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IMF, World Bank officials pay visit



SENIOR World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials this week met authorities in Zimbabwe during high-level meetings focusing macro-economic stability and debt resolution and re-engagement with the global community, The NewsHawks has established.


Zimbabwe is desperately making frantic efforts to normalise relations with the Bretton Woods institutions which are key multilateral financial institutions.

Information indicates that the director of the IMF’s African Department, Abebe Aemro Selassie, who oversees the global fund’s operations and engagement with 45 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, including Zimbabwe, flew to Harare this week alongside World Bank officials for the meetings with top government officials on re-engagement, reforms and macro-economic diagnostic issues.

Selassie has held meetings with Finance minister Mthuli Ncube and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya, and their respective officials on macro-economic and reform issues.

Mangudya confirmed having meetings with officials from the multilateral lenders.

“They were in Zimbabwe for 5 days to discuss recent macro-economic policies, re-engagement agenda, SMP and debt arrears clearance strategy,” Mangudya said.

“They commended fiscal and monetary authorities for stabilising the economy and reducing the parallel market premium to below 25%. They urged authorities to continue with current efforts towards unifying the exchange rates.”

Selassie, a London School of Economics and Political Science-trained Ethiopian economist who specialises in macro-economics and strives to strengthen the region’s financial architecture to support Africa to reach its true potential, also met President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Since late 2022, Zimbabwe has been engaged in a concerted process to resolve its debt and clear arrears with international creditors, including the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Mnangagwa has invited AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina — widely recognised as one of Africa’s most ardent growth proponents — to spearhead the debt and arrears clearance strategy.

As part of an implementation matrix starting with a low-hanging fruit, Zimbabwe has formally asked for a new Staff-Monitored Programme from the IMF to promote reforms.

The IMF is interested in the dynamics of reforms and debt situation, having largely pushed for a solid institutional position. 

Reforms and macro-economic stability can contribute to positive change in a country’s image and perception, as well as credit rating.

Zimbabwe’s total debt stock amounts to US$17.7 billion. Debt owed to international creditors stands at US$14.04 billion, while domestic debt comes to US$3.4 billion. 

Bilateral creditors are owed US$5.8 billion and multilateral creditors about US$2.5 billion. 

The country is in arrears with international financial institutions, including the AfDB, World Bank and European Investment Bank. 

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