Zambian Government “must not become complacent” Post IMF Loan: Jesuit Scholars

The Logo of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR). Credit: JCTR

Members of the Zambia-based Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) are calling on the Southern African nation’s government not to relax efforts in turning around the economy when they receive International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved loan.

On Wednesday, August 31, the IMF approved a US$ 1.3 billion Extended Credit Facility (ECF) to help Zambia restore its macroeconomic stability and promote economic growth after the country defaulted on its external debt in 2020.

In a Friday, September 2 statement, JCTR officials say, “It is critical that the Zambian government must not become complacent in the face of this historic achievement.”

They add that the three-year loan facility calls for more work to ensure that the economic turn-around translates into real improvement of the welfare of the ordinary Zambian man and woman on the street.”

In order to maximize on the benefits of the IMF deal, the Lusaka-based Jesuit scholars say the Zambian government needs to do more to restore and sustain fiscal stability. 


The restoration and sustainability of Zambia’s fiscal stability can be ensured through programs such as “enhanced efficiency in the public procurement regulations and systems with the aim to stop wastage of public funds and maximize on the expected returns on the public investment in all sectors,” they say.

JCTR officials continue, “The nation is expecting that debt restructuring will make resources available to unlock a robust economic diversification with meaningful and impactful investment in key economic productive sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, rural electrification, tourism, and local participation in mining to create decent jobs and raise the levels of household income across the country.”

“JCTR therefore makes a strong call for reforms that put the interest of the nation at heart such as reforms aimed at strengthening public debt management in a transparent and accountable manner,” they further appeal.

The Jesuit scholars call for the implementation of “short to medium term measures” to deal with financial challenges that brought about Zambia’s “excessive borrowing”.

“There is need to be magnanimous enough and implement effective short to medium term measures that will address the deficit problem that led to excessive borrowing,” JCTR officials say in their September 2 statement.

More in Africa

They add, “Beyond the International Monetary Fund program, the government must develop a more aggressive home grown solutions to stimulate domestic resource mobilization with emphasis on private sector led economic growth.”

Turning their attention to Zambians, they say, “JCTR also urges the citizenry not to remain docile on matters of national interest but to take a keen interest especially in the utilization of the public resources.”

There is need for citizens and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to meaningfully participate in governance and economic transformation processes, JCTR officials emphasize.

On its part, they say, the government “must continue to adopt a consultative and participatory approach by including key stakeholders in addressing debt management issues, and in the current context of the IMF deal.”

The Jesuit scholars urge the Zambian government to set up a platform where it can work with CSOs and “allow them to participate in monitoring the implementation of this home-grown IMF program.”


Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.