Zimbabwe Gets US$50m

The government of Zimbabwe will contribute US$20 million to make the total loan facility reach US$70 million in the loan facility dubbed Zimbabwe Economic and Trade Revival Fund (ZETREF).
Addressing bank executives in the capital Harare at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) recently, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said the loan facility is being introduced to help small and medium enterprises who face difficulties to access loans adding that the loan will go a long way in financing the industry’s resuscitation.
“The facility was established to curtail the challenges of high interest rates, unequal distribution of lines of credit between the capital city and the rest of the country, limited lines of credit and lack of financing within the economy,” Tsvangirai said.
“While this facility represents a positive development, it alone cannot address economic challenges that face Zimbabwe,” he added.
Gift Simwaka, an official with the Afreximbank said the bank is committed to help the country revive its economy.
“The African Export and Import bank remains fully committed to supporting Zimbabwe’s economic recovery so that the country can quickly retain its position as an economic power house of the southern African region,” Simwaka said.
“The purpose of the revival fund is to resucitate a broad range of firms  in the productive sector especially in agriculture and manufacturing by providing medium term funding.
“The purpose of the fund fits very well in the mandate of the Afreximbank,” he said.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti who was present at the launch of the loan facility, said the formation of the unity government in February 2009 has seen the opening up of credit lines.
“The formation of the inclusive government in 2009 saw an improvement in inflows with disbursed lines of credit amounting to US$656 million being recorded in 2009.
“However, these disbursements, together with about US$200 millon that has come in this year, fall far short of industry’s requirement,” Biti said.
He added that the country is still in negotiations with several countries and financiers for “additional lines of credit.”