India Eximbank to share infrastructure notes with Zim

HARARE - India's export and import bank (Eximbank) is expected to share infrastructure notes with Zimbabwe when its officials visit the country next week.

The Indian lender, which plays the role of coordinator and facilitator for the promotion of Project Exports covering overseas industrial turnkey projects, civil construction contracts, supplies as well as technical and consultancy service contracts, has so far extended lines of credit valued at over US$8 billion to 44 African countries.

Zimbabwe will this month hold a summit to discuss ways of developing and revamping its infrastructure, which has been run down through years of economic mismanagement. According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), Zimbabwe which needs over $30 billion to revamp its ageing and dilapidated infrastructure, has failed to move with the times due to lack of finance for capital projects.

But President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has said it wants to rebuild roads, dams and other national assets to world-class standards. Global Renaissance chief executive Ngonidzashe Dzirutwe said the summit seeks to discuss funding models for infrastructural development particularly privatisation in boosting development.

“The summit is set to promote and motivate the government officials towards creating good infrastructure while attracting foreign direct investments from project funders and encourage local funding participation,” he said. The southern African country has spent a paltry $2 billion, cumulatively, on critical infrastructure between 2009 and 2016, an amount, analysts say, should have been spent on an annual basis.

Dzirutwe said good and sufficient infrastructure resources will automatically lead to economic growth and industrialists will be drawn to Zimbabwe. “We want to achieve oneness to local development, promote information dissemination, consultative policies, local government to upgrade the standards and provide low-cost housing, lure foreign and local funders, to ensure local contractors are in tune with international developments, promote the fast development of a new Harare to alleviate housing shortages, to encourage easy of doing business and establishment of functional economic zones,” he said.

Among projects to be discussed is the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu road where the tender to dualise the highway has been on the drawing board for the past 16 years. It was initially awarded in 2002 to ZimHighways — a consortium of local companies — but the company failed to implement the project for over a decade.

Last year, government terminated its earlier agreement with Geiger International, and later said it will float a $500 million bond to raise capital while renegotiating a $2,7 billion road-dualisation deal with a Chinese contractor. The Batoka Dam project will also be part of discussed projects which the Zambezi River Authority has said AfDB has initiated a $4 billion mobilisation plan for its development.

Dzirutwe said the Kunzvi Dam will also be discussed so that it can be executed and evaluated later on. The construction of the dam was proposed in the 1990s in a bid to solve water problems affecting Harare and its satellite towns, which get supplies from the heavily polluted Lake Chivero.

Lack of financial resources has made investment in infrastructure a difficult undertaking.Guests for the summit will include government ministers, ambassadors, local municipalities, bankers, investors, contractors and industrialists among others.
 

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