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We Now Know More About Zambia’s Debt… And It’s Not Good

Newly-elected Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema. MANDEL NGAN / AFP

The Zambian government owes creditors close to $27 billion, according to new data released by the Finance Ministry on Wednesday. The majority of those debts, $16.86 billion, are owed to foreign creditors and also include half a billion dollars of penalties for late payments.

Nearly 40% of those foreign debts or $6.6 billion is owed to at least 18 different Chinese creditors, according to new research published earlier this month by the China-Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University.

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