AfDB debt mission heads for Zim

A TEAM from the African Development (AfDB) will tomorrow hold a meeting with civil society organisations and development partners on Zimbabwe’s debt and arrears clearance strategy and options.

BY NUNURAI JENA

The meeting will be held at the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisation (Nango) offices in Harare.

Nango said the joint multi-sector mission would be led by Sibry Tapsoba, the bank’s director for the Transition Support department.

In a notice to members, Nango said the mission was part of the bank’s support to debt and arrears clearance in Zimbabwe.

“The main purpose of the mission is to update CSOs and development partners on the status of Zimbabwe’s debt arrears clearance and discuss the options on how best to take the process forward,” Nango said.

No comment could be obtained from the AfDB’s offices in Harare, as the officer-in-charge, Mary Monyau was attending a series of meetings when NewsDay called yesterday.

The AfDB mission comes as Zimbabwe is re-engaging international financial institutions to help unlock fresh capital.

Under the 2015 Lima Agreement, Zimbabwe pledged to clear simultaneously the combined $1,8 billion arrears to three preferred creditors — International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and AfDB. The plan was later modified with Zimbabwe pledging to pay one creditor at a time.

Subsequent to the change in the Lima roadmap, the country last year paid IMF’s $107,9 million outstanding obligations. This saw the IMF board removing sanctions on Zimbabwe related to remedial measures applied on account of overdue financial obligations to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust.

In his 2017 national budget, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said Zimbabwe would early this year resolve its arrears to other multilateral creditors such as AfDB ($610 million), the World Bank ($1,16 billion), European Investment Bank ($212 million) and other multilateral institutions, as well as bilateral official creditors.

Chinamasa said the clearance of arrears would allow for access to concessional development finance, as well as investment flows, will also assist in the implementation of the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper for 2016-2018.

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