Follow CGSP on Social Media

Listen to the CGSP Podcast

China Is Now a Key Player in Zambia’s Worsening Debt Crisis

Zambia's President Edgar Lungu shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping before their bilateral meeting at the Great Hall of the People on September 1, 2018. Nicolas ASFOURI / POOL / AFP

We’ll know next week if Zambia is going to be the first African country this year to default on part of its debt, or if it’ll get the repayment reprieve it’s been asking for. It’s clear that the country’s financial fate now largely rests with China.

Bondholders will meet some time before next Wednesday, when a $42 million Zambian debt payment is due, to discuss whether they should grant Lusaka a six-month interest payment holiday on $3 billion of Eurobond notes. One group of bondholders has already rejected that request and now the remainder will meet to decide how to proceed.

  • Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
  • Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
  • Full access to the News Feed that provides daily updates on Chinese engagement in Africa and throughout the Global South.

China, Africa and the Global South... find out what’s happening.

Subscribe today for unlimited access.

What is The China-Global South Project?


The China-Global South Project is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Global South stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalists and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Global South discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.