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What Did We Learn From Zambia’s Eurobond Default?

File photo of Zambian president Edgar Lungu. GULSHAN KHAN / AFP

As expected for months, Zambia now has the dubious distinction of being the first African country this year to default on a portion of its debt. While many have framed Zambia’s failures as a consequence of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many analysts have pointed out that the country’s failures pre-date the outbreak and have more to do with the government’s incompetent fiscal management than anything else.

This is why it’s important that we don’t go too far in applying what happened in Zambia to other African countries, where the situation is very different.

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