Zambia’s decision to keep borrowing could slip the country back into indebtedness even before social expenditure improves, civil society activists warn. Zambia’s USD 7.2 billion external debt was slashed to about USD 500 million, as a reward for sticking with economic reforms under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative by the IMF and World Bank. This week Finance Minister Ng’andu Magande announced that the country’s external debt stood at USD 643 million. “The government has, since the [HIPC] completion point in April 2005, contracted eight loans totaling USD 110.21 million,” he said. (IRIN)

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