Senior African Development Bank (AfDB) officials during a recent trip to Zimbabwe discussed how best the country could tap into its renewable energy opportunities.
AfDB officials recently undertook a three-day business mission to Zimbabwe. The bank’s vice president for power, energy, climate and green growth, Dr Kevin Kariuki, and vice president for private sector, infrastructure and industrialisation, Solomon Quaynor, both met with senior Zimbabwean government officials and business leaders in Harare.
Kariuki and Quaynor met with the Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube, the Energy and Power Development Minister Soda Zhemu. Also present were Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Jesimen Chipika; Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Development Vangelis Haritatos; and representatives of Zambezi River Authority and the Southern Africa Power Pool, both transnational entities.
At a Harare press conference following the meetings, Zhemu commended the AfDB for its continued investment in Zimbabwe’s power sector. “The government of Zimbabwe appreciates the African Development Bank’s support and involvement, particularly in the Kariba Dam Rehabilitation project ($32 million), the ZimFund Emergency Power Infrastructure Rehabilitation project ($59.5 million), the Alaska-Karoi Transmission Reinforcement project ($19 million) and the Energy Sector Reform Support project ($3.5 million),” said Zhemu.
Ncube underscored the Zimbabwe government’s progress in tackling the economy’s structural and fiscal bottlenecks. He also noted the importance of the private sector.
Kariuki said: “We are happy to assist Zimbabwe in implementing key energy reforms to create a vibrant energy sector.” He cited the AfDB’s role in developing the Batoka Gorge Hydro Power project, which is expected to boost the supply of electricity within the wider Southern Africa Development Community region.
Quaynor urged coordination between the country’s Reserve Bank and the business community to bolster the foreign exchange environment. He said this would unlock further opportunities for private sector investment.
“The African Development Bank would like to deepen our work in the private sector overall, and specifically with respect to investments in economic corridor transport and logistics infrastructure,” Quaynor said. He mentioned the potential benefits of improved rail and road infrastructure to Zimbabwe, which serves as an important transit point for goods destined for ports in Mozambique and South Africa.