22 January 2014

Zimbabwe Secures U.S. $53 Million From AfDB

AFRICAN Development Bank (AfDB) on Wednesday signed deals with the government worth US$53 million expected to help revive the country's power generation, infrastructure rehabilitation, water and sanitation.

Three of the grants are funded by the Zimbabwe Multi-Donor Trust Fund (ZimFund) worth a total of US$39,3 million while the other three are financed by AfDB totalling US$13,5 million. AfDB will be the administrators.

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the grants will go a long way in meeting the requirements of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset).

The six grants cover the areas of power and infrastructure rehabilitation, US$20 million water and sanitation, US$19,8 million, governance, US$8 million, youth and tourism US$4,1 million and transport US$1,3 million.

"I am pleased with the implementation progress of ZimFund projects since their inception. Some equipment which includes transformers has also been received for the Emergency Power Rehabilitation projects. I believe the signing of three more grants will further these results," Chinamasa told journalist at a press conference.

"These projects will increase the total commitment of the bank's active portfolio in Zimbabwe from US$113,5 million to US$166 million expanding the range and extent of our activities in support of the recovery of Zimbabwe's economy through capacity building and also protecting assets and lives by investment in critical infrastructure such as water and power," he said.

Chinamasa commended the country's development partners namely Australia,Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom who have contributed to the fund.

"I urge our development partners to scale up their contributions to the Fund and also call upon non-participating partners to come on board," he said.

AfDB resident representative Mateus Magala said the signing of the protocols was testimony of the strong partnership between ZimFund contributing donors, government and the bank.

"These projects are aligned to ZIMASSET. They are also consistent with the bank's group ten year strategy which aims to place the bank at the centre of Africa's transformation. They will support the country's recovery efforts and its quest to address the critical challenges of promoting strong and inclusive growth that promotes a prosperous and equitable society," he said.

Zimbabwe, has since dollarization in February 2009, been failing to attract funding to improve power generation, water reticulation and improve the infrastructure.

Most companies are under-capitalised and struggling to pay their bills. The banking sector, itself in dire straits, lacks capacity to lend to businesses to buy new equipment or fund their working capital.

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