Zimbabwe plans to clear World Bank, AfDB arrears in 12 months – Minister

The government of Zimbabwe aims to clear its $2 billion debt with the World Bank and African Development Bank in the next 12 months after securing international creditors and donor countries, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said on Friday.

The southern African country has struggled to access international credit since defaulting on its debt to global lenders two decades ago, and is running up on arrears of nearly $6 billion.

Ncube revealed that the clearance program had the backing of the United States government.

The minister last week met with international lenders as well as representatives of the U.S. and British government in Bali, Indonesia, on the sidelines of the annual International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings.

“My intention is that by this time next year we would have paid off the AfDB and World Bank. All options are on the table, including the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) option debt write-off, or the HIPC-lite or the ad-hoc solutions, with sponsors,” Reuters quotes Ncube to have said.

“For sponsors, we will be talking to the G7 members to see if one or two of them, or all of them, could sponsor us and give us some lines of credit, bridging finance to be able to clear those arrears.”