Zimbabwe will welcome the support of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) as it seeks to re-engage with the international and business communities, Emerson Mnangagwa, the country’s new President, has said in Harare.
Speaking yesterday while receiving Bank President Dr. Benedict Oramah, who led an Afreximbank delegation on a courtesy visit to him, President Mnangagwa expressed appreciation for all the financing support which the Bank had been providing to Zimbabwe and endorsed all the interventions in the Zimbabwean economy proposed by Afreximbank.
He described the Bank as a true development partner of Zimbabwe for being there for the country throughout its difficult periods. The government was committed to ensuring a mutually beneficial relationship with the Bank and to the speedy execution of novel initiatives outlined by Dr. Oramah, he said.
Earlier, Dr. Oramah said that the visit was to extend the congratulations of the Bank’s Board of Directors and Management to President Mnangagwa for assuming office and to congratulate the people of Zimbabwe for the successful and incident-free transition, noting that that development had brought goodwill to Zimbabwe.
He highlighted the Bank’s support to the country during the difficult times and offered proposals to accelerate the recovery of the economy, pledging that Afreximbank would assist Zimbabwe, particularly in re-engaging the international community and in rebuilding investor confidence.
Dr. Oramah said that the Bank’s support programmes to Zimbabwe included the finalization of a $600-million line of credit facility to enable the government finance trade and trade-related projects, adding that the Bank was currently processing funded and unfunded facilities for Zimbabwe amounting to between $1 million and $1.5 billion. The facilities included a country risk and investment guarantee programme, which would help the new government to attract foreign direct investment into critical sectors of the economy and a $150-million line of credit confirmation facility to enable commercial banks process the imports of some essential goods.
In addition, Afreximbank was willing to support the government’s industrialization programme through financing of the construction, expansion or renovation of industrial parks/special economic zones, revival of some industries that were adversely affected by the international sanctions on the country and development of the natural resource sectors through local content programmes that would ensure that significant proportions of the value from natural resources were retained in Zimbabwe, he stated.
President Oramah added that Afreximbank would provide advisory services to the government in its privatisation of state owned enterprises and would improve foreign currency liquidity in the country through a NOSTRO guarantee programme. The Bank also planned to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment of the country and to review its country programme for Zimbabwe in order to ensure that it addressed the critical needs of the country.
Accompanying the President from Afreximbank were Denys Denya, Executive Vice President, Finance, Administration and Banking Services; Gift Simwaka, Regional Chief Operating Officer for Southern Africa; and Richman Dzene, Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy.