Zambia, IMF talks on course

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Mr. Mvunga

BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes

@SunZambian

ZAMBIA’S discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an extended credit facility (ECF) are on course.

The ongoing virtual meetings started on February 11 and will end on March 3, says Bank of Zambia (BoZ) Governor, Christopher Mvunga.

Mr Mvunga said at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that an announcement regarding the outcome of the meeting would be made once they were over.

“We are having cordial discussions with them (IMF). They (virtual meetings) are ongoing and at this point it will be premature to make any pronouncements.

“All I can say is that the discussions are going on accordingly and at an opportune time an announcement will be made once these discussions are concluded,” Mr Mvunga said.

Under the ECF, member countries agree to implement a set of policies that will help them make progress towards a stable and sustainable macroeconomic position over the medium term.

On January 22 this year, Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba said the meeting comes after a request by Government last November for a formal programme and a visit by an IMF team in December.

Mr Yamba said in a statement that the programme discussions would centre on Government’s objectives to attain fiscal and debt sustainability and on key pillars in the country’s economic recovery programme.

The talks, Mr Yamba said, would also focus on the need to scale up social protection programs and undertake the much-needed reforms in the agriculture and energy sectors.

Zambia is seeking a financing agreement with the international lender to tackle its battered economy, which is getting worse due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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