Zimbabwe Meets Financial Commitment with AfDB
In a bid to actively reconnect with international donors, the Zimbabwean government last month paid part of its arrears to the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group. On April 14, 2008, the country paid US$ 500,000 to the African Development Bank and US$150,000 to the African Development Fund. Zimbabwe has, in all, paid US$ 650,000 to the Bank Group despite numerous economic challenges currently facing the country, both globally and locally. According to Mr. Abdirrahmene Beileh, AfDB acting Director in charge of Southern African countries, "Zimbabwe is still owing the Bank large amounts of money in arrears".
The country has been in arrears with the Bank Group and a recent effort to pay part of these arrears is testimony of the government’s determination to live up to its international financial obligations vis-à-vis donor agencies and development partners. These challenges have contributed to the under-performance of the agricultural, manufacturing, mining and tourism sectors. Like many other developing countries, Zimbabwe has not been spared by the global food crisis and the corresponding surge in food prices, as well escalating oil prices. The country’s domestic economic development has been characterized by high inflation, output contraction and rising interest rates. The absence of balance of payments support, declining capital inflows, recurrent droughts and rising oil prices have severely undermined the economy’s productive capacity, resulting in most industries operating below 30% capacity.