Zambia is in the process to cancel more than $2 billion worth of projects financed by commercial loans to reduce the risk of accumulating more non-concessional debt, the ministry of finance said.

Zambia’s economic growth in 2022 is expected to slow down to 3.1% from 3.6% recorded in 2021 mainly due to the expected reduced output from the agricultural sector.

The medium-term budget plan said the decision to axe the projects is part of a broader debt-restructuring process, and in addition, it expected bilateral creditors would provide adequate financing assurances for approval of an IMF programme being discussed.

The government was also in the process of changing the law to increase parliamentary oversight on borrowing, it stated.

Meanwhile, the economy of Africa’s second-largest copper producer is forecast to grow 4%, 4.1% and 4.4% in 2023, 2024 and 2025, respectively, the ministry’s plan showed.

The 2023-2025 medium-term macroeconomic objectives also include keeping inflation down in the single digits, averaging 9.2% in 2023, 8.2% in 2024 and 7.3% in 2025.

The government also plans to maintain reserves at three months’ worth of import cover.

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