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With China on Their Minds, Zambia’s Bondholders Reject Appeal for Repayment Extension

Zambia on Saturday became the first African country this year to default on a portion of its debt after a coalition of bondholders refused the government's request for a 6-month repayment holiday.  The government said it cannot pay the $42.5 million ...

Debt Crisis? What Debt Crisis? In China, There’s No Coverage or Commentary About Zambia

It appears that China's censors have moved to restrict media coverage of the ongoing debt crisis in Zambia. A search of major news sites, the market-leading Baidu search engine, and the social media platform Weibo came back with no results related to current events unfolding in the ...

Analysts Differ on What Happened in Zambia and China’s Role in the Burgeoning Debt Crisis

The refusal by a coalition of Zambia's bondholders to provide the government with a 6-month repayment holiday on $3 billion of Eurobond notes followed by the subsequent default on those debts, sparked a considerable reaction in Africa and internationally -- but none among Chinese stakeholders.

Letter to the Editor: The Zambian Debt Crisis as Seen by a “Concerned Citizen”

Hi Eric and Cobus, Being a Zambian living in Zambia, I've observed with interest your coverage of the looming credit default by Zambia on its debt repayments to bondholders. You've mostly looked at it in the context of the COVID-19 induced ...

What Happens if Zambia Defaults on Its Debt To China and Other Lenders?

BBC Africa journalist Jameisha Prescod produced a short, five-minute explainer on what Zambia can expect next, following its announcement that it would be unable to meet a Saturday repayment deadline on $3 billion of Eurobond notes owed to private investors. Prescod ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

How a Port Expansion in a Tiny, Self-Declared African Country Reverberates Around the World

One of the key discussions in the run-up to the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit is whether China is stepping away from funding large-scale infrastructure projects like roads and ports. 

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Understanding the True Extent of Zambia’s Total Debt

There's been a lot of confusion in recent weeks about just how much Zambia owes its creditors. Most international news coverage focuses on the amount of external debt, believed to be around $12 billion, but that's less than half of what the country owes when other creditors ...

While Zambia’s Financial Crisis Unfolded on Friday, President Edgar Lungu and Ambassador Li Jie Visited a Blueberry Farm

In a somewhat odd bit of optics, two central players in Zambia's simmering economic crisis, President Edgar Lungu and Chinese ambassador Li Jie, were seen together on Friday inspecting a blueberry farm in Lusaka's Chongwe district. Neither seemed visibly concerned about ...

What Did We Learn From Zambia’s Eurobond Default?

As expected for months, Zambia now has the dubious distinction of being the first African country this year to default on a portion of its debt. While many have framed Zambia's failures as a consequence of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many analysts have pointed ...