By OLIVER SAMBOKO
ZAMBIA has reiterated its willingness to foster and deepen the strategic partnership with the IMF aimed at consolidating mutual cooperation with international lending institution.
Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu said this when in-coming IMF Resident Representative for Zambia Ms. Preya Sharma paid a courtesy call on him at the Ministry of Finance offices yesterday.
The appointment of Ms Sharma has come at a crucial time when the country is preparing to re-engage the IMF on the debt crisis.
Dr Ng’andu stressed the need for enhanced collaboration in view of the current economic challenges that the country was going through.
He assured Ms. Sharma of Government’s continued engagement with the Fund through enhanced cooperation given the excellent relations that exist between the IMF and Zambia that were established in 1965.
And Ms Sharma also reiterated that as IMF Resident Representative for Zambia, her role will be to liaise with and providing policy advice to the Ministry of Finance, as well as facilitating and coordinating IMF Technical Assistance to Zambia in a wide range of area.
She said these will also include public financial management, tax policy and administration, banking supervision, monetary and exchange rate policy, and official statistics.
Ms. Sharma who was appointed in September, 2020, could not physically take up her appointment due to the Covid-19 related health measures and travel restrictions put in place by world governments. Prior to her new appointment, Ms. Sharma was Special Assistant to the Director of the African Department at IMF Headquarters in Washington DC.
According to the Ministry of Finance, Ms Sharma brings with her vast experience as an economist previously holding roles in the IMF’s Emerging Markets Division in the Strategy, Policy and Review Department.
Since joining the IMF, Ms Sharma worked on numerous IMF programs, the design and review of IMF programs in crisis countries, conducted cross-country analysis to support IMF reform and surveillance including on emerging market vulnerabilities, sovereign debt restructuring, IMF lending instruments and reserve adequacy.
By OLIVER SAMBOKO