US$15m boost for traders

THE Cross Border Traders Association, which has been sitting on a US$15 million facility from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, got a major boost when it signed a deal with a Zimbabwean company that will provide collateral for traders.

The RBZ released US$15 million to cross border traders in a bid to promote the sector, especially its export component, but the facility has not found takers as most traders did not have the requisite collateral.

But in a development that is set to stimulate uptake, the cross border traders signed a deal with Global Entrepreneurship Society that will provide collateral.

Zimbabwe Cross Border Association president Dr Killer Zivhu bemoaned the slow uptake of the US$15 million facility.

“It’s quite disturbing that we are sitting on $15 million which our people are failing to access. We have heard cross borders lamenting the lack of collateral but now that GES has come on board we hope we will witness the rise in uptake of this facility,” said Dr Zivhu.

“We are tired of people saying they are not getting support from Government and yet there are facilities like this one.”

Dr Zivhu said his association had lined up several trips to Europe and Asia, where traders were expected to export, among other things, agricultural produce and handicrafts.

RBZ Deputy Governor Dr Jesimen Chipika said the central bank had more funds to support export initiatives.

“Money is there at the bank. We want to support traders who export goods to other countries so our hope is that they will be able to capitalise on this facility,” said Dr Chipika.

Government availed the US$15 million facility through the RBZ at an interest rate of one percent.

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