ZAMBIA and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will resume virtual discussions on the outstanding issues relating to the economic bailout package on Tuesday, March 30 and continue into the first two weeks of next month.

In a statement, Friday, Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba announced that talks between the Zambian government and the IMF would resume following the previous round of virtual talks that paused on March 3.

Zambia requested for a Fund-backed Extended Credit Facility (ECF) in November, 2020, which is part of the agenda.

“A team from the Ministry of Finance, Bank of Zambia as well as other relevant ministries and institutions will participate in the discussions with the IMF. The aim is to agree on an appropriate policy reform agenda to address the economic challenges that Zambia is encountering and support the country’s return to a sustainable macro-fiscal situation over the medium-term. A previous virtual mission took place between 11 February 11 and March 3, 2021. During that mission, significant progress was made, with both parties agreeing on the causes of Zambia’s macroeconomic imbalances and the current state of its public finances,” said Yamba in the statement.

“Zambia requested for a formal IMF programme under the Extended Credit Facility window in November, 2020, in order to stabilise the economy, severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. In December, 2020, Zambia launched its Economic Recovery Programme 2020–2023. The Ministry of Finance, with the assistance of its financial and legal advisors, continues to engage with all creditors. As of late January, 2021, Zambia has requested a debt treatment under the Common Framework agreed by the G20 and Paris Club members, which is expected to contribute to restoring Zambia’s public debt sustainability.”