In order to guide program execution for the following 12 months, ZAMBIA and the staff of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have achieved a Staff-Level Agreement (SLA) on economic and financial policy.
Once the required finance assurances have been acquired, IMF Management and the Executive Board must approve the SLA.
The second payout will start once the IMF Executive Board has given its approval.
The agreement was reached after an IMF mission team for Zambia, led by Ms. Allison Holland, Mission Chief for Zambia, paid a visit to Lusaka from March 22 to April 5, 2023.
In addition to measures to improve public financial management and good governance, the IMF has applauded Zambia for successfully executing a series of domestic reforms to lower the budget deficit and increase social spending in 2022.
Situmbeko Musokotwane, the minister of finance and national planning, also commented on the IMF statement, saying that the government was glad to see that its allies have recognized the work done in reviving the Zambian economy.
“The Zambia today and the Zambia of two years ago are two different countries. We have taken control of our finances and implemented crucial reforms to reign in borrowing and ensure prudent use of resources and oversight in public spending. Zambia has played its part, but before we can reap the benefits of this successful review, we need to see progress on our debt restructuring. We remain optimistic that working with the Official Creditor Committee (OCC) and other creditors, we shall soon reach an agreement on debt restructuring,” he said.
Dr Musokotwane said the development will help the country achieve economic recovery and attain sustainable growth.
“We are grateful to the IMF and all our creditors for their continued support. We will continue to work together to ensure that a debt restructuring deal for Zambia can be achieved as swiftly as possible. It is essential that we continue to access IMF funding to anchor our reform agenda and invest in development. It is in everybody’s interest that Zambia succeeds.” he added.
This is according to a statement issued by Secretary to the Treasury.