Zimbabwe needs US$34 billion to restore infrastructure

By Natalie Chiwomadzi

ABOUT US$34 billion is required to restore Zimbabwe’s crumbling infrastructure in the coming decade amid calls for the government to redouble its efforts towards restoring macroeconomic stability in the country.

Zimbabwe is currently leaving no stone unturned in seeking foreign direct investments and grants from global financing institutions.

Infrastructure development is said to be key in Zimbabwe’s economic revival especially in its bid to attract foreign investors under the current “Open for Business” mantra that government has been singing since the coming in of the new dispensation in November 2017.

Speaking during the launch of the Zimbabwe Infrastructure Flagship 2019 Report, African Development Bank (AfDB) country manager Damoni Kitabire said the report confirms the need for US$34 billion for infrastructure.

“The report we are launching today confirms that the country needs US$34 billion over the next decade to restore its road, rail, aviation, energy, ICT and water and sanitation infrastructure to proper working condition.

“We, therefore, urge the government to redouble efforts to attract adequate foreign exchange necessary for full restoration of macroeconomic stability and to invest in the much-needed infrastructure,” he said.

The AfDB further revealed that “launching the report is one-step, but working together to develop implementation frameworks is more important.

“It is our hope that full implementation would achieve a multiplier effect whereby increased employment will stimulate demand and further enhance private sector development, ultimately establishing sustainable and inclusive economic development”.

Speaking at the same event, acting secretary for Ministry of Finance and Economic development Pfungwa Kunaka said that the report identifies a pipeline of projects, knowledge and understanding of where infrastructure investment should be made and by whom.

“Besides developing a bankable project pipeline, the report assists the government in developing the necessary institution’s framework for better delivery and management of infrastructure assets…,” he said.

Kunaka also mentioned that “some of the findings from the report that will be critical going forward include: implementation of cost-reflective tariffs, the need to improve the financial and technical capacity within public entities for them to be able to implement and manage infrastructure assets and this will include privatization of some public entities…

“…inadequate investments towards maintenance and new capacity and, the impact of climate change in the provision of infrastructure services, particularly on hydro-generation of electricity,” he said.

 

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