During the International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank (WB) annual meetings held in October in Lima, Peru; Zimbabwe presented a plan to clear $1, 8 billion worth of arrears to three preferred creditors. The plan which entails that Zimbabwe has to clear it’s arrears with the IMF, World Bank and African Development Bank by the end of April in 2016 was approved and became known as the ‘Lima’ or the Lima agreement.
Last week @263 Chat hosted an #EUTweebate under the theme, ‘Life after Lima’ where diplomats and business people debated on practical steps that Zimbabwe had to take to ensure that the targets of the plan are met on time. The discussion was quite interesting and here are some quotes that we thought were worth noting.
- “We need to look at the region and change the story that Africa can rise. After hasn’t started rising as far as I am concerned, its consumption base of imported goods has arisen. We need to manufacture goods so that we can begin to serve the African consumer base.” – Vince Musewe
- “We are operating at three speeds, slow, very slow and stop; in terms of processing investment that come through. We are caught up in a lot of bureaucracy” – Dr Nigel Chanakira.
- “We need to build that critical mass that is willing to demand for openness for accountability and results.” – Dr Godfrey Kanyenze
- “Firstly we need a CEO of Zimbabwe who promotes the brand, mostly when the President is out there he is not promoting the brand, he is winching and complaining that Zimbabwe is a victim; we need a change of language.”- Vince Musewe
- “If we could change a Labour Act in 30 days, why can’t we change investment policies with the same speed?” –Dr Nigel Chanakira
- “It’s not because we don’t have resources that people don’t have adequate water in Zimbabwe, it’s just lack of political prioritisation of critical livelihood issues.” – Dr Godfrey Kanyenze
- “My opinion is you can’t get the economic track going unless the political track catches on quickly” – Ambassador Catriona Wendy Campbell Laing
- “No new money is needed in agriculture to get it going quite frankly, it’s the policy on agriculture that needs to change. We just need to follow the example of other countries who have gone to the green revolution, Mexico, China, India etc.” – Professor Ashok Chakravati
- “Let’s first engage with each other as Zimbabweans, we are not going to solve the problems by engaging with the IMF with the UK, USA , China if we are not engaging with each other”.- Kumbirayi Katsande
- “Don’t use the spray gun approach, as Zimbabweans we are all over the show, the issue is to focus on the more binding constrains. The issue is we need to identify, create and nature champions in each castor that can push for the economic reforms that we are talking about.” – Dr Godfrey Kanyenze
Image by Daphne Jena