UNZALARU Official Statement On The Debt Restructuring Deal And Signing Of The Lobito Corridor Concession Project

Dr. Kelvin Mambwe UNZALARU General Secretary



The University of Zambia Lecturers and Researchers’ Union (UNZALARU) would like to heartily congratulate the New Dawn Government, His excellence the President, and his team for recently securing the long-awaited debt restructuring deal.

In addition to developing systems and a responsible appetite to prudently manage the affairs of the nation so that a relapse into unsustainable debt acquisition is curtailed.

This deal is a significant milestone in the nation’s journey towards economic recovery and growth, unlocking private sector investment and accelerating job creation.

The deal unlocks the disbursement of $188 Million under a three-year $1.3bn bailout approved by the IMF in September 2022.

UNZALARU is extremely confident that the deal will prove to be a crucial turning point in
Zambia’s economic recovery and that it holds the potential to unlock vital financial resources,
propelling the nation towards a path of stability and growth.

The deal not only provides immediate relief from the nation’s mounting debt burden, and unlocks the much-needed financial resources to revive the country’s economy, but also provides a success story for other African countries in debt distress facing prolonged negotiations with their creditors.

UNZALARU is very optimistic that the freed-up resources will bring relief to the poorest Zambians and all-round improvement of service provision for all, improve livelihoods, and facilitate more investment in critical sectors such as education, health, agriculture etc.

The Union is expectant that part of the freed-up resources will, starting this year 2023, go towards the
dismantling of the historic and suffocating debt owed to The University of Zambia (UNZA) members of staff and retirees due to unpaid terminal benefits now standing at slightly above K500M; the National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA) due to non-remittance of member
contributions since 2017; and the Superannuation Fund due to non-remittance of member
contributions and employer contribution.

Further, it is hoped that other freed-up resources will be channelled towards the improvement and expansion of infrastructure at UNZA to acceptable international standards, and provide research funds to the University.

These will ensure that UNZA develops and maintains a conducive learning and research atmosphere thus also providing a meaningful avenue to students coming through the free-education strategy at primary and secondary levels.
UNZALARU also wishes to congratulate the President and his Government on the signing of the
Lobito Corridor Concession project.

The railway will provide a faster and safer route for passengers within the three countries involved, namely Angola, DRC and Zambia. It will be
linked to a congestion-free port in Lobito, providing an alternative to east African ports where
long delays and bottlenecks are commonplace.

Lobito will also provide the fastest export and import route from the region to Europe and the Americas.

For the mining industry specifically, the railway offers the shortest and most direct route to port from the key mining areas of the Kolwezi in the DRC and Copperbelt and Northwestern provinces where exports of copper, cobalt and other raw materials are growing rapidly and will be in high demand for many years to come.

The development of the rail corridor also promises environmental and safety benefits by helping remove trucks from the road which should reduce border delays, the risk of road traffic accidents
and road degradation, as well as cutting air pollution and carbon emissions.

This project will also
contribute to job creation for our youths thereby improving livelihoods.

Dr. Kelvin Mambwe
UNZALARU General Secretary


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