AfDB says looking at ways to help Zimbabwe cut debt

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The African Development Bank is considering three ways it could help Zimbabwe clear its huge debts.

The bank also says it will settle on a rescue package in three months time, the bank’s chief economist said on Tuesday.

The International Monetary Fund in January approved a six-month extension of a monitoring programme for Zimbabwe aimed at helping it to clear 10 billion dollars in external debts and give it access to much-needed new international credit.

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“We have three or so options that we think Zimbabwe can pursue and get out of this debt quagmire,” Mthuli Ncube told a news conference on the sidelines of the AfDB annual meeting.

The bank’s deal to help Zimbabwe, which is emerging from a decade of economic decline and hyperinflation, will be disclosed in three months time, he said.

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The bulk of Zimbabwe’s debt dates back more than a decade. The country is also suffering a severe liquidity crunch, since it lacks significant foreign direct investment and lines of credit.