A Chinese telecommunications company operating in the country has extended a concessionary loan to the Government to be channelled towards solar power projects.
A seven-member delegation representing the Chinese state-owned telecommunications giant, ZTE Corporation, paid a courtesy call on Acting President Joice Mujuru yesterday where modalities on the loan were discussed. The concessionary loan, which will be managed by the Exim Bank of China, will be repaid over 20 years attracting 2,5 percent interest. Leader of the delegation, ZTE chairman Mr Hou Wei Gu, who was speaking through an interpreter, said his company had been operating in Zimbabwe since 2001 and has not encountered any challenges.
He said some rural provinces in China relied on solar energy which was environmentally friendly, compared to power derived from hydro and thermal energy sources.
Acting President Mujuru applauded the telecommunications company for investing in the country's ICT sector.
She said the Zimbabwean Government managed to give the people land, but the land was not being fully utilised in some areas due to lack of electricity for irrigation.
Acting President Mujuru explained to the delegation that wheat was planted in winter and required irrigation, adding that the country required at least 400 000 tonnes of wheat a year, but this past season's yield was just above 50 000 tonnes.
She told the delegation that Zimbabwe was pinning its hope of enhancing food security on irrigation and investors willing to venture into solar power would be most welcome.