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RBZ engages DBSA for infrastructure finance

THE Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) held a closed door meeting with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe recently to discuss how it could partner local development finance institutions (DFIs).

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA IN NEW DELHI, India

DBSA CEO Patrick Dlamini told Standardbusiness on the sidelines of the 12th edition of the Confederation of Industries of India- Exim Bank of India Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership held last week in India that the meeting was held with RBZ governor John Mangudya and Thomas Sakala, Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) CEO.

He said DBSA could support Zimbabwe’s infrastructure projects up to $2,5 billion annually.

“We have had a very successful meeting with the governor [Mangudya]. This was five or six weeks ago with John [Mangudya] and his guys in terms of how he wants us to work with institutions in Zimbabwe to drive infrastructure development.  We have very good economic infrastructure projects in Zimbabwe that could easily be funded because economic infrastructure does not necessarily need a solvent currency as they have their own streams of cash and cash flows which become visible to any investor,” he said.

“We just need to engage to say how then do you have a regulatory environment that enables your investment in that particular country in such a way that you have confidence as an investor. So this is what we need now to look at;

to say can we work together with the DFIs in Zimbabwe to enable investment into infrastructure that will be very critical and have a catalytic effect into that economy.”

Dlamini said they were hoping to approach their local authorities after identifying the DFIs they would work with to put supporting regulatory framework in place.

“It has not been finalised as yet, but I am quite excited at least in terms of the prospects,” he said.

DBSA has funded various infrastructure projects working with IDBZ.

The involvement of RBZ gives assurances over investments that are brought into the country when projects are approved, analysts say.

The 2017 national budget has an allocation of $839,9 million directed at funding infrastructure projects. Urgent areas of infrastructure that need funding under the infrastructure national development plan include housing, water and sanitation, ICT, energy and power, and transportation.

“Yes, the economy of Zimbabwe has somewhat shrunk from what it used to be, which somewhat limits the country in what will be able to be invested into Zimbabwe. But, if we are able to come up with innovative solutions and engage with some of our political principals to enable us to drive infrastructure in a way that is possible, we can do it,” Dlamini said.

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