FINANCE minister Mthuli Ncube yesterday said Zimbabwe would work to clear all arrears with the African Development Bank (AfDB), a prerequisite for expanding the scope of co-operation.
BY FIDELITY MHLANGA
Currently, AfDB’s support is limited to projects and programmes that directly seek to improve the lives of the people of Zimbabwe.
Ncube said this yesterday during the official signing ceremony for a $1,4 million grant provided by the multilateral financial institution towards the provision of economic and technical support to refugees in the country.
Total Zimbabwe, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) and government will also contribute to the fund, to bring its total value to $1,9 million.
UNHCR will provide $170 000. Total Zimbabwe has also committed $100 000 to energy initiatives in the refuge camps, while government will provide logistical support to the programme to the value of $200 000
Ncube said the fund would provide support on enablers for self-reliance and social empowerment, through training and financing start-up for small enterprises, create jobs and income generation and improve the conditions to support the use on innovative technologies for improved living standards.
“It is a great honour for me to be part of this important occasion of the signing of the grant protocol of agreement between the Republic of Zimbabwe and the African Development Fund for the innovative solutions to support the livelihood of vulnerable communities project. The project will proffer economic, livelihoods solutions, promote innovative energy and water solutions as well as offer training and capacity building programmes,” he said.
Mthuli said the ceremony came barely a week after government and AfDB concluded negotiations for the agricultural value chain development project expected to be approved before year end.
AFDB has previously supported the Bulawayo water and sewerage management to the tune of $2,4 million,Zimbabwe Integrated Urban Water Management $2,4 million, multi-national Kariba Dam rehabilitation project $32,5 million, beef and leather value chain $2 million,capacity building project for public finance and economic management $22,5 million.
Other projects which have been supported by the bank are governance and institutional projects ($7,2 million),strengthening institutions of transparency and accountability ($2,8 million), Alaska –Karoi Power transmission reinforcement project ($18,9 million), institutional support for State Enterprises Reform and Delivery Project ($4,2 million),Lake Harvest project and the Cabs trade finance line of credit ($25,5 million).