Africa Moyo Deputy News Editor
ZIMBABWE has intensified efforts to re-engage international financial institutions and has met with key financiers such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as it seeks to normalise relations.
According to a report on the implementation of the Second 100-Day Cycle released recently, Government went into the engagements with the target of striking agreements on the clearance of US$1,8 billion debt and arrears signed with the IMF and World Bank.
During the engagements, the international financial institutions were largely satisfied with Zimbabwe’s ongoing economic reform trajectory being implemented under the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), a short-term economic blueprint that runs from October 2018 to December 2020.
Government says roundtable meetings with the IMF and the World Bank, alongside the IMF Spring Meetings were held in a bid “to facilitate the unlocking of new funding and clearance of debts and arrears”.
“Pursuant to the re-engagement thrust, bilateral meetings were held with the African Development Bank (AfDB), UK, EU, US State Department, Sweden, Germany and the Department for International Development (DFID) wherein Zimbabwe was commended for progress achieved in its economic reform trajectory.
“An agreement was reached with IMF on the Staff Monitored Programme,” reads the report.
During the roundtable meetings, an agreement was reached with the IMF on Staff Monitored Programme (SMP).
At the end of May, the IMF approved a one-year SMP for Zimbabwe aimed at supporting Government’s reform agenda.
The IMF acknowledged that Government was committed to “addressing the macroeconomic imbalances, removing structural distortions to facilitate a resumption in growth, and to re-engaging with the international community including by clearing its external arrears.”
The Second 100-Day Cycle Report also notes that Zimbabwe has engaged the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) as part of efforts to strengthen the country’s socio-economic and political relations with multilateral and international organisations.
ICRISAT was engaged with the intention of expanding tree planting projects and enhancing production for local consumption as well as export purposes.