|World Bank hails Zim debt strategy|
|Monday, 30 July 2012 00:00|
Martin Kadzere Senior Business Reporter
The country’s debt, estimated to be around US$10,7 billion, according to the IMF, has been a major impediment to speedy economic recovery as it continues blocking capital inflows for various infrastructure and economic programmes.
“We think what Minister of Finance (Tendai Biti) has so far put in place in terms of debt repayment sounds reasonable,” said Mr Lenneiye.
“The EU cannot unveil credit (to Zimbabwe) at the moment because of the existing debt,” he said.
In March, Minister Biti unveiled a debt resolution strategy in a bid to unlock external financing for economic development. The plan, called Accelerated Arrears Clearance, Debt and Development Strategy, seeks ways to retire the country’s debt overhang.
It involves stricter debt management through a debt management office, creation of database validation and reconciliation with all creditors, negotiating arrears’ clearance and a relief plan.
It will also include re-engagement with the international community for normalisation of relations, removal of sanctions and leveraging resources.
Last year, the African Development Bank cited the country’s debt overhang as a major stumbling block to Government’s efforts to attract foreign investment. Some of the institutions owed by Zimbabwe are the African Development Bank (US$529 million), World Bank (US$1,5 billion), the International Monetary Fund (US$550 million), European Investment Bank (US$221 million), among others.