MEGA Project DEALS set to boost Zimbabwe’s economy



Reported by Peter Banda in Harare

25 September 2014 – Harare, Zimbabwe – ZIMBABWE continues to take major steps in the development and rehabilitation of its economic infrastructure especially in the strategic areas of energy and transport. Such developments are a clear indication that the country is making headway in addressing the economic problems that have been weighing heavily on the people of Zimbabwe as a result of the evil economic sanctions that were slapped by Western countries.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????At the beginning of September 2014 Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe visited China (see photo at right), where Zimbabwe signed nine mega deals with the Far East country where the global giant committed to fund viable infrastructural projects in agriculture, transport and communications, roads and railways as well as energy among many.

China also provided a grant for the construction of schools and clinics in resettlement areas and that was quickly followed by the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kariba South Power Station Extension Project, which when completed will go a long way in helping meet the demand for electricity especially during peak periods. When President Mugabe commissioned the project, whose construction is expected to cost $533 million, it was announced that it would generate an additional 300MW by 2017.

While the country was still rejoicing at the developments in Kariba, it was reported last week that the Zimbabwe Government signed a memorandum of understanding with three Chinese power companies to build a 1 200MW thermal power plant in the Gwayi area of Matabeleland North at a cost estimated between $3 billion and $5 billion over a period of five years. The deal, signed in Harare by the Ministry of Energy and Power Development and three Chinese firms — Shanghai Electronics, Nan Jiang and Shenergy,is part of the development of infrastructure and utilities, which is one of the key pillars of Zim Asset, which identifies energy and power development as key enablers to productivity and socio-economic development.

Under the deal, Shanghai Electronics would partner Shenergy and Nan Jiang to form Southern Africa Shanghai Energiser Company (SASEC), which would mine coal and build the power plant in the coal mining belt.

It is against this background that Project Management Zimbabwe applauds both the Zimbabwe Government and its all-weather friend, China, for embarking on such economic projects that clearly are taking us out of the economic quagmire that we have been in. These projects will not only bring energy to the doorsteps of Zimbabweans, but will also create thousands of jobs for the locals. SASEC, besides selling the electricity to the State-owned Zimbabwe Power Company, will export to the other countries in the region.

These projects will certainly change the socio-economic landscape of areas such as Matabeleland North. It is our fervent hope that the companies will not look far from where they would be operating for their labour. They should employ locals so that they benefit from these natural resources abundantly found in their areas so that they have a buy-in of these economic development projects.

The companies should also play their expected role of taking corporate responsibility seriously by constructing social amenities such as clinics, rehabilitating roads and schools. The Chinese as our friends should continue with this revolutionary and progressive spirit in supporting the Government of Zimbabwe and as Zimbabweans we should not let our good friends down, we should not let the support at this crucial period of our history slip through our fingers. There is a need for everyone to work hard so that we revive our economy, which has been battered by the illegal sanctions.

The Government is also expected to come up with policies that protect such investors, who have come on board at our time of need. However, local Project Management experts have called upon the Government to find investors in other pressing areas such as water projects. There is a need to speed up the construction of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam, one of the awaited economic projects in the country viewed as the panacea to the water problems affecting Bulawayo and its surrounding areas. The unpredictable water situation in Bulawayo has been mentioned as one of the reasons for the flight of companies from the country’s second largest city.

Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ – Project Management Institute of Zimbabwe) is Zimbabwe’s largest Association of Project Managers, with a membership base of over 1000. The institute has a mandate of policing the elevation of project management standards nationally through mentorship and membership services programmes. For information, visit http://www.pmiz.org.zw/ or email: [email protected].

Source: Project Management Zimbabwe