Zimbabwe: Afreximbank to Fund Industrial Revival

THE Africa Import-Export Bank (Afreximbank) is set to provide the bulk of the US$100 million fund for the revival of industries through a local fund, Finance minister Tendai Biti said last week.

The fund, Zimbabwe Economic Trade Revival Facility (Zetref), is meant to provide cheap financing to industries and help drive capacity utilisation.

The new fund, Zetref II, would see Afreximbank contributing US$70 million while US$30 million would come from government.

The bailout package comes at a time a recent survey showed that capacity utilisation in the manufacturing industry had declined to 44,2% from 57,2% recorded last year, painting a gloomy picture in the outlook.

Zetref II is a successor to the US$70 million released last year to help revive productive sectors of the economy.

Biti said under Zetref I, approvals amounted to US$53 million while disbursements were US$27 million. He said the low rate of disbursements was caused by some banks' delays in fulfilling the conditions precedent.

The government would also come up with another fund to revive industries in Bulawayo. Currently, there is US$40 million under the Distressed Industries and Marginalised Areas Fund (DiMAF), where US$12,2 million has already been disbursed.

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