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Govt blows $400m on Zim-Asset

by Brian Chitemba
15 May 2016 at 13:33hrs | Views
Government spent more than US$400 million on projects under the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation in 2015, with more resources expected to be channelled towards energy, housing, agriculture and other areas.

Zim-Asset, adopted in 2013, is Zimbabwe's foremost economic blueprint and covers infrastructure and utilities, social services and poverty eradication, food security and nutrition as well as value addition and beneficiation through to 2018.

In a letter of intent to the IMF contained in the lender's latest market report, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya said US$431,9 million went to water, energy, transport, irrigation and housing infrastructure last year.

Although he could not readily provide the breakdown, Minister Chinamasa told The Sunday Mail there was ample evidence of Zim-Asset's progress.
Part of the letter reads, "We conducted a mid-term review of our economic blueprint, Zim-Asset. The outcome of that review suggests that we need to mobilise more financing and prioritise projects.

"To finance some of our projects, we have resorted to non-concessional loans, especially in the area of infrastructure investment, development partner support as well as statutory funds."

The IMF report notes that Government recognised the importance of infrastructure to increasing productivity and competitiveness.
In the energy sector, Government is seized with several projects, including hydro, coal fired, diesel and solar power, all of which are at various implementation stages.

The UN has also come in full support of Zim-Asset, signing the Zimbabwe United Nations Development Framework that will see the world body mobilising US$1,6 billion between this year and 2020.

Zundaf has an average US$400 million annually to support development programmes as guided by Zim-Asset.
It will also support six national priority areas: food security and nutrition, gender and equality, HIV and Aids, poverty reduction and value addition, public administration and governance and social services and protection.
The IMF report states that the African Development Bank Group was involved in Zim-Asset implementation. "The (AfDB) engagement is anchored on the Government's main economic policy blueprint—the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset, 2013–2018).
"The bank supports the country through basic infrastructure rehabilitation in the water and energy sectors for inclusive service delivery; capacity building and technical assistance for strengthening institutional governance; and private sector participation for job creation. "

The IMF commended Government for implementing economic policies successfully despite adverse weather conditions and low commodity prices.
"(Government) underscored the importance of maintaining fiscal prudence and pressing ahead with ambitious structural reforms to address impediments to investment, foster private sector-led growth, and reduce poverty, making the best use of the Fund's targeted technical assistance. "Further progress on these fronts, as well as on clearance of external arrears, will pave the way for full re-engagement with the international community, allowing Zimbabwe to regain access to external financing, particularly from the Fund, in support of its development agenda."

Source - Sunday Mail
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