AfDB president in Zimbabwe to get debt clearance plan underway

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa (R) shakes hands with African Development Bank's president Akinwumi Adesina on the sideline of the opening session of the AFRICA CEO FORUM in Abidjan on March 26, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / SIA KAMBOU (Photo credit should read SIA KAMBOU/AFP via Getty Images)

DR Akinwumi Adesina, the African Development Bank Group president is in Zimbabwe for a two-day official visit to the country.

The bank group president is expected to meet President Mnangagwa and other Government officials, including Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, who is also Zimbabwe’s Governor on the bank group’s board of governors.

Dr Adesina, who arrived on Monday, 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.

“Discussions will focus on potential areas of technical assistance that the African Development Bank will provide to the Zimbabwean government.

“President Mnangagwa, elected in 2018, has introduced several economic reforms to stimulate economic recovery and stability,” said the AfDB in a press release.

“Adesina will meet with several African and G7 ambassadors and representatives of international financial institutions accredited to Zimbabwe.”

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

The African Development Bank has run the US$145.8 million Zimbabwe Multi-Donor Trust Fund (‘the ZimFund’) from 2010 through June this year.

ZimFund has been an important source of financial support for the country’s energy, water and sanitation infrastructure. The seven ZimFund financiers are the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland. – Chronicle

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