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EIB mulls new €40 million Zim private sector facility



THE European Investment Bank (EIB) is considering extending another €40 million private sector facility for Zimbabwe’s private sector as the southern African nation remains ineligible to access the regional bloc’s sovereign lending due to a huge debt overhang, The NewsHawks has established.


The European Union Delegation in Zimbabwe on Wednesday hosted a high-profile EU Private Sector Dialogue Seminar in Harare, shedding light on key opportunities for trade and investment between Zimbabwe and the EU.

 This event brought together representatives from EU businesses with a presence in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe private sector players, key Zimbabwean private sector organisations, banker associations, investment promotion agency (ZIDA), and trade promotion agency (ZimTrade) for a discussion aimed at unlocking Zimbabwe’s economic potential through enhanced EU-Zimbabwe collaboration.

“While large-scale sovereign lending is currently on hold because of Zimbabwe’s arrears of US$17,7 billion, the seminar showcased the EU’s commitment to supporting private sector investments in Zimbabwe by highlighting a range of financial instruments available through Development Financial Institutions (DFIs) like the European Investment Bank (EIB),” EU Delegation in Zimbabwe ambassador Jobst von Kirchman (pictured) said.

“These instruments offer de-risking guarantees for private sector investments, making Zimbabwean projects more attractive to European investors.

“Detailed information was provided on the EIB’s successful €40 million Private Sector Facility, including eligible sectors and project qualification criteria, which will be useful as there are plans for other future private sector facilities.”

The event also shed light on the EU’s ambitious Global Gateway initiative, a plan designed to unlock €150 billion in public and private investments in Africa. This investment plan prioritizes sustainable development, focusing on areas critical to Zimbabwe’s growth, such as infrastructure, renewable energy, and climate change mitigation.

“While Zimbabwe has already benefited from certain Global Gateway investments such as the Kariba dam rehabilitation and environmental programs, other specific programs are under development,” von Kirchman said.

CABS chief executive Mehluli Mpofu told The NewsHawks on the side-lines of the private sector dialogue seminar that players in the horticulture industry expressed more interest in accessing the EIB facility.

“The EIB facility was really high demand and the initially line that we got which was €15 million has been fully disbursed,” Mpofu said.

“We are obviously looking at more funding coming to Zimbabwe. In terms of where the need is, I would say it cuts across but to the EIB, I would say agriculture, horticulture specifically. Tourism is another area with the huge interest. We are also looking at logistics or any business on the export oriented space.” According to figures availed by the EU, Zimbabwe enjoyed a positive trade balance of US$83,2 million in 2022. The figures show that the regional bloc was Zimbabwe’s fifth trading partner in 2022 falling from the fourth position in 2021.

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