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Zambia’s Hichilema discusses debt, financial ties in France

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French president Emmanuel Macron welcomed his Zambian counterpart Hakainde Hichilema Wednesday (Could 10).

The thorny subject of the restructuring of Zambia’s debt was amongst prime points since France co-chair of the Creditor Committee with China.

On the sidelines of their dialog, Hichilema gave an interview to the AFP by which he pleaded for “financial diplomacy” at a time when some analysts predict a return to a bipolar world.

“Our continent, Africa, has been lagging behind,” the Zambian president mentioned. “We should do one thing dramatic to raise Africa up. We can’t proceed with the previous methods. And that is why, in our speak with President Macron, as I mentioned, it was a debt subject, but additionally the alternatives for funding, for commerce.”

“And on this funding, Africa now, our shift in Zambia, Africa, is in direction of worth addition somewhat than extracting uncooked supplies and exporting uncooked supplies however to extract these and course of them in nation in three way partnership with others.”

Zambia is a prime producer of copper. Since Hichelema’s election, Western international locations have been courting him.

The French Secretary of State accountable for the Growth of the Francophonie and Worldwide Partnerships, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, just lately cited Zambia for example: a “democratic nation that may feed Southern Africa” and which has grow to be “an necessary accomplice” to France.

Hichilema mentioned Paris was “the place the place to make sure that debt restructuring” subject is resolved in order to ” commit assets, time and a spotlight to improvement.”

Partnerships not “puppetship”

“I’m nobody’s puppet,” Hichelema retorted to those that accuse him of being utilized by Western nations. Zambia’s chief asserted his pragmatic strategy to worldwide relations. “We have now problems with mutual pursuits with France. When I’m in the UK, the identical applies. And it’s the identical when I’m in Beijing.”

The 60-year-old politician highlighted the significance of partnerships, in a imaginative and prescient the place international locations are sovereign and never puppets of different superpowers.

“I feel we’re speaking about not a puppetship, however partnership! That is the best way to go! And that to maintain our world, , having widespread pursuits, vested pursuits.”

“When we’ve got that successfully, authorities to authorities, area to area, continent to continent, then the worldwide neighborhood, vested pursuits in one another, you may see, you need to see, much less instability as a result of on one aspect, we’re all invested in one another when it comes to peace and stability, however extra necessary on the financial and social improvement aspect.”

Throughout his dialog with president Emmanuel Macron, Hichilema reiterated Zambia was “prepared for enterprise” as he lauded the “alternatives” his nation has to supply in sectors together with power, minerals, agriculture.

“Zambia is a rustic that should take its function within the international world,’ he mentioned as he pointed to “the significance of accelerating (its) financial improvement” and “creating alternatives and jobs” for youth since “60% of the inhabitants is underneath 30 years previous”.

On Twitter, Hakainde Hichilema mentioned his French counterpart and him “held fruitful talks.” Including he was “reassured by his [Editor’s note: referring to Emmanuel Macron] dedication that Zambia’s debt restructuring programme, must be conclusively handled, earlier than the June Summit for a New World Monetary Pact”.

Hichilema attended Thursday (Could 11) the Zambia Funding Discussion board in London.