Standard Chartered Lends Zambia $134 Million to Finance Roads

Zambia streets reconstruction. The First Highway Project consists of the reconstruction and bituminous paving of sections of the Great East and Great North Roads and the detailed engineering of an additional section of the Great North Road. Both of these roads are main arteries and provide international connections to the sea. The Great North Road is part of the main highway from Cape Town, South Africa to Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania and to Nairobi, Kenya, and the Great East Road links the center of Zambia with the highway and railway systems of Malawi and Mozambique. In the present unsettled conditions in Central Africa arising from the Unilateral Declaration of Independence by Rhodesia, these roads are carrying exceptional import and export traffic diverted from the Rhodesia Railways. However, reconstruction of the project sections to the proposed standards would be economically justified on the basis of normal traffic patterns. The project sections will have ample capacity to accommodate expected normal traffic volumes and would also be able to handle extraordinary traffic for considerable periods if the need should arise.. (Photo by: Sergi Reboredo/VW Pics/UIG via Getty Images)

By Taonga Clifford Mitimingi and Matthew Hill

  • Loan is the second that StanChart has arranged since 2016
  • Zambia is in talks with the IMF for $1.3 billion loan

Zambia borrowed $134 million from Standard Chartered Plc to help fund the road sector, according to a finance ministry official.

The borrowing plan was included in the 2017 budget, Mukuli Chikuba, permanent secretary at the finance ministry, said in a text message on Tuesday. The loan is the second that Standard Chartered has arranged for the government since a $450 million syndicated deal in the first half of 2016.

Five new loans worth $296 million were contracted in the first half of the year, according to the ministry’s mid-year economic review. The country’s external debt grew to $7.4 billion by the end of June, the report shows.

Zambia, Africa’s second-biggest copper producer, is in talks to secure a $1.3 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund and plans to present an economic program to the lender’s board by year-end.

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