AfDB seeks clarity on Zim crisis

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A SEVEN-member delegation of executive directors from the African Development Bank (AfDB) has met President Emmerson Mnangagwa to appreciate progress in ongoing political and economic reforms, according to a statement released on Wednesday.

AfDB said its officials also met ministry representatives, civil society, private sector and multilateral financial institutions who briefed them “on the current macro-economic, social and political environment”.

It said Mnangagwa gave the delegation an appreciation of ongoing reform efforts initiated since January 2019 as part of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), under the International Monetary Fund Staff Monitored Programme.

The delegation welcomed the president’s pledge to recalibrate TSP, which aims to implement policies that facilitate a return to macroeconomic stability.

Reforms under TSP include introducing policy and institutional reforms for private sector-led growth and addressing infrastructure gaps.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the bank for the commitment towards Zimbabwe,” the statement quoted Mnangagwa as saying.

“We need more assistance as a country, more so, as we embarked on substantive economic reforms based only on domestic resources without help from the international community.”

The directors noted that despite some positive results, reform coordination in the country remains a challenge, against a backdrop of a continuing general rise in poverty levels, especially in urban areas.

Zimbabwe is also still feeling the after-effects of Cyclone Idai, which hit the country in March 2019, and the 2019/20 drought, which has left more than 8,5 million people facing starvation.

The delegation also visited several bank-funded projects, including the post Cyclone Idai emergency recovery and resilience programme, implemented in the Chimanimani district, which was severely affected by Cyclone Idai.
The project, funded to the tune of $24,7 million, focuses on public infrastructure interventions aimed at re-establishing sustainable livelihoods and kick-starting economic activities of the affected population.

They commended the government’s rebuilding efforts in Chimanimani and other parts of the country, and reiterated the bank’s commitment to the people of Zimbabwe and the country’ economic development agenda.
The group urged perseverance in the implementation of reforms and called for early normalisation of relations with development partners, which would help unlock more substantive external resources for Zimbabwe, including from the AfDB.

Travelling to Zimbabwe were Mbuyami Matungulu who represents constituency covering Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo); Judith Kateera representing Angola, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe; Kenyeh Barlay for Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Sudan; Paal Bjornestad for Denmark, Finland, India, Norway and Sweden; Amod Kipronoh Cheptoo, for Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda); and Mmakgoshi Tshepo, for Eswatini, Lesotho and South Africa.

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