LONDON- Zambia's debt restructuring process has "stalled" as it awaits the formation of a creditor committee, Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane said on Thursday at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Spring Meetings.

"We've been waiting for the committees to sit," Musokotwane told IMF African Department director Abebe Selassie in a 'Governor Talk' interview broadcast by the fund.

"And while we are here I hope we can get some clarity from you and your colleagues from the World Bank on how we can move forward. Because for now it is stalled," he continued.

Zambia was the first country to default in the pandemic era, in November 2020, as it buckled under debt of more than 120% of GDP. The debt hit $31.74 billion at the end of 2021, 17% higher than six months earlier, according to official Zambian data.

Zambia reached a staff level agreement with the IMF on a $1.4 billion, three-year credit facility in December 2021.

Musokotwane, who also described the restructuring as a "stalemate," told parliament on March 25 that the creditor committee would be announced "within the next few weeks" and has said he hopes for a formal IMF deal by mid-year.

Selassie had asked what the international community could do to address what he described as the "unresolved... debt challenge".

(Reporting by Rachel Savage Editing by Emma Rumney and Mark Potter)