Story by Stanley James, Business Editor
OPEN dialogue has been critical towards Zimbabwe’s efforts to clear the external debt overhang, amid the restoration of trust between the government and creditors.
External debt has for the past two decades stifled Zimbabwe’s economic development, as the country cannot access any loans from bilateral and multilateral financial institutions.
However, with four meetings having so far been held between the government and creditors, the process has been cited as setting the tone for building trust and confidence between the government and creditors.
“Once again, we commend the government of Zimbabwe for this outstanding decision to undertake dialogue with all the stakeholders,” noted former President of the Republic of Mozambique and High-Level Dialogue Facilitator, His Excellency Joaquim Chissano.
“A set of matrices has been developed outlying several reforms to be undertaken by the government of Zimbabwe.”
“This progress must be recognised and we should encourage the government to fully implement it. It is also imperative that we take stock of progress registered and chart the way forward,” he added.
The resolution of the external debt overhang is also expected to restore offshore funding for development with the need to maintain the current talks being considered important.
“I am very concerned about debt and debt accumulation from arrears which do not have a solution in sight, it is time for debt resolution for Zimbabwe, but getting there is not a walk in the park,” said African Development Bank President and High-Level Dialogue Champion, Dr Akinumwi Adesina.
“I am honoured to be the champion of the debt resolution, and we have been working with the government of Zimbabwe, development partners, the private sector and civil society to find a common solution.”
“The best way is to dialogue and doing so transparently and reach consensus on concrete actions to be implemented that will serve the people of Zimbabwe to progress can be verified and assessed, actions that can heal the past and bring hope to the people of Zimbabwe,” he added.
The debt resolution talks between the government and creditors are in line with the National Development Strategy One, which considers the importance of engagement towards economic growth and stability.