Home Business and Technology Finance Minister: The Country’s external debt is $11.97Bn

Finance Minister: The Country’s external debt is $11.97Bn

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Bwalya Ngandu
Finance Minister Dr Bwalya Ng'andu taking notes at the 2nd high level policy dialogue between the Zambian government and Cooperate partners held at Mulungush International Conference Centre in Lusaka on November 20, 2019 - Picture by Tenson Mkhala

Finance Minister: The Country’s external debt is $11.97Bn

Finance minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu has insisted that Zambia’s external debt stands at US$11.97 billion.

The minister said in Parliament today when he presented his ministerial statement on Zambia’s public debt management strategy that he noted that some sections of the domestic and international society are quoting government debt as being US$27.34 billion as opposed to US$11.48 billion at end 2019.

Dr Ng’andu explained that the amount stated in the World Bank report refers to the total national debt that includes private sector external debt of US$15.57 billion.

“Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I would like to reaffirm that our stock of external debt as at end 2019 was as I reported in my 2021 budget address, which is US$11.48 billion. As at end June 2020, this figure increased to US$11.97 billion, which when we add the guaranteed debt for state-owned enterprises comes to US$13.55 billion,” he said.

“I have noted, regrettably, that some sections of the domestic and international society, that may not have read the recently released 2021 international debt statistics report by the world bank, are quoting government debt as being US$27.34 billion as opposed to US$11.48 billion at end 2019.

The amount stated in the World Bank report refers to the total national debt that includes private sector external debt of US$15.57 billion. Private sector external debt is foreign-denominated debt owed by all non-government entities in Zambia in all sectors including mining, manufacturing, transport, energy, wholesale and trade to mention some.”

Meanwhile, the minister reaffirmed that the government remained committed to equal treatment of all creditors and transparency in engagements.

He added that engagement was necessary and in the best interest of the country.

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