common Framework. Zambia's finance ministry also announced on July 29 that it will cancel $2 billion in undisbursed loans from Exim Bank of China, Jiangxi Bank, Intesa Sanpaolo Bank and Israel Discount Bank, marking the first update on Zambia's multilateral debt negotiations in months. The cancellation of undisbursed funds is tangential to the ongoing restructuring talks over Zambia's estimated $32 billion in debt (money that has already been spent by the Zambian government). But China's participation under the G-20 Framework and willingness...