AfDB says Zim has lost 102 banking correspondences

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By Alois Vinga

THE African Development Bank (AfDB) says Zimbabwe has lost a total 102 banking correspondences in the last decade on the back of sanctions induced depreciation of the local economy.

Addressing delegates at the Second Dialogue Platform on “Arrears Clearance and Debt Resolution Process for Zimbabwe”, AfDB president Dr Akinwumi  Adesina said sanctions had negatively impacted the economy.

“We gather that over twenty years of sanctions have hurt the people of Zimbabwe. The once thriving private sector has imploded. International banking has almost dried up with 102 correspondence banking relations lost in the past one decade,” he said.

Adesina said 90% of the economy is now informal with the country’s once thriving contribution as the nerve center of the SADC region has been broken, lowering regional trade and investments.

“The once thriving National Railways of Zimbabwe, with a rolling stock of 12,5 million tons in the 1990s now accounts for under 2,5 million tons. The number of people living in extreme poverty now stands at 44%,” he said.

He said the people of Zimbabwe have suffered enough with the young people of the country now deserving to have their once prosperous country back as they cannot continue to suffer for a past they did not create.

“They deserve a new and prosperous future. It is time now to rebuild what has been broken; it is now time to refrain from casting stones; it is now time to heal; it is now time for peace.

“I wish to commend the people of Zimbabwe for their resilience. You have been down, but you never gave up. You believe that hope will one day arise. Together, we gather today to map out a pathway for hop,” he said.

He said the sanctions have led to arrears and debt accumulation over the years which now stands at $17,5 billion out of which international creditors are owed  US$14,04 billion, while domestic debt stands at US$3,4 billion and  bilateral creditors  estimated at $5,75 billion, while debt to multilateral creditors is estimated at US$2,5 billion.