Zimbabwe Signs Up for $600 Million Credit Line From Afreximbank

  • Deal comes as Zimbabwe struggles to pay for basic imports
  • Dollar ‘drought’ likely to last until February, minister says

Zimbabwe will access a $600 million credit line from African Export-Import Bank in an effort to stave off a foreign-currency shortage that’s afflicted importers of everything from food to fuel.

The southern African nation needs the assistance “especially during the foreign-exchange drought, which runs from October to February next year,” Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said at a ceremony Saturday in the capital, Harare, where the agreement was signed by the Cairo-based lender and Zimbabwe’s central bank.

Zimbabwe’s foreign-currency earnings traditionally slump after sales of tobacco end in the second half of the year and the government gears to provide inputs to farmers for crops such as corn and soy.

The country is experiencing an extreme liquidity crisis and struggles to pay civil servants, teachers and nurses on time.

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