Kudzanai Sharara in CAIRO, Egypt
Pan-African multilateral financial institution, African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), is set to avail credit facilities worth millions of dollars to the country’s private sector, a senior official with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has revealed.
Afreximbank has over the years supported the country’s industrialisation programme and as recent as last year signed deals worth over $188 million with several local banks.
The funds included a US$110,4 million Syndicated Term Loan Facility signed with the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission & Distribution Company (ZETDC) to improve revenue collection through smart meters and prepaid meters and thus pay off regional creditors’ accounts.
In addition, Afreximbank provided the Central African Building Society (CABS) with a US$40 million facility to support its participation in a syndicated facility aimed at improving the supply of electricity in Zimbabwe through the payment of legacy debt and the importation of prepaid meters.
The third transaction, which is a US$28,2 million dual-tranche facility, was agreed with CBZ Bank help finance the importation of raw materials for key industries, thereby creating jobs and, in some cases, facilitating export diversification.
Sources in the banking sector said the Afreximbank’s officials were recently in Zimbabwe amid plans to extend additional lines of credit.
While the claims could not be established at the time of publishing, central bank governor Dr John Mangudya confirmed plans for lines of credit from Africa focused multilateral lender.
Speaking on the sidelines of Afreximbank Annual Meetings, the Governor indicated that around US$100 million would be made available through four banks to support the private sector in Zimbabwe.
Dr Mangudya said these new facilities complement the existing facilities made available by Afreximbank to the country through the central bank two years ago.
The facilities “are assisting the private sector with letters of credit for the procurement of essential commodities that include fertilisers, cooking oil and fuel for the productive sectors of the economy,” he said.
Dr Mangudya said he was pleased by the continuous support that the Zimbabwean banking sector continues to receive financial facilities from Afreximbank.