Press release: Demand BlackRock Cancel Zambia’s Debt

August 10, 2023

[For immediate release]

NEW YORK, NY, USA, August 14, 2023 — On Monday, August 14, The People’s Forum and Answer Coalition will be joined by many other organizations and activists to gather at BlackRock’s headquarter in New York. We demand that BlackRock cancel their holdings of Zambia’s national debt! Debt is one of the major tools that big corporations and US-led multinational financial institutions, like the IMF and World Bank, use to keep poorer countries beholden to Western global dominance.

In 2021, Zambia was spending over 50% of its national income on just servicing its external public debt. That’s money being diverted from funding social services, the construction of key infrastructure like roads and hospitals, public education and health services – things that would materially improve the lives of Zambian people. 

BlackRock, the $8.6 trillion NY-based investment company, holds the highest private ownership of Zambia’s external debt at a whopping $220 million. BlackRock has refused to restructure, delay, or even lower interest rates on this debt and makes huge profits from keeping this stranglehold on Zambia. This is money that could go to social service spending or building key infrastructure, but instead goes to paying the shareholders of BlackRock. Capitalist financial institutions have no solutions for the economic challenges facing African people! Cancel Zambia’s debt now!

Eugene Puryear, an organizer for the Answer Coalition, emphasized the importance of U.S. based activists to speak out about the debt crisis in Zambia, “The Wall St. vulture funds are profiting off the misery of Zambians and also failing to redistribute their ill-gotten gains to the people of the United States. So from the U.S. to Zambia, BlackRock is like a vampire, sucking the life force of working people. We have to stand up against these abuses around the world.

This action is endorsed by organizations like the Debt Collective, Sisters in the Struggle, Anticapitalism for Artists, Friends of the Congo, and Nodutdol for Korean Community Development.  

Contact information:

Emily Brease (Answer Coalition)