Lending red tape delays key projects: Zambia

Delays by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in releasing lending to Zambia are holding back key development projects, local media reported.
Zambia wants to borrow from the institutions to fund upgrades to power infrastructure, roads and other structures under broader plans to improve the lives of 64 % of its 12 million people that live in abject poverty, Reuters reports.
But local media quoted Chileshe Kapwepwe, a junior finance minister, as saying both the IMF and World Bank insisted on lengthy lending procedures, which were delaying key projects.
“For instance, a $20 million (R155 million) budget support facility that was agreed in January 2009 has not yet been released, citing an unachievable conditionality,” the Times of Zambia quoted Kapwepwe as saying at a meeting with World Bank officials.
“We have also noted that the bank has still maintained an excessive number of missions for feasibility studies on projects. These are followed by lengthy project designs and approvals.”
Kapwepwe said the IMF should also tailor lending conditions to meet fiscal requirements of low income countries like Zambia.

Pic: Floods in Zambia