Harare – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has said that a substantial US$34 billion is needed towards Zimbabwe’s infrastructure development in the next 10 years with the transport sector requiring approximately US$28.56 billion of which most is required in the road sub-sector.
For over a decade, Zimbabwe’s key infrastructure assets among them road and rail infrastructure, power generation, and the ICT’s sector have been facing a serious deterioration due to poor maintenance and limited new investment which in turn hampers prospects for real economic development.
In its “Zimbabwe Infrastructure Report 2019,” AfDB in addition to the amount needed to revamp the transport sector highlighted that the water supply and sanitation and resource management would require an outlay of US$3.67 billion for capital works and related technical support, while the power programme requires about US$1.14 billion and the communications sector requiring about US$412 million.
“Not included in these estimates is US$43 million for routine road maintenance,” reads part of the report.
AfDB said the proposed programme is expected to provide an important stimulus for economic growth in Zimbabwe in the decade ahead.
“Successful implementation of the proposed programme will bring a range of benefits to Zimbabwe including improved transport modality and lower costs for the movement of cargo domestically and internationally, reliable supplies of electricity, improved sanitation in both urban and rural areas,” AfDB said.
In terms of funding arrangements, the state enterprises involved with service provisions in the mentioned sectors would account for US$1.5 billion, with private sector accounting for 23% at US$7.9 billion, national government and local authorities would account for a further US$20.7 billion and donors providing a balance of about US$3.7 billion.
With the country grappling through economic hardships highlighted by fuel and electricity shortages, foreign currency shortages and a highly contested political environment AfDB noted that the amounts required for rehabilitation of these networks are almost certainly well beyond the financing capacities of the local authorities.
The government is striving towards transforming the country into a middle-income economy by 2030 but has thus far failed to engineer positive economic turnaround, further eroding public trust and confidence which was lost during the long term rule of former president Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
Equity Axis News
Raynold Mhotseka is a Journalism and Media Studies student at the University of Zimbabwe. He serves as a news writer at financial research firm, Equity Axis where he is currently on attachment.