A Critical Review of the Implementation Challenges of the Zimbabwe Accelerated Arrears Clearance Debt and Development Strategy (ZAADDS)

Chipo Mbawu, Peter Nkala


Zimbabwe’s huge debt burden continues being an albatross to economic development initiatives in the country presenting major challenges towards debt sustainability and clearance. Although great strides were achieved in coming with a debt resolution strategy; the Zimbabwe Accelerated Arrears Clearance, Debt and Development Strategy (ZAADDS) in 2010, lack of substantial results on the debt cleared is a major concern. This paper uses a mixed method approach to critically evaluate the implementation process of ZAADDS and related challenges since the launch of the strategy in 2010. Results indicate considerable efforts on creditor re-engagement processes alongside insignificant progress on re-engagement efforts with the international community regarding the removal of sanctions which is very critical for unlocking fresh capital injections. The study concludes that Zimbabwe’s debt strategy lacked necessary implementation impetus and policy willingness for successful strategy execution. The country’s public external debt is therefore likely to remain unsustainable for the foreseeable future given the “borrowing to repay” strategy likely to result in a vicious debt cycle. Launching an intensive international campaign and outreach programme to both Paris and non-Paris Club creditors at the highest level in order to gain support for Zimbabwe’s case for arrears clearance and debt relief is not only necessary but critical as well.

Keywords: Debt strategy, Debt management, Public external debt ZAADDS, Zimbabwe

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ISSN (Paper)2222-1700 ISSN (Online)2222-2855

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