DBSA CEO calls for reforms

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA, in New York City, USA at the UN General Assembly

DEVELOPMENT Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) chief executive officer Patrick Dlamini says government can do much better on reforms, amid a planned visit to Zimbabwe to discuss potential funding for the country.

Dlamini told NewsDay that currently there are ongoing discussions with “various authorities” in Zimbabwe over potential funding that the DBSA could provide towards infrastructure projects.

This comes as Zimbabwe had an external debt position of US$8 billion at the end of June which has prevented it from securing fresh credit lines at a time the economy is in a recession.

“I am a strong believer that there is always room for improvement in any government situation. It’s just that we must want to make sure that things are better for our country and work hard in making sure that our things actually are possible so that our citizens can be able to experience much more economic gains.

I am a strong believer that the government can be able to do much more better,” Dlamini told NewsDay on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly in New York City, in the United States.

“There have been discussions with various authorities in Zimbabwe, but we have not actually arrived at any specific firmed number as yet, but we are engaging with the Minister of Finance (Mthuli Ncube). Actually, I am due to come through, over to Harare to meet the Minister of Finance to talk terms of how we can be able to work together with the Ministry of Finance to support the country as a major trading partner with South Africa.”

He said it was the DBSA’s obligation and duty to make sure Zimbabwe started experiencing prosperity.NewsDay understands that the support being discussed with DBSA is project preparation funds that could easily be readied for deployment.

Zimbabwe is currently undergoing a recession where the falling local currency is eroding wages and investment. This has resulted in a significant drop in consumer spending and investors making losses in real value terms, respectively.

For example, the drop in the value of the local currency has seen average monthly wages of ZWL$500 translate to just US$34 against a cost of living of US$200 (ZWL$2 986).

Meanwhile, the erosion of investment is seen in the market capitalisation of the main bourse currently standing at ZWL$25,64 billion or US$1,71 billion. Around the same time last year, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange market capitalisation was worth US$11,94 billion.

“We are a big investor in Zimbabwe’s infrastructure at this point in time but we want to be able to make sure that we can do more,” Dlamini said.
He added that Zimbabwe had huge potential for growth.

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