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Mnangagwa Says Zimbabwe Is Committed To Tackle Debt Arrears

Mnangagwa Says Zimbabwe Is Committed To Tackle Debt Arrears

President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday said the government is committed to clearing external debt arrears which stood at US$6.3 billion in 2022.

Zimbabwe’s external debt stood at US$14, 043 billion in September 2022 from about US$8 billion in 2019, with US$6.3 billion being arrears.

This has prevented the country from accessing fresh capital from global financial institutions.

According to Business Times, Zimbabwe owes US$1.48 billion to the World Bank, AfDB (US$671 million), and the European Investment Bank (US$372 million) while the Paris Club and non-Paris Club are owed US$3.55 billion and US$2.22 billion respectively.

The balance is owed to bilateral creditors, multilateral creditors, blocked funds, Treasury bonds, and other creditors.

Speaking during a meeting with international creditors in the capital Harare on Thursday, Mnangagwa said:

This initiative highlights my government’s commitment to clear our outstanding debt arrears, including those to the African Development Bank Group, other multilateral institutions, and bilateral creditors.

Zimbabwe’s debt overhang continues to weigh down heavily on our development efforts. We have no access to new lines of credit, including from multilateral banks, such as the World Bank Group.

The Zimbabwean Government and the African Development Bank Group agreed therefore, to put this Structured Dialogue Platform in place, to provide space for constructive and structured dialogue on arrears clearance and debt resolution.

Rest assured, that as a government, we are very keen to see Zimbabwe in good standing with all its creditors and determined to deliver favourable outcomes for the people of our country and the expectations of creditors.

I am personally appreciative of the valuable contributions and engagements since the first Structured Dialogue

Platform meeting and stand ready to maintain an open door policy, as an avenue to resolve any outstanding issues.

Finally, I want to express my profound gratitude to the president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, our Champion, and his staff at the African Development Bank Group for their steadfast and generous support towards Zimbabwe’s arrears clearance and debt resolution process.

Speaking at the same event, former president of the Republic of Mozambique, Joaquim Chissano said:

The lack of dialogue to address the issue has been a major stumbling block. This is a unique opportunity and should not be squandered. Zimbabwe must reclaim its position in SADC.

Therefore, the commitment to make and implement critical reforms should be ensured.

Political cohesion and will are of the essence as well in this current situation.

Akinwumi Adesina, the president of the African Development Bank Group said:

Today marks the beginning. I accepted to be the champion of this programme because I know the potential of Zimbabwe.

It is now time to rebuild, it is now time to refrain from casting stones, and its now time for peace.

It is now time to deal with debt arrears for Zimbabwe. Now is the time to forget about the past, we must look forward.

It’s now time for all of us to build a new and prosperous Zimbabwe.

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