Zambia Defaults, Economically and Politically

Many African countries are sinking further into unsustainable debt. Last November Zambia epitomised the problem when it defaulted on a US$42.5 million payment on a Eurobond. ‘The government went on a borrowing spree over the last few years and was then unable to repay,’ notes Peter Leon, co-chair of the Africa group at the law firm Herbert Smith Freehills.

Some of the loans were spent on worthy infrastructure, like roads and hospitals, and some on white elephants. Several might well have lined…


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