Adesina sees quick solution to Zim debt crisis


African Development Bank (AfDB) president Akinwumi Adesina has said Zimbabwe will clear its overdue arrears sooner rather than later riding on the goodwill and trust between the country and its creditors.

Zimbabwe is battling to clear its US$14bn debt to multilateral and bilateral creditors to unlock fresh lines of credit to reboot the economy.

Adesina said all the parties want to resolve the crisis.

“We will get there sooner rather than later. The level of commitment, the level of engagement, the level of trust that we have seen in the past few hours give me hope that we will reach there sooner than later,” he told journalists after the second structured dialogue meeting in Harare Thursday.

Last year, Zimbabwe appointed Adesina to lead the arrears clearance and debt resolution process. It recently roped in former Mozambique President Joaquim Chissano as the high level facilitator.

Chissano said stakeholders he met want Zimbabwe to fully assume ownership and leadership of the process.

He said the ownership and leadership of the process are to be translated into a more visible and assertive intervention of President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the helm of the reform agenda.

The reform process will entail taking and implementing significant political decisions that require a strong and decisive intervention by President and Cabinet, Chissano said.

“The commitment to enact and implement the critical reforms should be assumed and publicly stated at the highest politcal level of the country,” he said.

Adesina said his discussions with development partners showe that there was” no political or sinister” agenda behind this engagement.

“There is no agenda on regime change. There is only one agenda: reforms for lasting change,” Adesina.

He said the debt crisis has to be addressed as “Zimbabwe cannot run up a steep hill of economic recovery carrying a heavy backpack of debt on its back”.

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