In response to the news that Zambia will become the first African nation to default on its loans since the pandemic, Edwin Ikhuoria, ONE’s Africa Executive Director, said:
“Zambia may be the first country to default on its debt since the start of the pandemic, but it certainly won’t be the last if international creditors refuse to work together and support a comprehensive debt standstill.
“At a time when Zambia is trying to manage the shock of COVID-19, the relentless pressure from international creditors, especially private creditors, is wrong and economically shortsighted. This is a lose-lose situation – not only will the inability to borrow cheaply have a significant impact on Zambia’s path to recovery, but it may take years before international creditors receive their debt payment.
“As G20 leaders gather next weekend to formally endorse the common framework for debt restructuring, they must work with all creditors to ensure that other high-risk countries don’t suffer a similar fate.”