Zimbabwe has concluded the fourth Structured Dialogue Forum meeting on debt recovery with creditors and development partners.
The government and development partners met on Thursday 11 May to review three draft policy reform matrices prepared by sector working groups on economic, governance and land tenure reforms. They also looked into the compensation of former farm owners and the resolution of the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA).
In the welcome address, Finance and Economic Development Minister Mathuli Ncube assured the participants of the country’s “full commitment and ownership of the process”, including the implementation of policy reforms.
Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Mathuli Ncube during the 4th Structured Dialogue Forum meeting held in Harare on Thursday 11 May 2023
In December 2022, the Government of Zimbabwe established a Structured Dialogue Platform with all creditors and development partners to institutionalize structured dialogue on economic and governance reforms to strengthen arrears clearance and debt resolution process.
Alexis Ferrand, the government’s economic advisor on bailout, outlined the long-term and short- to medium-term strategies of the Economic Reform Matrix, which will enable sustained inclusive economic growth, increased investment opportunities and job creation.
The matrix focuses on service delivery, increasing public sector transparency and accountability, combating corruption, and promoting human rights. It also includes electoral reforms, national integration, peace and reconciliation. It was presented by Virginia Mabiza, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
Ncube encouraged stakeholders to “continue to have constructive and candid dialogue, which is critical to building the mutual trust and confidence necessary for the success of the dues clearance and debt resolution process.”
Zimbabwe’s debt withdrawal process is being supported by Dr. Akinumwi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, and Joaquim Chisano, former President of Mozambique, who has been named as high-level facilitator. The two are expected in the country for a high-level debt resolution forum, led by Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa, on 15 May 2023.
President Mnangagwa appointed Adesina as a champion in July 2022. The Forum will focus on progress updates on three policy reform matrices, presentation of way forward and a tentative roadmap.
Zimbabwe’s total consolidated debt is $17.5 billion. The debt to international creditors is $14.04 billion, while the domestic debt is $3.4 billion. The debt to bilateral creditors is estimated at $5.75 billion, while the debt to multilateral creditors is estimated at $2.5 billion. The country is in arrears to service its debt, with outstanding dues to multilateral development banks including the African Development Bank, the World Bank and the European Investment Bank.
The fourth Structured Dialogue Forum meetings come on the heels of previous meetings held in December 2022 and in February and March 2023. The dialogue meetings are expected to continue after the elections to be held in August this year.