European Union Lauds Zimbabwe’s Efforts in Debt Resolution and Economic Reforms

File Picture: EU Jobst Von Kirchmann's first meeting with Zimbabwe Finance Minister Prof Mthuli Ncube
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HARARE -In a significant nod to Zimbabwe’s ongoing efforts to address its debt and foster economic reforms, the European Union delegation to Zimbabwe has expressed commendation for the government’s proactive stance in tackling arrears with international creditors.

By Tina Musonza

Ambassador Jobst Von Kirchmann highlighted this during the Europe Day celebrations held at his residence in Harare.

Von Kirchmann emphasized the pivotal role played by President Mnangagwa’s administration in spearheading the arrears clearance and debt resolution process, underscoring the potential benefits for Zimbabwe’s investment climate.

He noted, “President Mnangagwa’s move was a clear sign of reforms on the economic and good governance side.”

Furthermore, Von Kirchmann stressed the importance of sovereign lending in facilitating Zimbabwe’s journey towards achieving its Vision 2030 of becoming a middle-income society. He expressed optimism about the potential of the ongoing process, indicating Europe’s readiness to support Zimbabwe in this endeavor.

Central to the debt and arrears negotiations is the compensation of farmers affected by the Fast-Track Land Reform Programme. Von Kirchmann highlighted that a significant portion of the allocated funds, approximately US$35 million, will be directed towards compensating former owners of farms covered under the Global Compensation Deed.

EU top envoy commends President Mnangagwa

Deputy Minister Sheillah Chikomo from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade echoed the government’s appreciation for the EU’s support, particularly in governance sector dialogues. She emphasized Zimbabwe’s commitment to clearing its arrears and reiterated the importance of maintaining an equal dialogue framework.

Chikomo underscored the progress made in implementing ongoing reforms, guided by Zimbabwe’s National Development Strategy (NDS1). She welcomed the EU’s interest in convening a partnership dialogue session and encouraged local companies to leverage EU-provided trade opportunities to advance Zimbabwe’s economic aspirations.

Highlighting the existing trade relations between Zimbabwe and the EU, Chikomo emphasized the benefits of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) for Zimbabwe, including duty-free access to the European market. She also acknowledged the EU’s assistance in various developmental areas, including trade facilitation and sanitary standards.

The commitment of the Zimbabwean government to compensate farmers under the Global Compensation Deed was reiterated, with a total pledge of US$3.5 billion.

The EU’s recognition of Zimbabwe’s efforts signifies a positive step towards enhancing economic stability and fostering international investment in the country. As Zimbabwe continues on its path of reform, collaboration with international partners such as the EU remains crucial in achieving its developmental goals.