News / Africa

Botswana Extends $70M Credit Line to Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Tendai Biti addresses a news conference in Harare, Zimbabwe, Aug. 23, 2011.
Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Tendai Biti addresses a news conference in Harare, Zimbabwe, Aug. 23, 2011.
HARARE — Botswana has extended a credit facility of about $70 million meant to revive Zimbabwe's ailing industrial sector. The line of credit, announced Monday, comes at a time when Zimbabwe has no access to international lenders like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
 
According to the African Development Bank, Zimbabwe needs at least $4 billion in lines of credit so its struggling industries can get back on their feet.  

Speaking after the signing ceremony for the Botswana credit facility, Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti outlined the rise and fall of his country's economy.

"In 1996 we were the second largest economy in the SADC [Southern African Development Community]," said Biti. "In 2012 we are marginally higher than Malawi, marginally higher than Lesotho, marginally higher than Swaziland. Let us put our house in order."

Biti has repeatedly criticized government policies of seizing white-owned farmland and "indigenzing" foreign-owned companies to give a majority stake to black Zimbabweans. Those policies crippled farm production and scared away investors. As a result, the economy has struggled for more than a decade, and the country‘s external debt is now about $10 billion.

Biti said he hopes other countries will follow Botswana in extending credit lines to Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe cannot get credit from lenders like the IMF and the World Bank since it defaulted on loans from those organizations about a decade ago.

The Botswana credit facility is being bankrolled by commercial banks who get a guarantee from the Gaborone government. This follows an appeal from SADC leaders to make funds available to help Zimbabwe's industries recover.

Botswana's Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo said he hopes his country's companies will benefit from the deal as well.

"The two governments have signed the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) in order to protect investments by nationals and companies of both countries," said Motambo. "It is important that when nationals and companies invest here, they must be ensured that they can freely have dividends transfers from here to wherever they are."

In recent years, international investors in Zimbabwe have found it difficult to transfer their dividends to their home countries.

You May Like

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

1 Billion People Used Facebook on Single Day

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praised the accomplishment in a posting on the social media site More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Big Picture
September 04, 2012 11:23 AM
Until genuine stability returns to Zimbabwe including the political and all sectors of the economy, justice included, no external investments shall happen, as the risk far outweighs expansion and development. The masive influx of Zimbabwean refugees to RSA is indicative that instability, unemployment and health care is a reality apart from other
affected sectors. "Resuscitation" on its own, simply wont work

by: lovemore diya from: Gaborone
September 04, 2012 6:40 AM
Idling manufacturing industries in Zimbabwe need resuscitation for the sake of progress and economic boom in zim . I am one zimbabwean guy in Botswana who want make sure this works and are already in the process of implementing that for the benefit of both countries . Lets all make this work .

by: Good Governance
September 04, 2012 12:23 AM
Tragically no amount of international loans will put right what has happened. This is a harsh fact given the collapse of the economy
including agriculture a disasterous policy which is key to the survival of the Country. It created unemployment and claimed the lives of many. Sadly the World looked.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs