IMF mission jets in Zambia for first review discussions
AN International Monetary Fund(IMF) mission has arrived in Lusaka to commence the first review of Zambia’s IMF Program under an Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement, and Article IV consultations.
The discussions come after Zambia received Executive Board approval for an IMF programme in August 2022.
The IMF programme supports the government’s reform plan to restore debt sustainability, create fiscal space for much-needed social spending, and achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
The IMF delegation which is in the country is being led by Allison Holland, Mission Chief for Zambia, and will be in Zambia from March 22–5 April to undertake the first review and Article IV consultation.
This is contained in a statement issue by Secretary to the Treasury Felix Nkulukusa.
As part of the programme, the IMF will be undertaking scheduled regular reviews to assess Zambia’s progress in implementation of the ECF programme.
During this first review and Article IV Consultation, the IMF will collect economic and financial information, and discuss the country’s economic developments and policies.
“The Fund will be assessing performance in areas such as restoration of fiscal and debt sustainability; improving debt management and transparency; strengthening governance and financial sector stability; and strengthening financial management,” statement reads.
Mr Nkulukusa said the Ministry of Finance and National Planning is pleased to welcome the IMF Mission Team back to Lusaka and to have the opportunity to discuss Zambia’s positive reform progress and next steps in the program implementation.
He said government remains committed to delivering positive economic impacts for the country and improving the livelihoods of the Zambian people with the support of IMF.
(Mwebantu, Thursday, 23rd March, 2023)
#Mwebantu. The graph for fuel reduces. #Alebombamuntu #Ballywakulekafye
THE pump price for petroleum products has been reduced, with the price of petrol going at K24.45 per litre, from K27.59 per litre.
The adjustment downwards of petrol and other petroleum products is with effect from midnight.
Energy Regulation Board Chairperson Reynolds Bowa during a press briefing today in Lusaka said that the pump price reduction is as a result of a decline of prices on the international market.
“ERB has adjusted downward the pump price of Petrol by K3.4 ngwee per litre , Low Sulfur Diesel by K2.77 ngwee per litre and Kerosene by 73 ngwee. ERB have further adjusted downwards Jet A1 for Kenneth Kaunda Airport and other local airports,” he said.
He said this was due to a decline in the international prices over the past month.
“Based on the forgoing, petrol was going at K27.59 and is now K24.45, low Sulfur Diesel K24.64 and will now be K21.87, Kerosene K20.47 will now be K19.74 and Jet A1 at Kenneth Kaunda price was K22.60 will now be 21.64,” Mr Bowa announced.
Mr Bowa added that the June prices take effect from midnight.
(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 31st May, 2023)
Govt hands over US$500,000 health centre in Mungule area of Chibombo
GOVERNMENT has commissioned a health centre in Mungule area of Chibombo district which was constructed at a cost of USD$500,000.
The construction of Anthu Omwe (one people) health centre was done by a non profit organisation called Dream Life Two Sixty through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with the aim of helping members of the community access health services.
The health facility will help cater for a catchment area of around 12,600 people in provision of quality health services and will run on a 24 hour basis.
Speaking during the handover of the facility, Central Province Minister Credo Nanjuwa said the project is a milestone in the health sector.
“This is an outstanding demonstration that the New Dawn Government is committed to ensuring quality health care to all Zambians close to their families. This remarkable PPP envisions to provide health care services to all. The vision of Government is to ensure equity in access to health care services for all Zambians,” he said.
In a speech read for him by the deputy Permanent Secretary Godfrey Chitambala, Mr Nanjuwa reiterated that Government is resolved to ensure that Zambians have an improved quality of life.
“In a quest to improve the health status of Zambians, Government endeavours to work with the Private sector in milestone projects such as these. I implore cooperating partners to continue uplighting the health status of our communities,” he said.
And Dream Life Two Sixty executive director Naomi Mulenga said the vision behind the project was to try and retrieve the community restraints in the community through the health centre.
She said foundation of the project was started las year in October when it was registered under the Ministry of Community Development.
“This facility now belongs to the people in the community. It is for you and your well-being. Look after it. Another thing I want to emphasize is that this facility is free of charge and will operate on a 24 hour basis, meaning it will not close,” she said.
And Chieftaness Mungule through her representative Headman Chiboshi stated that the project will go a long way in helping safe guard the lives and health of people in the community.
(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 31st May, 2023)
Dr Musokotwane calls on official creditor committee to make progress on debt restructuring
MINISTER of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane says the uncertainty created by the protracted restructuring process of the country’s debt has put pressure on the currency.
The Minister said the move has made it difficult to attract much-needed foreign investment, despite Zambia’s vast natural resources and improved business climate.
In a statement, Dr Musokotwane has since urged the Official Creditor Committee (OCC) to make progress on debt restructuring.
This follows ongoing engagements Zambia is having with its creditors to reach an agreement on debt restructuring.
“We appreciate the significant effort from all of Zambia’s creditors as we work towards an agreement on debt restructuring, and we are grateful for the ongoing productive consultations,” he said.
Dr Musokotwane appealed to the Official Creditor Committee in their next meeting to make substantial progress in their deliberations.
He said once deliberations are done, the move will facilitate preparation of the Memorandum of Understanding which will swiftly resolve the debt overhang and access the next tranche of IMF financing.
Dr Musokotwane reiterated that the delays to debt restructuring are having a significant impact on the economy and the livelihoods of people.
“With support from the IMF, Zambia has played its part by making significant progress in implementing an ambitious reform agenda to stabilise our economy, increase transparency and borrowing oversight, as well as implement prudent spending reforms,” he said.
Dr Musokotwane said debt relief is urgently needed for Zambia to maintain its trajectory of economic recovery and growth.
“From our side as Government, we will continue to do all we can to push for the members of the OCC to reach consensus so that we can bring this matter to a close,” he said.
(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 30th May, 2023)