EGYPT-BASED African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has this year given US$195 million to Zimbabwe to import food, fuel and to support the export sector, Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, Gideon Gono, has said.
In a wide ranging discussion with journalists on Wednesday, Gono also said discussions for the South African loan were going on.
“Zimbabwe has benefited from the Afreximbank facilities financing the importation of grain and oil, as well as through availing of pre- and post-shipping financing facilities to our exporters,” Gono said.
“Over the past years, Afreximbank have been our single largest foreigner financier, at a time when some traditional external lenders are shunning us for our uncompromising stance against exploitation by former colonial adversaries,” he said.
He said in 2001 and 2002 the Cairo bank gave Zimbabwe US$75 million for grain imports, US$25 million for fuel and US$85 to finance exports. In 2003, Zimbabwe got US$75 million for grain, US$25 million for fuel and US$60 million for export finance, while last year it got the same amounts as in 2001 and 2002.
This year, the bank has given Zimbabwe US$75 million for grain, US$25 million for fuel and US$95 million for export finance. He also said negotiations between Zimbabwe and South Africa for the proposed R6,5 billion loan are still progressing.
“Negotiations are still going on but we have said no to megaphone diplomacy,” he said.
He said from Tuesday until Friday next week, Zimbabwe will be hosting the 12th general meeting of shareholders of the Export-Import Bank.
He said that the recently liberalised exchange rate was progressing well after a slow start as many banks were caught unawares.
The floating of the exchange rate has replaced the auction system.
Gono said discussions with the Rand Merchant Bank over fuel financing were in progress.
Commenting on the mooted new currency, Gono said: “In some countries who have done what we want to do many people who were holding onto huge piles of cash were unawares,” he said.
“For example, in Ghana they did that and many people were caught by surprise. I am not going to say anything whether we will take away some zeros or it will have a fine texture. Give the governor a chance but we also still want to consult.”
On inflation, Gono said by mid next year inflation levels would have declined to two digit levels before reaching single digits in 2007.