The African Development Bank and the Government of Zimbabwe officially launched three projects worth US $26 million that were recently approved by the Bank's Board of Directors. The three ventures are Alaska Karoi Transmission Reinforcement Project (US $18 million); the Youth and Women Empowerment Project (US $4 million) and the Institutional Support for State Enterprise Reform and Delivery Project (US $ 4 million).
The project launch ceremony was officially opened by the Officer-in-Charge of the Zimbabwe Country Office, Mary Monyau, and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Accountant General, Daniel Muchemwa.
Muchemwa thanked the Bank for supporting the three projects that are aligned with the Government's development agenda as outlined in Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (I-PRSP) and ZimAsset. "Approval of these projects is a testament to the cordial relationship between the AfDB and the Government of Zimbabwe", he said.
The objective of the Alaska Karoi Transmission Reinforcement Project is to strengthen and increase the country's sub-transmission network capacity resulting in increased reliability and quality of electricity supply in and around Karoi area (agricultural hub) and to develop a national masterplan for the generation, transmission and distribution of energy in the country.
The Youth and Women Empowerment Project will support the creation of employment opportunities and the improvement of the incomes of targeted women and youth groups, as well as, the improvement of gender mainstreaming in the country's ministerial programmes.
The Institutional Support for State Enterprise Reform and Delivery Project will contribute to improved governance of State-owned enterprises and strengthening of results-based management systems within Government.
For her part, Monyau noted that the projects are consistent with the Government's priorities as enshrined in the country's main policy blue prints and strategies, the Bank's Ten Year Strategy and the Bank's High 5 priority areas, which focus on inclusive growth and economic transformation with support for lighting up and powering Africa, feeding Africa, industrializing Africa, integrating Africa, and improving the quality of life of the people of Africa. She congratulated the country for its collaborative efforts with the AfDB, which are a strong testimony of the importance the country is placing on issues of access to power and energy; women and youth development; and the governance of State-owned enterprises, in promoting economic growth and development that is inclusive and sustainable. She also emphasized the importance of absolute prudence in project execution for maximum development impact.
Speaking at the same occasion the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, P. I. Mbiriri, commended the African Development Bank for its support to the country.
The ceremony was attended by senior officials from the Office of the President and Cabinet, Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, State Enterprises Restructuring Agency (SERA), International Labour Organisation, African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), the German development agency GIZ and Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC).
The launch was followed by a four-day training workshop for project beneficiaries on AfDB rules and procedures, including procurement and financial management.