THE African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) says it has provided more than US$10 billion financial support to Zimbabwe, cementing the institution as the country’s all-weather lender.
This financial support has been instrumental in bolstering trade and supporting various strategic initiatives as well as financing the development of trade-enabling infrastructure, such as the Beitbridge border post.
Afreximbank’s support has been instrumental because Zimbabwe’s public debt, estimated to be over US$20 billion, has hampered it from accessing fresh capital from most foreign lenders.
Denys Denya, Afreximbank executive vice-president (finance, treasury, banking operations, credit, ICT and administration) said the bank’s support to Zimbabwe went to the private sector, financial institutions and State-owned enterprises.
“The bank’s trade finance solutions, risk mitigation instruments and financial support will be instrumental in facilitating trade between Zimbabwe and the rest of the African continent. To date, Afreximbank has provided financial support, exceeding US$10 billion to the Zimbabwean private sector, financial institutions and State-owned enterprises since its establishment in 1993,” Denya said at the Chartered Governance Accountancy Institute’s annual conference held in Victoria Falls last week.
“This financial support has been instrumental in bolstering trade and supporting various strategic initiatives as well as financing the development of trade-enabling infrastructure, such as the Beitbridge border post. At Afreximbank, we offer a comprehensive suite of products and services that Zimbabwean entities can readily leverage on as we collectively pursue the Vision 2030 agenda.”
While Zimbabwe’s majestic landscapes, vibrant cultural heritage and abundant wildlife positioned it as a premier tourism destination, Denya, however, noted that realising the full potential of this sector demanded deliberate investments in infrastructure and strategic marketing to spotlight our unique offerings.
“The tourism industry holds the potential of generating billions in foreign currency revenue, making a substantial contribution to our country’s gross domestic product. To harness this potential, we must envision the development of state-of-the-art conference and hotel facilities that will support the entire tourism ecosystem,” Denya said.
“Yet, it’s important to understand that it's not solely about attracting tourists; it’s also about creating unforgettable experiences that compel them to return, ensuring a sustainable source of foreign currency inflows into our nation.”
Tourism is among the country’s top forex earners after mining exports and diaspora remittances.
Denya said Afreximbank’s strategic focus was anchored around two key elements which are also instrumental for the growth of the Zimbabwean economy, that is, promotion of Intra-African Trade and AfCFTA Implementation.
The bank’s focus also includes driving industrialisation and export Development.
“We are staunch proponents of the structural transformation of Africa’s production and exports, with a strong emphasis on shifting towards higher value-added and manufactured exports. To facilitate this transformation, we provide comprehensive financing solutions supporting the growth of agro-processing and light manufacturing industries.
“We do provide financing solutions for the establishment of manufacturing facilities, the importation of cutting-edge equipment and technologies, and the provision of essential working capital for the procurement of raw materials,” he added.