Lusaka, Zambia – (African Boulevard News) – Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema met with French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday (May 10) at the Elysée Palace in Paris to discuss Zambia’s debt restructuring program and economic ties between the two nations.
Hichilema, who was elected in August of 2021, has been working to revive the country’s economy and reduce its debt burden. Zambia owes more than $12 billion to foreign lenders, including China, and has struggled to meet its debt obligations.
During the meeting with Macron, Hichilema discussed the importance of debt sustainability, noting that “We cannot put our country on a path of perpetual debt. We must free ourselves from debt, so that we can build our future.”
The two leaders also talked about ways to strengthen economic ties between Zambia and France, with a focus on increasing trade, investment, and cooperation in the areas of renewable energy, agriculture, and infrastructure development.
According to a statement from the Zambian presidency, Macron expressed his support for Hichilema’s economic reform agenda and pledged to work with Zambia to support its efforts to revitalize its economy.
“The French government stands ready to support Zambia’s efforts to achieve economic stability and growth,” Macron said.
Experts say that Hichilema’s efforts to restructure Zambia’s debt and attract foreign investment are critical to his government’s success. They also note that his willingness to engage with international partners like France is a positive sign for the country’s future.
“President Hichilema’s focus on debt sustainability and economic reform is important for Zambia’s long-term growth and development,” said Andrew Sardanis, a business analyst based in Zambia.
“His meeting with President Macron is a positive step towards strengthening economic ties between Zambia and France, and demonstrates his commitment to engaging with the international community to support Zambia’s economic recovery,” he added.
Overall, Hichilema’s visit to France is seen as a positive development for Zambia’s economy, as the government seeks to address its debt challenges and build a more prosperous future for its citizens.