Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today in Lusaka at the conclusion of her January 22-24 visit to Zambia.
She met with students at the University of Zambia in Lusaka Tuesday as well as opening an IMF office in the African country’s capital.
“During my meetings, we discussed recent economic developments, progress and next steps in the Government’s reform effort, and views on how we can best partner with Zambia on its’ journey towards a more resilient and inclusive future,” said Georgieva in a statement.
“I came out of these interactions hugely impressed by Zambia’s enormous potential given its rich endowment of natural resources, and a dynamic and entrepreneurial young population,” she added.
“Zambia is making tremendous progress on reforms, at what is a particularly challenging time for the world economy. More, of course, needs to be done, especially to deliver the jobs Zambia’s youth need, but these reforms are critical to strengthen Zambia’s resilience and seize its’ opportunity - especially in the agricultural, energy, and tourism sectors - for climate-resilient, more inclusive, and more vibrant growth,” she said.
Acknowledging Zambia’s high debt burden Georgieva noted reforms progress by the government, and urged creditors to do their part.
“We recognize that these are complex and challenging discussions, but it is clear from my visit that Zambia is doing its part, so I strongly encourage creditors to move forward and reach an agreement on a debt treatment as soon as possible,” she announced.
Georgieva next travels to Rwanda before returning to the US later this week.