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Official says AfDB ready to assist Zimbabwe

The African Development Bank (AfDB) stands ready to help Zimbabwe break its macro-economic instability, the Bank’s Director for development research, Temitope Oshikoya, told journalists here Tuesday.

Speaking on the sidelines of an AfDB, SACU (Southern African Customs Union) meeting, he said the Bank had prepared a “Country Dialogue paper on Zimbabwe,” detailing an economic rescue plan.

Oshikoya also said the AfDB backed the SADC (Southern African Development Community) intervention in Zimbabwe, including South African President Thabo Mbeki’s mediation mandate.

He, however, noted that assisting Zimbabwe would require “political will and consensus” among the country’s leadership and opposition parties, citing the examples of Rwanda, DR Congo, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

“If we have done it in DR Congo, Rwanda and are doing it in Liberia and Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe is not a complex case, what is needed is political consensus, but bear in mind that talk is cheap.

“We should try to support what Mbeki and other SADC countries are doing and AfDB stands ready to help Zimbabwe break the macro-economic instability,” Oshiyako stressed.

He said Zimbabwe’s spiralling inflation “can be reduced to two digits once the macro-economic framework is right,” but also warned that the country must restore the rule of law and respect property rights.

The AfDB official said that with sound macro-economic policies in place, Zimbabwe could turn around its declining economy in two years.

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