By Tinashe Makichi
The Zimbabwe National Road Administration Authority will be floating a diaspora infrastructure bond after successfully raising $105 million from the previous infrastructure bond floated last year.
Zinara last year floated a $100 million infrastructure bond which was aimed at rehabilitating road infrastructure across the country.
The bond, according to the road administrator, was oversubscribed by an additional $5 million.
Zinara chief executive Nancy Chamisa said there has been massive interest from local investors in funding projects and there are considerations currently ongoing to float a diaspora infrastructure bond that will ensure participation of the diaspora population.
She said diaspora remittances have proven to be one of the lucrative sources of funding for road infrastructure development in the country.
For the year 2017, inward international remittances amounted to $1,4 billion compared to $1,6 billion received in 2016 representing an 11 percent decrease. Of the $1,4 billion, diaspora remittances amounted to $698,9 million.
“The $100 million infrastructure bond that we floated last year ended up being oversubscribed by over $5 million. The local market has been responsive to our plea for funding and we are looking at other funding avenues.
“We will be looking at floating a diaspora infrastructure bond for road infrastructure development.
“We are (also) looking at other alternative funding solutions on the local market,” said Ms Chamisa.
“Looking at the figures from diaspora remittances, we believe it’s a market we can tap into and develop our road infrastructure. As you can see, there has been activity in terms of road upgrades in city centres,” she said.
The decision to get into the market for funding came as the country’s roads were left in a deplorable state by heavy rains. Bridges were swept away by floods while major roads and highways were littered with potholes, posing a risk to motorists.
To address the situation, Government last year disbursed about $45 million towards the rehabilitation of roads in eight provinces following a public outcry over the poor state of the country’s road network.