The reform trajectory covering the economy, politics, media and legal issues, spearheaded by the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa since 2017, has been commended by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The AfDB’s acting vice president for regional development, integration and business delivery, Ms Yacine Fal, made the remarks yesterday after paying a courtesy call with her delegation on Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Ambassador Frederick Shava.
The delegation also included the acting chief economist and vice president for the Economic Governance and Knowledge Management Complex, Professor Kevin Chika Urama.
They discussed the bank’s support to Zimbabwe, arrears clearance and preparations for the upcoming visit to Zimbabwe of Dr Akinwumi Adesina, president of the banking group, next month.
In an interview after her engagement with Ambassador Shava, Ms Fal said they discussed a number of issues, including the impending visit of her boss, among other things.
“Also, the objective of the discussion was to express the bank’s appreciation of the progress made in the reforms, especially economic reforms, political and legal reforms undertaken by the Government,” she said.
Ms Fal said in the context of the areas clearance process, AfDB boss Dr Adesina has “graciously been invited” by President Mnangagwa and the Government “to play the role of champion for areas clearance for Zimbabwe”.
She said the AfDB had great relations with Zimbabwe ever since it joined the bank in 1980.
To date, the AfDB has approved loans and grants of approximately US$920 million for implementation of 60 projects in agriculture, energy, transport, water supply and sanitation as well as social, financial, governance and institutional support.
AfDB’s portfolio in Zimbabwe comprises 22 operations, 16 sovereign operations, two non-sovereign operations and two regional operations with a portfolio value of US$240 million.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Shava welcomed African Union (AU) Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals, Ambassador Albert Muchanga, for another courtesy call yesterday.
In an interview after the meeting, Ambassador Muchanga said he had briefed Ambassador Shava on the work they are undertaking to come up with an in-depth study on how to position Africa to increase her share of global trade.
“In the 1970s, Africa’s share of global trade was 6 percent, right now it has come down to between 2,8 percent to three percent,” he said.
Under the Second Republic, Zimbabwe has committed to boost trade relations as an important aspect in its foreign policy.
This is a pre-requisite for the attainment of an upper middle income society by 2030.