Yokohama, Japan –The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) said on Friday it will soon give multi-million dollar facilities to Zimbabwe to assist with its emergency food situation, and development of infrastructure for agricultural and economic sustainability.
Zimbabwe is facing a food deficit estimated to affect up to 5.5 million people in the next nine months. Early this month, the government launched an international humanitarian appeal for food assistance for US$331 million, of which $150 million has already been mobilised through the United Nations system.
Afreximbank president, Dr Benedict Oramah, who met with President
Emmerson Mnangagwa on the sidelines of the Tokyo International
Conference for African Development in Yokohama, said part of the
assistance would be availed under the bank’s Food Emergency Contingent Financing Facility (Fecontraf).
“We reviewed collaboration and reforms which are going on. We talked
about additional requirements in infrastructure and (the need) to help deal with the consequences of the drought in terms of food availability,” Dr Oramah told reporters after meeting President
“We want to be able to support food imports and also to enable the
development of certain infrastructure including irrigation that will
help manage weather related crisis in the future.”
He said Fecontraf was specifically put in place “to enable African
countries to manage weather uncertainties.” “We have agreed to meet with the Minister of Finance (Professor Mthuli Ncube) and the Reserve Bank to look at elements of the intervention that will come,” Dr Oramah said.
Prof Ncube, who is also at Ticad, attended the meeting. Afreximbank has stood by Zimbabwe through thick and thin, availing crucial facilities at a time the country was shunned by other major lenders for political reasons.
Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa also met with International
Telecommunications Union secretary general, Houlin Zhao who lauded
Zimbabwe for its continued promotion of the use of information
communication technologies in its economic development.
“We note that Zimbabwe has faced difficulties in the past…but no matter the difficult times, ICT (information communication technology) is always put on the priority for national development and we would like to encourage Zimbabwe to continue,” he said.
Houlin also lobbied for Zimbabwe to push the United Nations through its General Assembly to push for investment in ICTs in the world to aid the process of achieving targeted Social Development Goals (SDGs).