from ARNOLD MULENGA in Lusaka, Zambia
LUSAKA, (CAJ News) – THE hostile reception received by International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, on her visit to Zambia highlights the anger around her institution’s alleged aggravation of the debt trap afflicting African countries.
She was heckled on social media for policies of this Bretton Woods institution for policies said to scuttle African economies.
“Always a pleasure to meet President @HHichilema,” the IMF executive stated.
“Impressed by progress on (economic) reforms, so vital to unlock Zambia’s enormous potential. What is good for Zambia, is good for Africa. The IMFNews is honored to be your partner,” Georgieva tweeted.
However, her tweet received a barrage of attack from Zambians, who denounced policies of the IMF and the World Bank as being “anti-African prosperity.”
Mulenga Joseph Chanda reacted: “My grandfather once told me that when you see a white man clapping at you, don’t get that as a gesture of doing right. It means something is wrong.”
Patrick Kasenge insisted: “IMF is not good for Africa.”
Zambia has mounting external debt to the tune of $13,4 billion at the end of 2022.
More than half of the amount is owed to China.
The remainder is owed to IMF and the World Bank, according to figures from Zambia’s ministry of finance.
In 2021, Zambia suffered the ignominy of being the first African country to default from its loan obligations.
Hichilema, after the meeting with Georgieva, revealed the nature of the discussions.
“We deliberated on the need for tangible and speedy progress in resolving our debt restructuring process in order to quickly get the country on a more sound economic standing,” the president said.
IMF has forecast Zambia’s economy, overly reliant on copper, to grow by 4 percent in 2023.
Incessant power cuts could dampen those prospects in the Southern African country of 20, 6 million and an IMF member since 1965.
– CAJ News