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A DELEGATION from the African Development Bank (AfDB) has said Zimbabwe should intensify the re-engagement process with the international community if it is to get the much needed foreign direct investment (FDI).

The 20-member delegation which is on a week-long fact finding mission and project funding review programme, said FDI will enable Zimbabwe to repay the debt it owes to multilateral creditors and further develop its deteriorating economy.

Zimbabwe owes $7 billion to multilateral creditors.

The debt is prohibiting the country from accessing funds which are needed for economic and infrastructure development.

Addressing reporters after a closed door meeting with Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa in Harare Monday, spokesperson of the group, Alieu Momodou Ngum, said they were willing to assist Zimbabwe to strategize and come up with ways of fast tracking the bridge building process between the southern African country and the west.

“Part of our programme whilst we are here is just discussing with government authorities, we will also be discussing with the bankers association we will be discussing with the industry to hear from them their perspective on how we can get over some of the problems Zimbabwe is facing now,” he said.

The AFDB spokesperson said they were worried by Zimbabwe’s failure to repay its debt given the potential it has.

“Zimbabwe has a lot of potential it has a very skilled work force it has a high literacy rate and it also has basic infrastructure in place,” he added.

Zimbabwe has a cumulative debt of $566 million it owes to AfDB.

Chinamasa said he had pleaded with AfDB to negotiate on behalf of Zimbabwe for the cancellation of the debt the country owes to various money lending institutions.

“In our meting I have emphasized that the AfDB should play a leading role in securing the clearance of arrears that we have accumulated with the multilateral creditors alongside World Bank and the IMF because of their rules and regulations we cannot enjoy the benefits of our membership meaning we cannot access concessionary borrowing from them unless we clear our arrears,” the minister said.

Source : New Zimbabwe

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