The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, said that he has accepted President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s request for the bank to lead Zimbabwe’s debt repayment strategy.
Adesina announced the development at the ongoing AfDB annual general meeting (AGM) in Accra, Ghana.
Zimbabwe is seeking to expunge its unsustainable sovereign debt, now at US$19 billion.
The country cannot access affordable long term financing from both multilateral and bilateral financiers, which has hindered efforts to turn around the economy. Said Adesina:
I have written to the President of Zimbabwe that I humbly accept what you requested me to champion as the vice president said the arrears clearance and I know that with the understanding and the support of our partners we will get there soon.
… So we are committed as that bank to that. We will walk with our partners. We will walk with the World Bank.
We will walk with the IMF, we will walk with all the bilateral partners. My vice president [Yacin Fal] just went there.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube said Zimbabwe has begun making token payments to all the foreign financiers it owes among them the Paris Club, which has 17 members, the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Ncube said this last month on the sidelines of World Bank annual meetings that he attended in Washington DC, USA. He said:
We are now making token payments to the 17 members of the Paris Club, this means that we are now servicing all our creditors, and payments are being made quarterly for the past 9 months.
Zimbabwe is presently ineligible to get loans from the (International Financial Institutions) IFIs due to its external debt.