ED secures $500million in lines of credit

10 Feb, 2019 - 00:02 0 Views
ED secures $500million in lines of credit President Mnangagwa

The Sunday News

Takunda Maodza in ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday met the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB) president Admassu Tadesse, and the financial institution made a commitment to arrange lines of credit worth at least $500 million.

TDB has also been roped in as the advisory bank for the US$3 billion Batoka power project, which is being jointly developed by Zimbabwe and Zambia at Batoka Gorge along the Zambezi River. The two neighbouring countries are expected to share the 2 200 megawatts (MW) that will be generated from the project.

President Mnangagwa met Mr Tadesse in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) is set to attend the 32nd Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly, which officially opens today.

“TDB is organising lines of credit, especially as a result of our interaction with Belarus around the economy. TDB is coming in as the advisory bank for the Batoka Power Project and possibly next month, TDB is doing an agreement with the RBZ for half a billion worth of credit lines to Zimbabwe,” Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Mr George Charamba told journalists after the meeting.

He said TDB, which has assets worth more than $5 billion, was also following up on deals clinched by President Mnangagwa on his recent visit to Belarus.

“The bank is being used by Belarus to follow up on projects agreed following His Excellency’s visit. The President’s day has been so busy because interest in Zimbabwe both as an economic player and investment destination is huge,” added Mr Charamba.

President Mnangagwa was in Belarus last month where he met his counterpart Alexander Lukashenko. Harare and Minsk signed deals covering infrastructure development, agriculture science and technology, education and training, among others. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) also pledged to help mobilise resources to ensure Zimbabwe’s economy is revived.

Speaking to journalists after meeting President Mnangagwa, UNDP administrator Achim Steiner said: “As the UNDP, we have been engaged and are engaging Zimbabwe since many, many, many years (sic). Our meeting today follows my visit in April last year and our keen interest to ensure that the economic recovery is supported both from the perspective of the reforms within but also by an engagement from international community side.

Our discussion with His Excellency were focused on mobilising economic momentum, particularly investing also in the recovery process related to a number of key areas in Zimbabwe’s economic development. I committed to the President that the UNDP will engage . . . and we look forward to cooperating and hopefully having Zimbabwe’s future economic prospects rise quickly.”

An inter-ministerial taskforce inspects the damage caused by rioters during last month’s violent protests inside Entumbane Market Centre in Bulawayo which houses many shops and a butchery on Friday

Norway Prime Minister Ms Erna Solberg also paid a courtesy call on President Mnangagwa and discussed bilateral relations and investment opportunities in Zimbabwe. According to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo, who also attended the meeting, PM Solberg explored investment opportunities in Zimbabwe.

President Mnangagwa told PM Solberg the investment environment in Zimbabwe is peaceful, except for isolated events, and there is room for Norway companies to invest. Norway also sought Zimbabwe’s support for a seat in the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member.

Earlier in the day, President Mnangagwa had met Ethiopian Airline chief executive officer Tewolde Gebremarian and Africa’s biggest airline offered a life-saving partnership deal for Air Zimbabwe that include bringing planes to Harare for joint operations, training of pilots and turning Zimbabwe into a regional aircraft maintenance hub. Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Moyo, who also attended the meeting between President Mnangagwa and Mr Gebremarian, described the offer as a “very interesting proposal”.

“The group chief executive officer of the Ethiopian Airlines brought in a very interesting proposal. You know they are already flying to Zimbabwe and they are flying all over the world. What they want is to come in and sort of partner with Air Zimbabwe and they are prepared to bring planes to Air Zimbabwe in Harare. They are also prepared to train pilots so that pilots in Zimbabwe can actually be perfected,” said Minister Moyo.

 

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