Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter—
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) yesterday announced a $1,5 billion economic stabilisation package for Zimbabwe that will go towards the revival of the productive sector to stimulate more exports.Afreximbank president and board of directors chairman Dr Okey Oramah said the bank was keen to support the stabilisation of the Zimbabwean economy by providing currency liquidity to avoid bank queues.
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He said Afreximbank would also be supporting nostros of the different banks to ensure that those dealing in American dollars had access every time they needed them to pay for goods. The funds being provided by Afreximbank would also provide investment guarantees for investors, to entice them to come to Zimbabwe. Dr Oramah was speaking after paying a courtesy call on President Emmerson Mnangagwa at his Munhumutapa offices. He also revealed that the $600 million nostro stabilisation facility extended to Zimbabwe to meet its foreign currency requirements for productive foreign payments had been finalised. Dr Oramah was leading the delegation that met President Mnangagwa.
The $1,5 billion facility will support the productive sector through banks, especially the mining and manufacturing sectors.
“We are here to extend congratulations to President Mnangagwa and to also reaffirm our continued support for the Government and people of Zimbabwe under his leadership,” said Dr Oramah. “We discussed various areas where we have been intervening and will continue to intervene. We also informed the President that the $600 million we engaged a few weeks ago has now been finalised. We also discussed a number of areas that will involve additional investments from us, something that will be in the order of $1 billion to $1,5 billion that will include certain kinds of guarantees to encourage investors to come into Zimbabwe at this time.
“It will include a $150 million facility we are doing for banks to enable them to confirm letters of credit to ensure that we have good supply of essential items like fuel, fertilisers and so on.” Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said he was delighted that Dr Oramah had been able to come to Zimbabwe and pay a courtesy call on President Mnangagwa after his inauguration.
“His visit sends very good signals to the rest of the world that Zimbabwe is open to do business,” he said. “It is open for investment and this is the support that I think we deserve. As you are aware, Afreximbank has been a pillar of strength throughout our most difficult times and I am happy to say that they have been with us from beginning and they will be with us even in the new era of prosperity that is beckoning to us.
“As things stand now we have, through the inaugural speech by the President and through the Budget that I delivered in the National Assembly on Thursday, given a clear policy direction as to where we are headed as far as the management of the economy is concerned.” Minister Chinamasa said Afreximbank’s interventions were going to support the country to have an investment guarantee.
He said this was adequate demonstration that next year the country should register a higher growth rate than he anticipated in the Budget. Minister Chinamasa anticipated a 4,5 percent economic growth in the Budget delivered last week. He said with these developments, Zimbabwe should do better.
“The support they (Afreximbank) are going to give is to support the productive sector, of course through our banks, mining sector, especially the gold sector, retooling of our manufacturing, all those are good things that are going to happen to our economy and I believe this economy is going to be in for a good time ahead,” he said. The funding is expected to restore confidence in the economy, a good foundation for attracting both domestic and foreign investment.