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Zambia’s public debt has increased substantially in recent years due to Eurobond issuances. Public debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) more than doubled between 2011 and 2015 and was estimated at 50 percent of GDP as at end-2015 (or US$8.7 billion). The main factors behind this increase are the three Eurobonds issued in 2012, 2014 and 2015, altogether amounting to US$3 billion. Domestic debt also increased and accounted for 25 percent of the outstanding debt as at end-2015.

Zimbabwe is still facing the challenges associated with having a high public debt burden. The public and publicly guaranteed external debt stock was estimated at US$7.1 billion as at the end of 2015, representing 52 percent of Gross Domestic Product. External arrears accounted for 80 percent of external debt and include penalty interest charges. Continued arrears accumulation not only constrains the Government’s access to external financing but also discourages private investment, which is necessary to unleash Zimbabwe’s growth potential. Domestic debt, estimated at US$1.9 billion (14 percent of GDP) as at end-2015, is also a challenge because it comprises mostly short term debt instruments that have high interest rates.

 

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