Zim gets fibre optics, renewable energy backing
Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter
THE infrastructure investment entity set up by African governments, Africa50, is moving into Zimbabwe to back fibre optics, new power generation, renewable energy and transport.
Africa50 works to complete projects within 18 months, rather than talk about funding forever, and works with those shareholding governments that have capacity to specify and move quickly on defined development.
Yesterday, Africa50’s chief operating officer, Ms Tshepidi Moremong, and her delegation met President Mnangagwa at State House in Harare.
Africa50 was established by African governments and the African Development Bank to help bridge the continent’s gap for infrastructure capital by mobilising public and private sector finance, and then investing in infrastructure on the continent.
Ms Moremong said the team was in Harare to assist in the implementation of Zimbabwe’s priority developments.
“It was a very productive meeting with His Excellency President Mnangagwa,” said Ms Moremong.
“I was reporting back on the session that we held with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Ministry of Information Communication Technology and Courier Services and Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, where we discussed a number of projects.”
The discussions centred on understanding the priorities backing the Government’s strategy for economic growth.
These included ICTs and digitalisation of the economy, plus on the energy front, needed investment in power generation and renewable energy.
Ms Moremong said her team was also looking at transport and would also want to explore ways of assisting in the use innovative financing.
Africa50 is a continental infrastructure development platform and Zimbabwe is a shareholder.
There are 29 African countries as shareholders and two continental banks, the African Central Bank and African Development Bank.
Ms Moremong said Africa50 looked at taking projects from concept to bankability.
Following “robust conversations” they had yesterday, Africa50 is positive about Zimbabwe’s potential.
“There will be projects that we look to finance in Zimbabwe.
“We are looking at fibre optic, transport and logistics and solar power. Those are some of the projects that we discussed about,” Ms Moremong said.
Once an agreement has been reached on what projects to undertake, Africa50 wants to implement them quickly.
“We want to do things fast. We set ourselves timeframes between the ministries saying let us execute something within the next 18 months. We want really to put pressure on ourselves between us as country shareholders,” said Ms Moremong.
Africa50 is working with several partners including national governments, project developers and development finance institutions to mobilise private sector investments for bankable infrastructure projects.