$33bn needed for infrastructure projects


Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE needs about $33 billion over the next 10 years for the development of infrastructure projects across different economic sectors.

Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) chief executive officer Mr Thomas Sakala said this while addressing delegates at the Zimbabwe International Business Conference in Bulawayo last Wednesday.

The international business conference is one of the major highlights of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.

“Zimbabwe needs $33 billion in the next decade to address its infrastructure needs,” he said.

Mr Sakala said the African Development Bank (AfDB) in 2009 identified key players in financing the infrastructure development projects among them the private sector, local authorities, the Government and development finance institutions regionally and internationally.

He said as pronounced in the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries manufacturing sector survey report released last year, lack of infrastructure development was one of the major challenges impacting negatively on stimulating production in the manufacturing sector.

According to the CZI report, capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector closed 2016 at 47,4 percent up from 34,3 percent the previous year.

Mr Sakala said long-term financial support was critical in propelling infrastructure development.

“We also need to be in the space that allows us to mobilise funding for bulky infrastructure projects. Once we get the funding, we need clarity in terms of what is our national infrastructure development strategy,” he said.

Last year, IDBZ announced that it would allow local and international institutional investors to take up equity in the bank as a way of growing its capital base to $250 million in the next two years.

With a small capital base of $48 million relative to its regional counterparts, IDBZ has not been able to fully follow through some of its planned projects.

— @okazunga

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