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Zambia’s debt restructuring limps over line as painful test case

Zambia’s debt restructuring limps over line as painful test case

MORE than three-and-a-half years, or 1,300 days, after resource-rich Zambia formally declared itself bankrupt it is about to drag itself out of default, leaving some hard lessons for richer nations about how their much-vaunted debt relief plan performed. Tuesday will see its international bondholders vote through their part of a $13.4 billion debt restructuring and make Zambia the first to complete a full-blown rework under the G20-led 'Common Framework' architecture. Hakainde Hichilema, Zambia's president, has described it as a historic moment and the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, has hailed it as an important sign of…
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Southern African countries plan to expand special tourist visa

Southern African countries plan to expand special tourist visa

FIVE Southern African countries committed to expanding the use of a special common visa to allow easier movement of tourists as the region seeks to boost arrivals. Officials from Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, countries that make up the Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier Conservation Area, pledged in principle to broaden the use of the special visa, called a univisa, which allows entry into multiple countries. The univisa is currently used in Zambia and Zimbabwe and covers day trips to Botswana through Kazungula. Regional leaders attending a KAZA heads of state summit in Livingstone, Zambia, said they want the special visa…
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Zambia to emerge from debt default as bondholders back $3 bln restructuring

Zambia to emerge from debt default as bondholders back $3 bln restructuring

ZAMBIA'S Ministry of Finance said that more than 90% of holders of its $3 billion in outstanding international bonds had accepted its restructuring proposal, paving the way for it to emerge from a lengthy default. The country defaulted more than three years ago and is reworking its debt under the G20 Common Framework - a platform to bring together creditors like China and developed creditor nations, known as the Paris Club, to ensure swift and smooth debt overhauls for low-income countries. Zambia was widely seen as a test case for the G20 plan but the process had been beset by…
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Does Zambia’s bondholder deal mean it has resolved its default?

Does Zambia’s bondholder deal mean it has resolved its default?

COPPER producer Zambia is on the cusp of moving on from its debt default after a nearly four-year-long process. Along with Sri Lanka and Ghana, the southern African nation fell into debt distress and then defaulted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Does its deal with bondholders mean its economy is back on track, or that it is now out of default? WHAT HAPPENS WITH THE DEFAULTED DEBT? When a country defaults, it must negotiate new terms that all lenders will accept that will make repaying manageable again. This can happen by cutting the outright amount of debt, reducing the interest paid, stretching the repayment timeframe -…
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Zambia Football President Kamanga arrested for laundering

Zambia Football President Kamanga arrested for laundering

THE President of the Zambian Football Association (FAZ), Andrew Kamanga, has been arrested and charged with offences related to money laundering.  The country’s Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) announced the joint arrest and charging of FAZ President Andrew Kamanga and his deputy Reuben Kamanga and two other individuals for money laundering offences. In violation of Zambia's Penal Code, the DEC has charged the arrested individuals with conspiring to defraud, collecting money via false pretence, and acquiring financial advantage through false pretence. Kamanga is accused of using the money to fund trips for associates linked to him to the 2023 Africa Cup…
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Nigeria, Zambia women win playoffs to take last two Olympic spots

Nigeria, Zambia women win playoffs to take last two Olympic spots

ZAMBIA and Nigeria locked up the last two spots in the women's soccer tournament at the Paris Olympics after winning two-legged playoffs in the fourth round of African qualifying. Zambia needed extra time to get past Morocco in Rabat as the Copper Queens turned a 2-1 first-leg deficit into a 3-2 aggregate triumph with a 2-0 win at Moulay Hassan Stadium. Captain and Orlando Pride striker Barbra Banda opened the scoring for Zambia in the 38th minute and secured the ticket to the Olympics when she converted a penalty in the 105th minute. The Zambians will be in a tough…
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Zambia’s arts and creative sector is thriving

Zambia’s arts and creative sector is thriving

ZAMBIA’S recent unveiling of a National Arts and Revised Film Policy is evidence of the growing interest in increasing investment and fostering the growth of the arts and creative sector. Besides committing to invest close to US$100 million in the arts and film sector between 2024 and 2028, the policy commits to improving artists' welfare in a bid to promote talent by leveraging public-private partnerships. Munya Chidzonga, a Harare-based filmmaker and actor, believes the new policy “will certainly add value to the fiscus but, more importantly, to culture, and the preservation of national heritage.” Just like in many countries on…
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Zambia’s Chambishi copper smelter scales back capacity amid power cuts

Zambia’s Chambishi copper smelter scales back capacity amid power cuts

CHINA Nonferrous Metal Mining Corp's Chambishi Copper Smelter in Zambia has cut one-fifth of its production due to power shortages in the country, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The plant, which produces about 250,000 metric tons of copper per year, is one of the biggest processing facilities in Africa's second-largest copper producer. Zambia generates about 87% of its electricity from hydropower, and lower water levels due to its current drought, the worst in two decades, have curbed power generation, the managing director of state-owned power utility Zesco said. Zesco said last week it would start rationing electricity supplies…
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Zambia’s kwacha is Africa’s best-performing currency in 2024

Zambia’s kwacha is Africa’s best-performing currency in 2024

ZAMBIA'S kwacha is Africa's best-performing currency against the U.S. dollar so far this year after the central bank sharply tightened monetary policy, but analysts said it would strengthen sustainably only if the country attracts more foreign investment. The kwacha has rallied 13.8% to 22.8 against the greenback in 2024, according to LSEG data, after the central bank raised commercial banks' reserve ratios and then hiked interest rates earlier this month, in a bid to reverse a decline in the currency that had pushed up inflation. "The kwacha's performance this year has been remarkable," said Danny Greef, Co-Head of Africa at research firm…
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Zambia hits copper jackpot with AI-powered exploration

Zambia hits copper jackpot with AI-powered exploration

ZAMBIA’S mineral portfolio has received a major boost thanks to the discovery of the largest copper deposits ever recorded in the country. In an official statement posted on the social media site X, on February 5, KoBold, an American startup backed by Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, announced the discovery of vast copper deposits at their Mingomba mine in northern Zambia. “Mingomba will be one of the world’s biggest high-grade, large copper mines. It is Kakula-scale in size and the core of it is >5% copper,” KoBold President Josh Goldman shared in the post. He draws a correlation to the…
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