Western sanctions have caused immense economic harm to Zimbabwe, with the country losing billions in potential economic funding over the past two decades, Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo said Monday.
He told a parliamentary portfolio committee on foreign affairs that apart from losing an estimated 42 billion U.S. dollars in revenue, Zimbabwe had lost bilateral donor support estimated at about 4.5 billion dollars annually since 2001 due to sanctions.
Zimbabwe had also lost 12 billion dollars in IMF, World Bank and African Development Bank loans which could have helped in developing infrastructure, as well as losing commercial loans amounting to 18 billion dollars which could be extended to the private sector and other companies, Moyo said.
“As a result of this, Zimbabwe experienced a 21 billion dollars reduction in GDP over the past two decades,” he said.
Moyo said despite the West maintaining sanctions on Zimbabwe, the country will continue to engage it so as to normalize relations.
“The government continues to engage with the West and so far the response is encouraging,” he said.
Moyo added that it was time that the United States lifted its sanctions law on Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001, saying it had run out of its relevance and necessity.