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Remarks By The Hon. P.A. Chinamasa - At The Occasion Of The Handover Of Land And Deed Of Transfer To Afreximbank For Its Regional Office In Harare

On behalf of the Government and the people of Zimbabwe at large, it is my pleasure to address you on this day on the occasion of the Handover Ceremony of Land and Deed of Transfer to the African-Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank)

for the construction of the Afreximbank Harare Branch and Regional Offices. It is evident from this development that Afreximbank is sinking its roots deep in our Zimbabwean soil. You have been indeed welcomed by the Governor, but I also say welcome.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Government of Zimbabwe, is grateful that with this occasion, Afreximbank has once again demonstrated its commitment as a permanent developmental partner of the people of Zimbabwe and the Southern African Region.

We have travelled together with Afreximbank a long road. The withdrawal of international support by multilateral and bilateral institutions about twenty years ago and the imposition of sanctions against Zimbabwe was indeed difficult, but with the true friendship and partnership of Afreximbank and other regional financial partners, the journey has been made bearable so far.

Zimbabwe was one of the founding members of this noble institution in 1993 and we are glad to see the progress being made by African Export-Import Bank as it continues to place great prominence to the promotion and financing of intra-African trade.

The Government of Zimbabwe, through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, is the third largest sovereign shareholder of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), after Nigeria and Egypt.  The first Branch Office of Afreximbank was established in Zimbabwe in 1996 with the current Reserve Bank Governor, Dr. John Mangudya being one of the Pioneers of the Bank and the first Branch Manager of the Harare office. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Government of Zimbabwe recognizes the indispensable role provided by Afreximbank as it has extended numerous credit facilities to this economy over the past two decades and continues to do so. Afreximbank has a number of facilities in an amount of around just under US$1 billion to support economic activities in Zimbabwe. Some of the running facilities include:

  • US$200 million Aftrades facility to support banking sector stability;
  • US$200 million future flows export facility;
  • US$150 million gold backed facility;
  • US$150 million ZESA facility;
  • US$70 million grain import facility; and
  • Over US$150 million worth of facilities having been extended to various sectors of the economy - chief among them, being tobacco and tourism sectors.

As you may be aware, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is currently working on the following new facilities with Afreximbank.

  • US$600 million Nostro Stabilisation Facility to meet the forex requirements for productive foreign payments; and
  • US$150 million letters of credit facility to support the importation of fuel, fertilisers and feedstock for the manufacture of cooking oil.

In  addition to the above mentioned, Afreximbank is the lead arranger to secure funding for the repayment of Zimbabwe’s arrears of US$1.8 billion to the World Bank and AfDB that is essential to unlock foreign finance for the country and to reduce Zimbabwe country risk.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Afreximbank’s role in supporting economic recovery efforts in Zimbabwe neatly dovetails into initiatives as espoused in the National Blueprint, ZIMASSET and the Ten-Point Plan.

In 2017, the Zimbabwean economy is projected to register a strong positive growth on the back of Agriculture, Mining and Tourism. As the economic recovery gains traction, we have also noticed that the demand for foreign currency is increasing. We run the risk of retarding the economic growth if the country fails to secure foreign exchange for the feedstock into the economy. It is against this background, that I am appealing to the Board and management of Afreximbank to provide the much needed assistance especially during this foreign exchange dry period – October to February.

The increasing demand for foreign currency is also emanating from the fiscal side which is currently running deficits which are meant to finance the developmental agenda of this country. Unlike other countries which have recourse to more budget financing options, Zimbabwe has to fund its deficit using real resources in the form of foreign currency.

We have no doubt that with increased cooperation from Afreximbank and other regional developmental partners, the gap will be filled. As indicated on the programme, today we will witness the signing of an MOU between Afreximabank and the Reserve Bank which further testimony to the cooperation between Zimbabwe and the Pan African Bank.

Zimbabwe remains greatly indebted to Afreximbank for the critical lifeline support that is geared at rejuvenating economic activity which is an essential ingredient to current efforts. As a country, we will continue to cherish such mutually beneficial partnerships that propel Zimbabwe forward on the economic front.

In conclusion, Ladies and Gentlemen, let me thank the President of Afreximbank, the Minister of Local Government, the Mayor of the City of Harare, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, the Board and Staff of the African Export-Import Bank as well as the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Board and other supporting Government Departments for the excellent work which made it possible for this occasion.

I Thank You.

Remarksby the minister of finance and economic development Honourable P. A. Chinamasa, Mp 

23 September 2017

Enacted Budget

Ministry Financials


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