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Zambia Becomes the First African Country to Default on Its Debt Since the Outbreak of COVID-19

File photo of Zambian president Edgar Lungu. GULSHAN KHAN / AFP

The day that many African policymakers had long feared since the outbreak of COVID-19 earlier this year is now here. Zambia yesterday said it will be unable at this time to repay the interest on three Eurobonds, totally around $3 billion, and will effectively have to default on that portion of its debt.

The government, according to a statement released by the finance ministry, is asking investors to give the country some “breathing space” while it restructures its debts.

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