Moving Mugabe's Mountain: Zimbabwe’s Path to Arrears Clearance and Debt Relief

28 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2010

See all articles by Benjamin Leo

Benjamin Leo

Center for Global Development; Georgetown University

Todd J. Moss

Center for Global Development

Date Written: November 13, 2009

Abstract

Zimbabwe is embarking on a long, complex, and difficult journey to rebuild its economy, which has been shattered by years of neglect and destructive government policies. If the final political hurdles are overcome hopefully sooner rather than later - the new coalition government will be faced with making politically difficult decisions and addressing conclusively the economic ghosts of the past. One of those ghosts is more than $5 billion owed to external creditors, of which nearly 80 percent is arrears. Clearing Zimbabwe’s external debt arrears and securing comprehensive debt relief will be a critical step in eventual recovery. By doing so, the government will remove a crippling burden on its budget, investment climate, and overall macroeconomic environment. More important to the success of the coalition government, it will unlock hundreds of millions of dollars in new external assistance for critical reconstruction programs that will improve the Zimbabwean people’s quality of life. This paper provides a detailed overview of the arrears clearance and debt relief processes. The purpose is to spark a debate in creditor capitals and hopefully to buttress the government’s analytical foundation. With a strong dedicated team of experts - and support from relevant donor agencies - the Zimbabwean government will one day conclusively address its crushing debt burden and proceed with the rebuilding of a once vibrant and proud nation.

Keywords: zimbabwe, reconstruction, external debt, economic development, debt relief

Suggested Citation

Leo, Benjamin and Moss, Todd J., Moving Mugabe's Mountain: Zimbabwe’s Path to Arrears Clearance and Debt Relief (November 13, 2009). Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 190, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1516055 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1516055

Benjamin Leo (Contact Author)

Center for Global Development ( email )

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Georgetown University

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Todd J. Moss

Center for Global Development ( email )

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.cgdev.org

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