Afreximbank throws Zimbabwe $500m lifeline

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor John Mangudya presents his Monetary Policy Statement, while Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube and Permanent Secretary George Tongesayi Guvamatanga look on at the RBZ in Harare yesterday. —(Picture by Tawanda Mudimu)

JOHANNESBURG – The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) said on Wednesday it had agreed to conclude a U.S.$500 million Nostro stabilization facility for Zimbabwe by the end of this month.

An Afreximbank delegation led by its president, Prof. Benedict Oramah, held talks with a Zimbabwean team led by finance and economic development minister Prof. Mthuli Ncube, and governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Dr. John Mangudya on Wednesday in Bali, Indonesia, to discuss the bank’s support to the African state’s economic recovery.

The meeting on the sidelines of the 2018 International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group annual meetings highlighted the bank’s various facilities currently operational in Zimbabwe.

Afreximbank spokesperson Obi Emekekwue said that the bank and Zimbabwe discussed the modality of the $500 million facility which Zimbabwe had requested from the bank and agreed on the processes toward concluding that transaction by the end of October.

“The ultimate goal of the facility is to secure payments for essential imports and to promote exports, diaspora remittances and deposit of foreign currency. It is envisaged that this will restore foreign currency liquidity and stability in the market,” Emekekwue said.

Zimbabwe’s ailing economy has come under renewed pressure as it grapples with currency shortages and steep price hikes while fuel, food and medicines are running out.

– African News Agency (ANA)