31 October 2012

Zimbabwe: IMF Relaxes Restrictions On Zimbabwe

Photo: IRIN
Hope in Harare.

Cape Town — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has eased technical assistance restrictions on Zimbabwe in a move seen as moving towards normalising relations with the southern African nation.

This will see Zimbabwe getting technical advice to design its economic programmes and the IMF will monitor the implementation of specific projects.

In a press statement, the fund has confirmed that it decided to "resume IMF technical assistance in certain new areas to support Zimbabwe's formulation and implementation of a comprehensive adjustment and structural reform program that can be monitored by the staff".

The country will now continue to get assistance in areas such as financial sector reform, central bank reform, tax policy administration, public financial management, expenditure policy, monetary and exchange policies, macroeconomic statistics and anti-money laundering.

The milestone decision was taken by the executive board after noting a "significant improvement in Zimbabwe's cooperation on economic policies, the authorities' efforts and renewed commitment to address its arrears".

This new development comes at time when Zimbabwe, which had sunk into political and economic quagmire, appears to be on the path to economic recovery.

The IMF's new position could be seen as testimony of the organisation's shifting policy on Zimbabwe, which had seen it cutting ties with the country in the past. Furthermore, the movement in the inclusive government towards the finalisation of the constitution may also have triggered the decision to easing the restrictions which paves the way for the re-introduction of IMF funding.

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