Economic milestone: Zimbabwe accessing ADB grants

HARARE – Zimbabwe has started implementation of a US$10,4 million grant from the African Development Bank aimed at increasing accountability and efficiency for three key strategic institutions of the economy.

The arrangement which was finalised this Thursday by the African Development Bank’s representative, Zimbabwe Country Manager Damon Kitabire, and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube is expected to see the Parliament of Zimbabwe, Office of the Auditor-General and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) accessing funds from the facility which is running over three years.

According to the State media, Prof Ncube said the funding availed would go a long way in assisting government efforts towards improved corporate governance and enhanced service delivery in public institutions.

“The project is expected to strengthen the transparency and accountability oversight mandates of the three institutions in line with the Transitional Stabilisation Programme which prioritises fiscal consolidation, economic stabilisation, and inclusive growth as well as employment creation,” he said.

The bulk of the funding, about US$8.1 million, will go towards Zimra’s tax and revenue management system, US$2.9 million towards Parliament and the Auditor General’s Office while about US0.56 million will fund project management and monitoring and evaluation.

Zimra has been identified as it is a key institution for government, providing the bulk of funding for its budget in the wake of dried up international support.

Kitabire said AfDB funding was aimed at supporting government reform efforts, which the continental bank was fully behind.

“We are aware that tax administration and related reforms are at the core of this recovery and as a bank, we have been and will continue to support the initiatives in this effort,” he said.

“As your bank, we will stand with you and support you as you endeavour to revive the economy with progressive market-oriented policies.”

The government, he said, should continue its reform efforts of the macro-economy especially those aimed at attracting foreign exchange which is necessary for full restoration of macroeconomic stability and rebuilding of general infrastructure.