Support HH corruption fight– IMF

Washington DC
INTERNATIONAL Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva says President Hakainde Hichilema and his administration should be supported in the economic reform agenda including removing the cancer of corruption, which is a hindrance to attracting financing and investments into the country.
And Ms Georgieva has urged countries to consolidate and build fiscal buffers as a preparation for future economic shocks that are lurking around despite the current positive growth trajectory in the world economy.
When asked on interventions the IMF would like to see Zambia implement to avoid getting back into debt distress, Ms Georgieva said Zambia should be commended for successfully completing a very complicated debt restructuring process with official creditors and bondholders.
“Zambia is experiencing a very dramatic drought which is affecting so many things, including food security and electricity production, as you all know that shortages of power affect the overall economy,” she said during a press briefing at the IMF Spring Meetings yesterday.
“I have had many opportunities to meet with the Minister of Finance and National Planning [Situmbeko Musokotwane] and the President, and I also visited the country last year,which has enormous potential with fertile soils, and it has rich natural resources.
“Actually, it is one of the few countries with a relatively small population but which sits on large territory and its leadership is implementing an economic reform agenda that will eventually attract increased investments.”
Ms Georgieva said the Washington lender is working with Zambia on its economic reforms.
“And we are doing something very significant… which is on governance assessment as a foundation or basis for anti-corruption measures so that the country can mobilise resources domestically,” she said.
“As you know, one of the problems in resource-rich countries is the cancer of corruption, and by removing this cancer, it is a factor to attracting financing and promoting investments.”
Ms Georgieva also praised Zambia’s free education policy which the New Dawn has reintroduced.
“Zambia has taken an important decision to invest in its people by making education free and accessible,” she said.
“I personally went to a school learning in a small crowded room where we sat four or five on one desk and used one textbook but we were so eager to learn. So it is motivating to see Zambian authorities investing in this sector that will enable people to contribute to the development of the country.”
Earlier, Ms Georgieva delivered the IMF’s perspectives on the global policy agenda.
“Growth is firmly on the right trajectory despite challenges,” she said. “Inflation is declining but not gone and there are various challenges that still pose threats to the global economy though the divergence differs on a country-by-country basis.
“Our policy agenda is that countries must use this opportunity to build buffers that will be utilised as preparation for future external shocks. Secondly, there is need to revive and maintain growth through coordination on global trade and investments.”