US$53,4 grants for projects

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THE African Development Bank Group (AfDB) on Wednesday signed grants amounting to US$53,4 million to support the country’s capacity building projects.
The six projects include the urgent water supply and sanitation rehabilitation project phase II stage I (US$19,8 million), supplementary financing for the emergency power infrastructure rehabilitation project phase I (US$4,6million), emergency power infrastructure rehabilitation project phase II stage II (US$15,4 million), governance and institutional strengthening project (US$8 million) , youth and tourism enhancement project (US$4 million) and lastly the transport sector master plan study (US$1,3million).
The first three projects are funded by the Zimbabwe Multi-Donor Trust Fund (Zimfund) while the last three are financed by the African Development Fund.
Speaking at the signing ceremony of the grant protocols, African Development Bank Group, resident representative, Mateus Magala said these projects are aligned with the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset).
“These projects will increase the total commitment of the bank’s active portfolio in Zimbabwe from US$113,5 million to US$166 million expanding the range and the extent of our activities in support of the recovery of Zimbabwe’s economy through capacity building and also protecting assets and lives by investing in critical infrastructure such as water and power,” said Magala.
Magala said the signing of these protocols was a clear testimony of the strong partnership between Zimbabwe and the Zimfund contributing donors Australia, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom .
The Emergency Power Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project Phase II (EPIRP II) will go a long way in improving the country’s electricity supply a hundredfold from where it stands at the moment.
The objective of EPIRP is to improve the availability and reliability of electricity supply through the rehabilitation of generation, transmission and distribution facilities. 
The EPIRP II is the second energy-sector project financed through the AfDB-administered Zimbabwe Multi-Donor Trust Fund.
When complete, Phase II will enable full utilisation of national produced capacity through restoration of transformer capacity.
Utilised installed capacity will rise from 1 237 MW in 2013 to 1 960 MW by 2016 – with due attention to environmental safety and protection.
Magala said the urgent water supply and sanitation rehabilitation project will go a long way in alleviating the water supply and sanitation stress currently being experienced in the country’s urban areas.
“The project aims to protect public health and rehabilitate the water and sanitation infrastructure in Harare, Chitungwiza, Redcliff and Ruwa,” said Magala.
“Financial resources for stage 2 are being mobilised and will be committed once the funds have been fully made available.
“The project will be implemented over a period of three years and benefitting a total population of 1, 9million.”
Magala said the transport sector master plan study will provide Zimbabwe with a comprehensive National Transport Sector Master Plan which entails a strategic framework and investment plan suitable for sustainable development of the transport infrastructure and services to support growth and wealth creation.
The youth and tourism enhancement project will contribute towards the reduction of poverty and youth unemployment.
The governance and institutional strengthening project will improve transparency and effectiveness in public finance and economic management.
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the governance and institutional strengthening project will be channelled towards the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe while the youth and tourism enhancement project will go towards Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
“The youth and tourism enhancement project is a welcome development to Zimbabwe as we believe that support to small businesses can promote inclusive growth and provide opportunities for more comprehensive growth within the economy,” said Minister Chinamasa.
Minister Chinamasa expressed satisfaction with the implementation progress of Zimfund projects since their inception especially with the urgent water supply and sanitation rehabilitation project.

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