Story by Stanley James, Business Editor
ZIMBABWE is warming up to the debt arrears clearance and resolution process after quarterly token payments of over US$100 million to external creditors.
Government is intensifying its engagement and re-engagement agenda, including the resolution of the country’s external debt overhang to attract concessionary financing for economic development.
In line with vision 2030 aspirations, an Arrears Clearance Debt Relief and Restructuring Strategy that includes creditors, development partners and other stakeholders was set up to focus on solving the external debt.
The process is being championed by the President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, supported by former President of Mozambique, His Excellency Joachim Chissano.
The concerted efforts are already paying off in ensuring multilateral financiers have confidence in Zimbabwe.
With latest data showing that Zimbabwe has made quarterly token payments of over US$60 million to the World Bank, US$36 million to the African Development Bank, over US$five million to the European Investment Bank and US$9,6 million to the 16 Paris Club bilateral creditors, economists say the tokens demonstrate government’s commitment to the engagement and re-engagement process.
Development Economist, Prosper Chitambara said, “It is a demonstrations of Zimbabwe’s commitment to clear arrears, it’s also obviously an important of our reengagement with creditors and international community, it also helps to reduce the high country risk that has been associated with Zimbabwe.”
“The agenda is towards ensuring that the debts are cleared while it may be a mammoth task the fact that there is commitment to pay further sends positive signals about the Government intentions and how they can related with the external financiers and find each other,” Director of Business School, University of Zimbabwe, Professor Albert Makochekanwa.
Since the establishment of the Structured Dialogue Platform, five meetings have been held, including a High Level Debt Resolution Forum as Zimbabwe implement reforms to ensure the huge debt overhang is solved by related parties.