AfDB accelerates financial support to Zim

LORRAINE NDEBELE
THE African Development Bank (AfDB) has strengthened its cordial relations with Zimbabwe through a financial package for development projects.

The continental financial institution has remained a key partner in Zimbabwe’s national development agenda since 1980 when the southern African country joined.

Since then, a total of 94 operations have been supported for a staggering $1.22 billion.

The latest projects worth approximately $10.5 million have been developed in line with the AfDB Country Note for Zimbabwe 2021-2023, approved by its Board of Directors, which focuses on two pillars that strengthen productive capacity and resilience of the private sector, including mining and agricultural value chains. It also supports improving good governance and accountability.

The launch of these three projects, namely the technical assistance program to support the reform of the energy sector, the institutional support project for governance and public finance management and the sustainable development project enterprises for women and youth, was approved towards the end of 2021.

According to the continental bank, these three operations are essential to improve the socio-economic development of Zimbabwe.

“I would like to express the bank’s continued commitment to supporting the people of Zimbabwe in their efforts to improve and diversify the economy and reduce poverty,” said Moono Mupotola, AfDB Country Director for Zimbabwe.

“In this regard, the bank wishes to renew its commitment to support the socio-economic development program of the country.

“Each of the three projects has a funding allocation of $3.5 million, bringing the total value to $10.5 million over a period of 30 to 48 months.

“We are also committed to staying by your side throughout the project implementation period to offer you any support you may need regarding the implementation of the project.

“We have worked with some of you for a long time and are very confident in your abilities and look forward to the continuation of this partnership.

“In addition to this training, the bank will also organize implementation support missions every six months, or less, if necessary, to ensure projects stay on track,” she said. .

Within the framework of these projects, the technical assistance program in support of the reform of the energy sector aims to improve the availability of a reliable supply of electricity by facilitating the creation of an enabling environment for the promotion of independent power producers and supporting the integration of renewable energy generation capacity.

The direct beneficiaries of this energy sector reform support are the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company and the Energy Regulatory Authority. energy of Zimbabwe.

However, these interventions will ultimately benefit private sector developers of independent power generation facilities and the wider power sector customer base, while direct beneficiaries will be actively involved in the implementation of the project. project by having members in the project implementation team.

The Governance and Public Finance Management Institutional Support Project is expected to promote macro-stability by enhancing public sector efficiency and accountability.

The expected results of the project are to reduce the debt to GDP ratio from 75.8% in 2020 to less than 62% in 2025 and to improve the open budgeting system in the country, while the expected results include a roadmap clearance of arrears, guaranteeing an audit of the public debt; training stakeholders in procurement; development of positive procurement guidelines and monitoring and evaluation system and communication strategy on procurement development; training of parliamentary committees and parliamentary staff and development of parliamentary training modules.

Sustainable enterprise development for women and youth should economically empower youth and women in the agricultural and small-scale mining sectors in situations of economic vulnerability.

The project aims to harness the potential of youth and women by bridging their capacity gaps and creating an enabling environment to drive value addition and beneficiation along the target value chains to enhance job creation decent courses for skilled and semi-skilled youth and women in Hauna, Mutoko, Karoi, Masvingo, Bulawayo and Matabeleland North.

The project will focus on key areas, namely strengthening the infrastructure of the entrepreneurship ecosystem; enterprise development in the horticulture, dairy and small-scale mining value chains; and institutional support and enabling frameworks.

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