Harare (New Ziana)- Government will soon convene a high-level debt resolution forum, with development partners and other stakeholders as it forges ahead with plans to resolve its debt challenges, Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube said on Thursday.
As part of the plan, the government adopted the Arrears clearance, debt relief and restructuring strategy and has roped in the African Development Bank to champion the debt clearance strategy.
Ncube said as at end of June 2022, public and publicly guaranteed debt stood at ZWL$1.3 trillion and US$13.2 billion, comprised of domestic and external debt, respectively.
He said the country’s external debt continued to burden the economy by restricting access to low cost, long-term financing required to support the desired medium to long term growth trajectory.
“To address this challenge, government has developed the Arrears Clearance, Debt Relief and Restructuring (ACDRR) Strategy aimed at restoring debt sustainability. In line with the ACDRR Strategy roadmap, government will soon host a High-Level Debt Resolution Forum with Development Partners and other stakeholders aimed at building consensus among all stakeholders on the process and procedures of resolving the country’s external debt overhang and arrears clearance,” he said.
“The African Development Bank’s President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has agreed to be the country’s Champion for the Debt Resolution and Re-engagement process. In his capacity as Champion, he will coordinate and chair the forthcoming High-Level Debt Resolution Forum.”
The AfDB has also helped countries, including Somalia and Sudan, deal with their debt problems.
Zimbabwe has not been able to service much of its foreign debts over the years due to a sustained economic downturn caused largely by illegal Western sanctions imposed on the country.
As a result, most international lenders stopped giving fresh loans to the country until it cleared its previous debts, a condition Zimbabwe has been unable to meet.