Firm courts foreign investors for Zim infrastructure projects Zimbabwe’s infrastructure development has witnessed remarkable progress as several Government projects spanning various sectors such as transport, agriculture, energy, and mining have moved a gear up

Business Reporter
Global Renaissance Investments (GRI) has heeded the Government’s call to look for investors to participate in the country’s infrastructure development programme.

This was after President Mnangagwa last month invited international and local investors to participate in Zimbabwe’s infrastructure sector when he launched the US$500 million Zim Cyber City initiative, a hi-tech park near capital Harare, that is being developed by UAE-based diversified industrial conglomerate Mulk International.

GRI chief executive officer Mr Ngoni Dzirutwe said his company was already in talks with several investors in Germany, Indonesia, South Africa and the United Kingdom among others to partake in infrastructure development through public-private partnerships (PPPs), or provide Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), syndicated loans, development finance and export credit finance.

“We believe investors can capitalise on infrastructure opportunities by investing in both infrastructure enablers, that is, companies that generate revenue from construction products and services, and infrastructure asset owners — companies that generate revenue by operating infrastructure, like utilities and ports,” he said.

Mr Dzirutwe added that the Government’s decision to prioritise infrastructure in the country has potential to stimulate the economy in the short-term and create the conditions for longer-term prosperity and growth for future generations.

Since the new dispensation came into power, Zimbabwe’s infrastructure development has witnessed remarkable progress as several Government projects spanning various sectors such as transport, agriculture, energy, and mining have moved a gear up.

The Government has dualised and rehabilitated most highways and urban, and rural road networks, which were declared a state of disaster in 2019. In addition, the impact of climate change has also seen the Government move with speed in dam construction as part of its efforts to boost agriculture production.

“Infrastructure is crucially important to foster countries’ economic development and prosperity,” said Mr Dzirutwe, adding that investments in infrastructure contributes to higher productivity and growth, facilitates trade and connectivity, and promotes economic inclusion.

“As Zimbabwe’s population keeps growing, it is imperative we need high-quality infrastructure that is sustainable, increases business activities, creates new employment, narrows income disparities and empowering gender participation. Quality Infrastructure is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals as it supports inclusive growth and enhances access to all,.

Mr Dzirutwe’s comments come at a time when plans to develop Zimbabwe’s new capital city in Mt Hampden are gathering momentum, with a masterplan for the multi-billion-dollar ultra-modern development now complete.

The US$60 billion metropolis, which is anticipated to decongest Harare, will straddle over 15 500 hectares and accommodate more than 1,5 million residents on completion.

Three local authorities — Harare municipality, Mazowe and Zvimba rural districts councils — will administer the city, which is set to be named after one of the country’s cultural and heritage endowments.

The Government has already enlisted the services of Egyptian experts, behind development of a new administrative capital for the north African country, who are currently in Zimbabwe on a knowledge transfer mission.

The new city concept was approved by the Cabinet in December 2018. The recent completion of the new Parliament building — the nucleus around which a new metropolis will rise — is set to catalyse development.

Over 600 hectares of land will be reserved for public administration and services zones, which will house Government offices, Parliament, the local municipality, the existing Defense College and security zone.

A ring radial road network will connect the new city to Norton, Ruwa, Chitungwiza and the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.

The city will also have high-quality transport infrastructure fit for low-floor buses, with dedicated bus lanes.

Authorities plan to create a sustainable garden city with a hybrid energy system consisting of two or more renewable energy sources.

In addition, the city will have a piped liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) supply system connected directly to households from a central main storage centre.

Closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras will be fitted on all public infrastructure, including on traffic lights, building façades and in underground rail to assist law enforcement.

The commercial zone will be situated on about 800 hectares, while 4 100 hectares have been reserved for residential areas.

There will also be a light industrial zone, recreational spaces, servitude zone, a medical zone, waste management centre and a solar farm.

Authorities have also approved the development of a religious park where there will be a conference centre, churches, cathedrals and apostolic church shrines.

Meanwhile, GRI will later this month host the 7th Infrastructure Investment Summit in Victoria Falls to deliberate on ways to boost infrastructure development in the country.

The event, taking place from August 25 to 27 at Kingdom Hotel, is running under the theme “Towards smart cities, smart infrastructure and modern infrastructure going forward”.

Several Government ministers and captains of industry including Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Felix Mhona, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo, Energy and Power Development Minister Soda Zhemu and Indonesian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Dewa Juniarta Sastrawan are expected to attend.

African Development Bank executive director Judith Kateera, Integrated Properties CEO Mike Juru, West Properties CEO Ken Sharpe, Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company CEO Mark Mabhudhu and National Railways of Zimbabwe CEO Respina Ziyanduko will also be part of the panellists.

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