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Zimbabwe’s Debt Overhang Continues to Weigh Down Heavily on Development Efforts

This week, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said that his government was committed to a plan to clear more than $6bn of external debt arrears that were hindering its access to badly needed international loans. Zimbabwe, which had more than $14bn in external debt as of September 2022, has not been able to secure financing from the likes of the International Monetary Fund in more than two decades, due to its arrears. About 17 countries from the Paris Club of creditor nations were scheduled to attend the meeting, along with the World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB) and European Investment Bank, to discuss progress on economic and governance reforms, finance minister Mthuli Ncube said last week. Zimbabwe will compensate white farmers, whose land was forcibly taken, over 10 years instead of the 20 announced three years ago, Ncube said on Thursday in a news conference, adding that the money would be raised through treasury bills. Other measures Zimbabwe needs to carry out include bringing together the official and black market foreign exchange rates and reforming the central bank, which currently has a quasi-fiscal role that fuels inflation, African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina said in an interview..