It’s all happening. The international community is ready to engage Zimbabwe again. Powerful nations and organisations in both the west and the east express optimism in the future of our nation.
In order for the country to rise again funding is needed and this is where organisations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) come in. Zimbabwe paid off its debt with the IMF in October last year and new lines of credit could be opened.
Zimbabwe still owes the World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and other lenders though.
The British foreign secretary Boris Johnson said the European nation could extend a loan to Zimbabwe to help in settling those debts with the international lenders like the World Bank. We looked at whether Zimbabwe should accept such kind of a loan as we seek to rebuild.
So seeing as we no longer owe them anything, the IMF spokesperson announced that they will be sending a staff mission to meet with officials of the new government and assess the country’s fiscal and economic situation.
The IMF spokesperson said the staff visit will,
update our assessment of Zimbabwe’s fiscal position, foreign exchange developments and inquire about the new administration’s economic plans.
No funding will be forthcoming until those other debts to the World Bank and AfDB are settled and so Britain’s offer would have to be taken if Zimbabwe decides to go the debt funding route. We should not go the foreign aid route but if we do decide to go down that route, Britain’s offer would be a crutch.
In that time when the west cut off Zimbabwe for various reasons, failure to pay its debts being one of them, China stood by Zimbabwe. Several big money deals were signed between the two countries, energy and telecommunications deals worth about $1.1 billion were signed.
In the last months of Mugabe’s reign deals appeared to have dried up.
A Chinese envoy came last week and relayed that the Chinese government is willing to work with President Mnangagwa.
Speaking to Zimpapers Television Network’s Nomsa Nkala, the United States’ Ambassador to Zimbabwe gave his nation’s view of the proceedings in Zimbabwe.
The Americans would ‘very much like to partner with this administration.’ He said they would like to see growing trade between the two nations but he also stressed that the conditions have to be right.
When pressed on why the US would be more active in the Zimbabwean economy the Ambassador kind of joked that he needs to fix the situation where Zimbabwe exports more to the US than it imports. He also mentioned the people employed by the American embassy and the fact that Americans are the largest tourists to Zimbabwe by far.
All this but…
All these organisations and nations except for China say they will be looking to see how things shape up on the democracy front before they can assist or partner Zimbabwe. Think human rights upholding, free and fair elections, freedom of speech and expression among others.
They will also need to first see what economic policies the new President ushers in. This is understandable.
With so many parties willing to help it would be proper for us to weigh the merits and demerits of each course of action we can take. As we alluded to above, the country should not be looking to debt funding. We looked at the steps Zimbabwe should take in a different article. Read more on that here.