Zambia never hides debt, it’s sustainable and being serviced – Mwanakatwe
WASHINGTON DC, USA, Saturday, 21 April 2018 – The Minister of Finance Honourable Margaret Mwanakatwe has assured Zambians and the international community that Zambia does not and will never hide its debt.
And the Minister of National Development Planning Honourable Alexander Chiteme has urged Zambian diplomats serving abroad to fly the Zambian flag high and woo Foreign Direct Investment that will benefit the people.
Speaking to the diplomatic staff when she and Mr. Chiteme paid a courtesy call on Zambia’s Ambassador to the USA His Excellency Dr Ngosa Simbyakula at the Embassy in Washington DC, the Finance Minister told the diplomats that during their various engagements in their countries of accreditation they should share and assure the international community that Zambia’s debt was still sustainable.
“It’s important for you to understand that we are not hiding any debt; give out the correct information. We are not intending, and we have never hidden any debt. You can’t hide a debt. Debt is like a pregnancy, it will show,” Mrs. Mwanakatwe said. “We are servicing our debt and Zambia is managing to pay its debts in line with its obligations.”
The Minister informed the diplomats about Zambia’s economic outlook. She said the country had received a lot of interest in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), particularly in the agriculture, tourism, manufacturing solar and hydro power and construction sectors.
“You are our ambassadors at any given time; share information with your fellow diplomats here in Washington DC,” she said.
Mrs Mwanakatwe urged the trade attaché to proactively work with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry to attract investors into Zambia.
And the Minister of National Development Planning, Honourable Alexander Chiteme, urged Zambian diplomats to put the country first and engage with various stakeholders in promoting the country’s economic potential. The Minister of National Development Planning urged the diplomats to always familiarise themselves with strategic policy documents that Zambia has in place like the Seventh National Development Plan, the Economic Stabilisation and Growth Programme and the Debt Sustainability Strategy and articulate them to the world as they market the country.
Mr. Chiteme said diplomatic missions were important linkages for Zambia with the international community and should position themselves to contribute to national development.
In welcoming the ministers and the delegation to the 2018 IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings, Ambassador Dr Simbyakula commended the Government for spearheading the national development agenda. Ambassador Simbyakula assured of his staff’s support to the delegation.
Mrs Mwanakatwe and Mr. Chiteme were accompanied by Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Finance and Economic Development) Mr. Christopher Mvunga, Ministry of National Development Planning – Permanent Secretary (Development Planning) Mr. Chola Chabala, Ministry of Finance - Permanent Secretary (Economic Management and Finance) Mr. Mukuli Chikuba and other government officials.