UPDATE 1-Zambia's president meets with head of IMF Africa department

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LUSAKA, Dec 8 (Reuters) – Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu met the head of the International Monetary Fund’s Africa Department on Tuesday as the southern African copper producer attempts to plot a course out of a debt crisis.

Zambia became Africa’s first pandemic-era sovereign default last month after it failed to pay a $42.5 million coupon on one of its Eurobonds.

Zambia’s presidency released a photo of Lungu, the IMF’s Abebe Selassie and Zambia’s central bank governor following the meeting in the capital Lusaka.

Zambia has had a rocky relationship with the Fund under Lungu.

However, Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu said last month the government was in talks with the IMF over the “appropriate policy instrument” to help manage public debt and that its involvement was important the restructuring process “credibility and impetus”.

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