France likely to cancel Zimbabwe debt

via France likely to cancel Zimbabwe debt 05/11/2013  by Gilbert Nyambabvu NewZimbabwe

ZIMBABWE has been named among the so-called highly indebted poor countries likely to benefit from debt cancelations by the French government next year.

France’s social economy minister Benoît Hamon confirmed the plan Tuesday, saying: “In 2014, an estimated five countries could see their debt completely erased: Somalia, Zimbabwe, Chad, Ivory Coast and Sudan.

“The debt relief is almost immediate, since we are transferring loans made in the past into donations”.

It could not be established how much Zimbabwe owes France but the country is chocking under a debt pile estimated at more than $10 billion

The obligations include some $3 billion owed to the Paris Club, about $2 billion to the World Bank and US$600m to the African Development Bank.

Direct support to the government all but vanished after 2002 when western countries imposed sanctions against Harare over allegations of vote fraud and human rights abuses which are denied by President Robert Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF party.

Mugabe believes former coloniser Britain coerced allies to gang-up and punish his administration for its land reforms which he insists were needed to address historic imbalances in the ownership of the key resource.

The veteran leader, who is banned from travelling to western capitals under the sanctions, recently appealed to France to end the strictures which he blames for the country’s economic problems.

“Can France have a national introspection and see whether it’s right to continue to pursue the policy of sanctions against Zimbabwe,” Mugabe said last month while meeting diplomats from France, Germany and Holland.

“We must now look at the future and the need for sanctions to go. We want the removal of economic sanctions so we can export beef to Europe. Let’s get to trade.

“We do not want to visit France. I do not want your girls. I do not want to visit France for romantic purposes. I want to develop relations between us.”

The French government is expected cancel $2.42 billion of poor countries’ debt in its 2014 budget, up from $819 million the year before.

Countries in the French debt cancellation programme continue to pay their debt back to France but when the refund is completed, France transfers the corresponding amount back by assigning it to programmes to fight poverty.

22 countries currently benefit from the programme.



  • comment-avatar
    MikeH 10 years ago

    Just what moron mugabe wants.

  • comment-avatar
    Joseph Chimwanda 10 years ago

    Good for our economy. It eases the burden of our foreign debt overhang. If more western countries follow suit, this could unlock funding from multilateral financial institutions. Government should complement by using resources more responsible. Lets invest in plugging leakages from diamonds to improve inflows to treasury.

    • comment-avatar
      maita 10 years ago

      Chimwanda you want the debt to be cancelled then borrow again oh God so that they cancel again.

  • comment-avatar
    William Doctor 10 years ago

    Eh Mugabe – you shouldn’t have kicked the farmers off their land in the first place – or stolen elections. Compensation first – then debt cancellation.

  • comment-avatar

    They have to pay the debt thought it would have been cancelled and France will make a donation of an equivalent amount of money through NGO’s. Varungu ava and I like their style. VAKANGWARA!!!

  • comment-avatar
    Richard 10 years ago

    Joseph you are just typical of the thinking in Zim. Lets all rack up debts and then let everyone else pay us out. What a stupid idea! This is why Africa is like it is today, because people don’t step up to the plate and take responsibilities for their own actions. So
    typical of the ‘begging bowl’ syndrome that Africa lives by. Africans must learn to pay their dues. This might teach them the responsibilities of proper governance, and more so, the accountability of such actions.

  • comment-avatar
    maita 10 years ago

    They say Africa is rich with resources but alas we are baboons we don’t know how to use the resources that is why we end up in European capitals instead of the other way round. The Gulf state got oil they don’t need IMF, Africa has vast mineral and agricultural resources but as I said tiri makudo kujaira kuzambira mushana.

  • comment-avatar

    No way is this gonna be of any help.There z too much corruption in Zim such that even if France erases the debt and redonates like what we expect,this is never gonna benefit all of us.Another 3 billion debt will reamount