The Private Sector Development Association (PSDA has warned that if Zambia continues to ignore China during the debt restructuring process, the country will potentially miss out on benefiting from the largest producers and suppliers of technology, cheaper construction, and sorting out the debt crisis altogether.
PSDA Chairperson Yusuf Dodia tells Phoenix News that in the absence of China in this debt restructuring, Zambia will have to pay the over 7 billion dollars debt owed to that country and begin to find alternative relations to build roads and other infrastructure that will cost two or three times more than the Chinese.
Mr. Dodia has challenged the government to publicly indicate its strategy toward discussing debt restructuring with various individual creditors regarding the different levels of debt as opposed to leaving the protracted process to the International Monetary Fund IMF and the World Bank.
The PSDA Chairperson says prioritizing direct high-level talks with China which Zambia owes the majority of its over 17 billion dollars in external debt, will make them understand the country’s plan and offer for them to make counter offers and is of the view that there can be no debt restructuring without the Zambian government engaging China.
He argues that Zambia has already spent valuable time talking to the IMF instead of having a conversation with creditors like China, South Africa, India, and other European countries, especially since the 1.3 billion dollars mistaken for a bailout package, is merely a staff-level agreement meant to help Zambia alleviate social hardships, stamp out corruption and promote good governance among other things.