25 September 2017

Zimbabwe: Ed Meets Afreximbank Chief

African Export Import Bank is set to establish a regional centre in Harare, a demonstration of confidence in the country's economy by the Cairo-headquartered continental financial institution.

Afreximbank president, Dr Benedict Okey Oramah, who is in the country, paid a courtesy call on Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa last Friday at his Munhumutapa Offices in Harare where he pledged the institution's commitment to continue doing business with Harare.

Dr Oramah, who was accompanied by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya, briefed Acting President Mnangagwa on the bank's plans to construct a regional centre in the capital. Dr Mangudya said in an interview that Dr Oramah told Acting President Mnangagwa that his institution would continue to support Zimbabwe in every way it could.

"One of the objectives of his visit here was to pay a courtesy call to the Acting President, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa," he said.

"There was a fruitful engagement between the two leaders.

"He has advised that they will continue supporting Zimbabwe and he also thanked Harare for allowing them to set up a property in Newlands. They want to establish a regional centre here in Harare." Dr Mangudya said the setting up of a regional centre was a vote of confidence on what Zimbabwean authorities were doing to address economic challenges.

"Currently, Afreximbank has an office in town," he said. "And as you know, they have been in Harare for several years. But what they now want to do is to set up a regional office in Harare. We are quite encouraged with that as monetary authorities."

Dr Mangudya said the Afreximbank chief would continue with more engagements with other stakeholders during his stay in the country. Dr Mangudya briefed Acting President Mnangagwa about the $600 million nostro stabilisation facility that had been extended to Zimbabwe by Afreximbank. The facility is set to be introduced this week. The facility came after the central bank negotiated for an enhanced nostro stabilisation facility from the bank to manage the cyclical nature of Zimbabwe's foreign exchange receipt.

The nostro stabilisation facility is meant to deal with ongoing delays in the processing of foreign payments by banks for the procurement of productive imports as part of a raft of measures to stabilise the economy. The facility will cover the foreign currency gap that widened after closure of the 2017 tobacco marketing season. Presenting his monetary policy statement, last month, Dr Mangudya said the facility would be available for draw-down after the end of the tobacco selling season. He said one of the objective of the facility was to ensure the revival of firms was strengthened and that critical imports of fuel and electricity were assured.


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