Zimbabwe – Mugabe Agrees To Major Economic Reforms To Woo IMF

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has agreed to major reforms including compensation for evicted white farmers and a big reduction in public sector wages as the government tries to woo back international lenders. Mugabe’s government started defaulting on debts to the IMF, World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB) and several Western lenders in 1999, leading to a freeze in financial aid.

Zimbabwe is struggling to emerge from a deep recession in the decade to 2008, which slashed its GDP by nearly half, drove hundreds of thousands abroad in search of better paying jobs and pushed formal unemployment above 85 percent. Zimbabwe has also drafted a new financing programme to be presented to the IMF, whose executive board will vote on Harare’s plan to repay $1.8 billion (£1.2 billion) in arrears on May 2. The IMF expects the economy to grow by 1.4 percent this year from 1.1 percent in 2015 and to rise 5.6 percent in 2017. Read more on efforts to revive Zimbabwe’s economy here.