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Zimbabwe seeks AfDB’s support to pay foreign debts 

Zimbabwe seeks AfDB’s support to pay foreign debts 
July 12
22:34 2022

The Zimbabwean government has enlisted the support of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) to help clear its huge external debt arrears.

Mthuli Ncube, Zimbabwean finance minister, disclosed this on Tuesday at a press briefing with Akinwunmi Adesina, AfDB president.

Adesina, who arrived in the Southern African country on Monday for a two-day official visit, had accepted a request in February by the Zimbabwean government to serve as the country’s arrears clearance and debt resolution champion among international financial institutions and bilateral creditors.

Zimbabwe is the only regional member country of the AfDB currently under sanctions from the bank and other multilateral financial institutions because of debt arrears amounting to over $2.6 billion.

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According to the AfDB, discussions between Adesina and Zimbabwean officials will focus on potential areas of technical assistance that the AfDB will provide to the Zimbabwean government.

Speaking at the briefing, Adesina said he was optimistic about talks with Zimbabwe to solve its debt crisis.

He added that the country’s external debts stood at $13.5 billion.

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“You cannot run up a hill with a bag of sand on your back,” Reuters quoted Adesina as saying.

“I am optimistic that working together, we will be able to get there. We are committed to supporting Zimbabwe with $4.2 million … (for) arrears clearance.”

In his remarks, Ncube said  Zimbabwe needed to clear its debt arrears in order to accomplish its goal of stabilising the economy.

“We have to continue with the reforms we have started and make sure they are completed so that we can continue to stabilise the (economy),” Ncube said.

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In March, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Zimbabwe had developed a debt resolution strategy and started token payments to creditors in a bid to make progress on reengagement.

Recently, Ghana, another African country, reached out to the IMF to begin discussions on a possible support programme.

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