Felex Share, Harare Bureau
INVESTMENT commitments notched by Government in the past 100 days have exceeded $3,1 billion and are firming up, a senior official has said.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Mr George Charamba, said many projects would soon begin showing on the ground.
President Mnangagwa’s mantra that Zimbabwe is open for business has charmed investors and materialisation of the deals will see Government creating more jobs especially for the youths.
Giving further details on the investment commitments clinched during the new dispensation’s first 100 days in office, Mr Charamba said the $3,1 billion mark announced by President Mnangagwa recently had since been surpassed.
“His Excellency, the President has been giving a broad indication to the nation that there has been quite a positive investor response to his pitch for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Zimbabwe,” he said.
“While he has given the nation a figure of $3,1 billion, that figure has since been exceeded in the light of new commitments and commitments which are quite advanced in the direction of firming up. To that extent we can now go back to the nation and give specific details in terms of those commitments, a good many of which will begin to show on the ground.”
He added: “The new President’s focus is in three areas of which area one is jobs, area two is jobs and area three is jobs especially for the youths.”
Some of the investments which are now becoming solid failed to take off during former President Mr Robert Mugabe’s Government because of infighting.
The change in administration in November last year has seen investors flocking to Zimbabwe and making commitments to seal investment deals.
President Mnangagwa has pledged to guarantee the rights of foreign investors and to re-engage with the international community to attract investment.
Some of the investments in the pipeline include the $984 million dualisation of the Beitbridge-Masvingo-Harare highway.
The project, being implemented by Gieger International is expected to begin this month as the Austrian contractor is setting up camps.
Beitbridge Border Post will be upgraded at a cost of $240 million in a project being carried out by Zim-Borders, a local consortium.
Cabinet recently approved the project which will see the country’s busiest inland port of entry meeting international standards.
Underway also is the first phase of the $400 million recapitalisation of the National Railways of Zimbabwe being undertaken by Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG) and Spoornet of South Africa.
NRZ will get 13 locomotives, 200 wagons and 34 passenger coaches to address key resource gaps in its operations.
Already 150 wagons, seven locomotives and seven passenger coaches have been delivered with the remainder expected in the country by next month.
Government is finalising a $153 million loan agreement with China’s Eximbank which will be used to spruce up the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.
In the energy sector, the $1,1 billion expansion of Hwange Power Station (Units 7 and 8) has reached financial closure stage.
The project will see 600 megawatts being added at the country’s biggest thermal power plant.
Currently, the power station has installed capacity of 920 MW.
In the agriculture sector Belarus facilities exceed $50 million, funding which will mainly be used for bringing in tractors and fertiliser inputs into Zimbabwe.
Belarus, whose Chief of Presidential Affairs General Colonel Victor Sheiman was in the country last week, will also supply $15 million forestry equipment to Allied Timbers.
In the mining sector, Karo Resources Limited (South Africa) has committed to invest $4,2 billion to develop a world class integrated mining and refining facility.
The plant will have a capacity to process two million ounces of platinum group metals (PMGs) per annum.
The investment will also include a four million tonne per annum coal mining and processing facility with an onsite 300 MW power station.
Under the quick-wins being done under the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, coal miner, Liberation Mining intends to invest $158 million in the first five years.
Equipment is on site and the firm is waiting for an environmental impact assessment certification for its Gwayi concession in Lupane, Matabeleland North province. Nearly 10 000 jobs are expected to be created during the first five years.
Various Government ministries are also working on other investment commitments running into hundreds of millions of dollars with tangible results expected beginning this year.