The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has appointed Dr Boileau Loko as the New IMF Mission Chief for Zambia, replacing Tchidi Tsikata.

This is according to a statement released by Ministry of Finance spokesperson Chileshe Kandeta.

He said Finance Minister Felix Mutati welcomed the appointment of Dr Loko and pledged continued support and cooperation with all the missions to Zambia which will be led by Dr Loko in order to ensure that Zambia ascends to an IMF supported programme as soon as possible.

Mutati also paid tribute to the previous Mission Chief, Tsikata, for his dedication to duty.

Meanwhile, Kandeta said IMF Director for the Africa Department, Dr Abebe Selassie accompanied by Dr Loko would soon conduct a short outreach mission to Zambia to meet with the authorities and discuss recent economic developments and policies.

“The Zambian Government, led by Mr Mutati, and the IMF, had a number of meetings on the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings which were recently held in Washington DC, USA. During these meetings, discussions were held on the way forward following the completion of the Article IV REVIEW by the IMF Board,” Kandeta stated.

“On conclusion of the Washington circuit of talks, both the IMF and the Zambian Government Authorities were generally in agreement with the outcome of the Article IV Consultations, particularly the concerns raised with respect to the rising debt risks and the recommendations made on fiscal consolidation and the need to lower debt risks.”

He said the two sides discussed the importance of redefining Zambia’s borrowing plans going forward in view of the risks associated with high levels of debt, the need to continue fiscal consolidation, and the need for reassessment of the priorities of the 2018 budget.

“The two sides also agreed on the inevitability of reviewing and redefining the macroeconomic framework in order to anchor the path towards debt sustainability,” said Kandeta.

“The Zambian Government delegation agreed to provide data on recent developments in the economy, on the 2018 budget, and on borrowing plans. Once this data has been reviewed and validated, the IMF will field a staff visit to Zambia with the objective of redefining the macroeconomic framework.”