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Zambia welcomes US Kamala Harris in Lusaka, focus on huge debt restructuring

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U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday reiterated her name for a “fast finalization” of Zambia’s huge debt restructuring, throughout a go to to the southern African nation, the final cease on a continental tour.

The U.S. has been pushing for collectors, together with China, to ease the nation’s estimated $17.3 billion international debt. Zambia defaulted in 2020 amid the Covid pandemic.

“We’ll proceed to advocate for the speedy completion of Zambia’s debt remedy and restructuring,” Harris mentioned at a press convention after a gathering with Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema in Lusaka.

“The worldwide neighborhood should assist international locations like Zambia get again on their toes. So I’ll reiterate the decision that I’ve made many instances to all bilateral collectors to make important debt discount.

Ms. Harris’ go to comes a number of months after that of U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. The US is looking for to say its presence on the resource-rich continent within the face of Chinese language funding.

The U.S. has accused China, the most important creditor of many African international locations, of dragging its toes since Lusaka requested help below a G20 mechanism for restructuring the debt of the poorest states.

“Our precedence as a rustic is to rebuild our financial system. What’s holding us again is debt,” Hichilema mentioned.

Kamala Harris, the primary lady and first individual of shade elected to the U.S. vice presidency, arrived in Lusaka Friday after visiting Tanzania and Ghana.

She had already visited Zambia in her youth to go to her maternal grandfather who labored there. In Lusaka, she stopped briefly on the place the place he lived within the Sixties. “My grandfather was considered one of my favourite individuals,” the oldest of her grandchildren advised reporters.