Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda (second right), his deputy Justin Mupamhanga (right) in a meeting with AfDB delegation led by Executive Director Mr Heinrich Mihe Gaomab(in scarf) at Munhumutapa Offices in Harare yesterday.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has lined up a US$500 million Transitional Stabilisation Facility aimed at capacitating the local private sector, to enable it to help in economic turnaround efforts. This was said by AfDB executive director representing Southern Africa Group II Constituency, Heinrich Mihe Gaomab II, while fielding questions from journalists in Harare yesterday.

Mr Gaomab II is in the country to assess the Bank’s projects in the energy and water sectors.

He had just met a Government delegation led by the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda to tell him of his findings and the Bank’s perspectives on Zimbabwe.

“. . . we have a Transitional Support Facility; we would release a resource envelope for Zimbabwe and we are looking at it, at the African Development Bank,” said Mr Gaomab II.

“It (the facility) could be ranging up to US$500 million. It can only be more, it can only be better. It will afford an opportunity to the private sector and we are very encouraged with that releasing of a financial space for Zimbabwe.

“It’s something that we want to assist Zimbabwe (with) and this amount will eventually be afforded to the private sector.”

The AfDB has become one of Zimbabwe’s “all-weather friends”, having extended several financing and stabilisation packages to support economic growth.

Mr Gaomab II said despite challenges being experienced in Zimbabwe, the Bank is confident the economy is set for an “exponential growth” driven by the right policies Government has put in place.

The policies include a positive Monetary Policy Statement and the on-going parastatal reform programme, which is targeting about 41 companies.

“The macro-economic indicators are showing an element of ‘positiveness’. The economy is on an upward trajectory; the growth trajectory looks very good. Zimbabwe has been where we call a ‘bottom-end’, but that the economy will only go up. The reforms will take Zimbabwe on a growth trajectory, very exponential growth not just stable. We are encouraged by that,” said Mr Gaomab II.

He explained that the AfDB is “encouraged” and “very positive” about the macro-economic reforms that have been undertaken and is equally appreciative of the “strong fiscal consolidation efforts as well as effective domestic resource mobilisation” set in motion by Government.

Mr Gaomab II said reforming State Owned Enterprises would be a game-changer for the country.

The Monetary Policy Statement announced by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr John Mangudya last week, has also been applauded, especially for the key decisions taken around ditching the 1:1 exchange rate in favour of a market driven one.

“We are of a very positive view that such policies will take Zimbabwe on a positive growth trajectory,” said Mr Gaomab II.

Mr Gaomab II has been in the country to asses recent economic developments, advance policy dialogue and discuss prospects for future engagements with the Bank. He was scheduled to tour ZimFund power projects in Gweru and Bulawayo.

The visit started Monday and concludes today.

Mr Gaomab II is accompanied by his advisor, Mr Joao Luis Ngimbi.herald