IDBZ to fund ru­ral in­fra­struc­ture

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Martin Kadzere

THE In­fra­struc­ture De­vel­op­ment Bank of Zim­babwe is ready­ing a strat­egy to fo­cus on the de­vel­op­ment of ru­ral in­fra­struc­ture as part of its man­date to sup­port the econ­omy.

IDBZ, whose key man­date in­volves fi­nanc­ing in­fra­struc­ture cov­er­ing ar­eas such as en­ergy, ICT, trans­port, hous­ing and wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion be­lieves the ru­ral econ­omy is a po­ten­tial key driver of de­mand, which could sup­port the broader na­tional econ­omy.

The strat­egy is in line with Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goal 9 which seeks to pro­mote re­silient in­fra­struc­ture, pro­mote in­clu­sive and sus­tain­able in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion and foster in­no­va­tion.

On Mon­day, the IDBZ del­e­ga­tion, led by its CEO Mr Thomas Sakala met the man­age­ment of Mhon­doro Ngezi Ru­ral Dis­trict Coun­cil where ar­eas of po­ten­tial co-oper­a­tion were ex­plored.

These in­cluded road in­fra­struc­ture, hous­ing, tourism ir­ri­ga­tion and wa­ter retic­u­la­tion.

The two teams also de­lib­er­ated on the need to de­velop a mas­ter plan that shows an over­all de­vel­op­ment con­cept of the dis­trict. This in­cludes ur­ban de­sign, land­scap­ing, in­fra­struc­ture, ser­vice pro­vi­sion, cir­cu­la­tion, present and fu­ture land use and built form.

Mr Sakala said the move by the IDBZ was done af­ter re­al­is­ing the chal­lenges the Ru­ral Dis­trict Coun­cils were fac­ing in terms of rais­ing fund­ing for in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment.

“We have been work­ing mostly with Gov­ern­ment, paras­tatals and the pri­vate sec­tor but our man­date is na­tional,” said Mr Sakala.

“We are aware of the chal­lenges the RDCs are fac­ing in rais­ing funds for var­i­ous in­fra­struc­ture.

“So our interest is to see if there is pos­si­bil­ity to work with RDCs and we would want to start with Mhon­doro-Ngezi.

“We be­lieve there is suf­fi­cient scope to work to­gether. It is not about mak­ing profit for IDBZ but to de­liver our na­tional man­date. We see it as an obli­ga­tion. So we will use Mhon­doroNgezi as a demon­stra­tion for other RDCs around the coun­try.”

Min­ing is the ma­jor eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity in the dis­trict where Zim­babwe’s largest min­ing com­pany Zim­plats op­er­ates.

Some of the ma­jor eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties in the dis­trict, with a pop­u­la­tion size of about 104 000, are farm­ing and an­i­mal hus­bandry. Mhon­doro Ngezi chief ex­ec­u­tive Mt Itai Ma­wonde wel­comed the IDBZ move, say­ing such co-oper­a­tion has po­ten­tial to en­able the dis­trict to re­alise its full po­ten­tial.

The dis­trict has an ap­prox­i­mate an­nual bud­get of $4,6 mil­lion and it sup­ple­ments its rev­enues through com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties such as bore­hole drilling and gold milling.

IDBZ has de­vel­oped a roadmap that seeks to achieve mar­ket cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion of $250 mil­lion by 2018.

The long term strat­egy of the bank is to be­come self­fi­nanc­ing, lever­ag­ing its bal­ance sheet to raise lines of credit, quasi equity capital and medium to long term loans for in­vest­ments.

For­mer Old Nic Mine work­ers out­side the com­pany premises in Bu­l­awayo yes­ter­day

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