The IMF, under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF), has finally approved a three-year lending programme worth $1.4 billion bailout for Zambia, seeking to help the country to restructure its extensive debts.
However, the financing is still subject to IMF Management and Executive Board approval and receipt of the necessary financing assurances.
Zambia owes close to $3.5 billion in bilateral debt, $2.1 billion to multilaterals, and $2.9 billion to other commercial lenders. It owes close to $3 billion to China and Chinese entities.
On 3rd November 2020, it became the first African country to default on its international debt since the pandemic. The copper-producing country failed to make the $42.5 million in interest payments expected by investors on its three Eurobonds in mid-October. It also was unable to honor payments as at the end of the grace period.
In 2017, the country began negotiations to obtain a $1.3 billion financing agreement from the IMF. But the Fund rejected the request several times.