via Chinamasa courts Arab funding – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 27, 2014 by Ndamu Sandu
FINANCE and Economic Development minister Patrick Chinamasa has been invited to the Arab Bank for Economic Development (BADEA) headquarters in Khartoum, Sudan, to tie loose ends on a possible funding arrangement for infrastructure.
The invitation to visit BADEA was extended last Wednesday when Chinamasa met a team of executives headed by director-general Abdelaziz Khelef on the sidelines of last week’s African Development Bank annual meetings in Kigali, Rwanda.
In an interview last week, Chinamasa said he also held discussions with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait Funds, who expressed interest in funding infrastructure.
He said the appetite for availing loans was there and institutions wanted Zimbabwe to provide projects together with feasibility studies.
“With BADEA, they have invited me to visit their headquarters in October.
I am sure that by that time we would have put our papers in order,” Chinamasa said.
“The money will be going towards infrastructure which is important for economic growth. Kuwaiti Fund indicated that they will support hydro-schemes and they are considering giving us funds for feasibility studies.”
Chinamasa said he requested BADEA to provide funds for feasibility studies.
Saudi Fund requested Zimbabwe to provide projects proposals, Chinamasa added.
Experts say Zimbabwe requires $16 billion for infrastructure which is not available.
The budget is crowded out by recurrent expenditure, notably, salaries leaving little for capital expenditure.
Under its sixth five-year plan (2010-2014), BADEA pledged to commit $1 billion to projects on the continent.
The budget is up from the $900 million under the previous five year plan (2005-2009).
It said during the current plan an annual allocation of $200 million would be channelled to finance development projects, technical assistance and trade financing.
Last Tuesday, BADEA gave Rwanda a $11,2 million to finance its rural electrification programme. The concessional loan is payable over 30 years at a cost of 1% per annum.