Ever since the turn of the millennium, relations between the United States of America and Zimbabwe have been extremely strained. The economy of Zimbabwe has deteriorated to levels that have made the country be branded as a failed state.
The United States revealed that for possible re-engagement diplomatically to become a realized dream, the country has to abandon the use of the US dollar and that it must adopt its own currency. The world's superpower is ready to work with the Emmerson Mnangagwa-led government if the latter stops relying on the US dollar.
In a report carried by the Zimbabwe Independent, the US Acting Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Don Yamamoto said, "“As you know, the United States and other countries do have sanctions on Zimbabwe. Even though we have provided US$220 million this year in assistance levels, it’s going to community-based groups. What we want to do is we want to open and expand this opportunity, because again, you know, Zimbabwe was an economic great country in the past, it was the breadbasket of the south”.
He made these statements from Washington DC during a press briefing on the US strategic priorities. He further stated that, "“Today it imports food; its financial institutions are not in great shape. They have to go into the US dollar. That’s good and bad; I mean, it stabilises, but it’s bad because Zimbabwe should have control of its own finances. It shouldn’t be dependent on United States or outside. And those are some of the reforms that we recognise need to be done immediately in short-term and also long-term".
In his opinion, for the US to successfully work with the Southern African nation, the latter must institute strong frameworks and institutions that support democracy and other democratic processes. The country needs meaningful economical and political reform so that it will be propelled in the right direction.
When Zimbabwe was rocked with extreme hyperinflation levels in 2008, the economy sank to the extent it had become almost irredeemable. In 2009, through the government of national unity (GNU) Zimbabwe dropped its own currency in favour of the multi-currency system in which the US dollar was the dominant currency.
The US has always been concerned with the flow of the greenback. There had been fears the US was going to bar Zimbabwe from using its currency. In the meantime, the currency is keeping Zimbabwe afloat.