Zambia is on the brink of defaulting on its foreign debt after it missed a payment of more than $40m last month. The BBC reports that a so-called grace period will expire today, which would make it Africa’s first country to default on sovereign debt since the coronavirus pandemic. Zambia was already struggling with its $12bn external debt load. But coronavirus has aggravated pre-existing financial pressures in the country. The pandemic has put an additional burden on health services and depressed economic activity and the government has said that is the cause of its difficulties.