Zambia’s Energy Utility ZESCO Has Unsustainable Debt of USD 3.5 Billion

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +
  • Zesco, Zambia’s state owned power utility has a total debt of USD 3.5 billion as at September 2021. 
  • This was announced by Zambian Energy Minister, Hon Peter Kapala in parliamentary sitting  yesterday.

The minister added that Zesco had made $400 million in loses between 2018 and 2019 owing to the depreciation of the local Kwacha currency.

Zesco reported its own debt as 30 billion kwacha ($1.78 billion in today’s exchange rate) in 2019, raising the question of where the extra debt comes from and who holds it?

Earlier this month Zambian finance minister Situmbeko Musokotwane said Zambia’s external public debt had grown uncontrollably over the past decade to almost USD 15 billion by June this year. Of that, about $2 billion was parastatal debt.

Related news: Zambia may sell surplus power to Zimbabwe

Late last year Zambia defaulted on a USD 42.5 million payment on a Eurobond. Some of the loans were spent on worthy infrastructure, like roads and hospitals, and some on white elephants. Several might well have lined politicians’ pockets. Read more

President Hakainde Hichilema won a landslide election victory in August, beating incumbent Edgar Lungu, but his cabinet has since then been primarily pre-occupied with bringing the country’s massive debts to light so that it can get IMF emergency relief.

Kapala said disputed invoices and the inability of some mining companies to pay bills had resulted in these entities owing a combined $887 million as at August 2021.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


Leave A Reply

About Author

Green Building Africa promotes the need for net carbon zero buildings and cities in Africa. We are fiercely independent and encourage outlying thinkers to contribute to the #netcarbonzero movement. Climate change is upon us and now is the time to react in a more diverse and broader approach to sustainability in the built environment. We challenge architects, property developers, urban planners, renewable energy professionals and green building specialists. We also challenge the funding houses and regulators and the role they play in facilitating investment into green projects. Lastly, we explore and investigate new technology and real-time data to speed up the journey in realising a net carbon zero environment for our children.

Copyright Green Building Africa 2024.