Dubai firm targets infrastructure development 

Source: Dubai firm targets infrastructure development | The Herald

Dubai firm targets infrastructure developmentTransport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona (centre) looks on as NRZ board chairperson Advocate Martin Dinha (left) and CEO and managing director of DP World for Middle East and Africa, Mr Suhail Al Banna, sign bilateral agreements in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday

Freeman Razemba Senior Reporter

THE Government has partnered one of the largest marine terminal operators in the world, DP World, owned by the government of Dubai as it continues strengthening cooperation in infrastructure development targeting refurbishment of roads, railways, tolling, airports and inland marine business opportunities.

DP World is one of the largest marine terminal operators in the world, with 50 terminals and 12 new developments across 32 countries.

A Zimbabwean delegation led by Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister, Felix Mhona, held a bilateral meeting with the CEO and managing director of DP World for Middle East and Africa, Mr Suhail Al Banna in Dubai on Tuesday.

Minister Mhona is accompanied by Zimbabwean Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Ambassador Lovemore Mazemo; National Railways of Zimbabwe board chairperson Advocate Martin Dinha and NRZ chief executive Ms Respina Zinyanduko, among other senior officials.

Speaking during the meeting, Minister Mhona said Government was committed to supporting and facilitating partnership between DP World and its parastatals and State Enterprises in infrastructure business, especially railways and the National Handling Services (NHS).

“We are also open to all kind of cooperation in infrastructure development, including refurbishment of roads, railways, tolling, airports and our inland marine business opportunities,” he said.

Minister Mhona said he appreciated the privilege of meeting Mr Banna at a time when Dubai was hosting the Expo 2020 Dubai.

“Indeed, the Dubai Expo has charmed the whole world to the extent that its positive and inspirational economic impact on big and small businesses shall remain perched in the memories of this generation and others to come,” he said.

“We treat your invitation to us to tour the DP World Pavilion seriously.” 

Minister Mhona said President Mnangagwa had given them the greenlight to engage with DP World on a win-win and mutually beneficial basis, to make good and strengthen the bilateral ties which exist between the two sister countries.

“I am also aware that your invitation is a follow-up to my delegation’s visit to Rwanda from 5 to 10 September 2021, where we were impressed by the good work you have commenced in Rwanda under the auspices of the DP World Kigali dry port superintended by CEO, Mr Sumert Bhardwaj,” he said.

“We are also aware that your footprint as a trusted provider of holistic logistical solutions is not only in Kigali, but in all other strategic locations of the world, including in Southern Africa, which makes your signature the much-sought after.” 

Minister Mhona said Zimbabwe had adopted the dry port concept to be implemented around the country, with NRZ offering great opportunities for the establishment of dry ports along its strategic routes. 

“A case in point is that the NRZ, which is on an accelerated drive to engage partners on its recapitalisation efforts, has targeted to refurbish its former dry port at Lion’s Den for storage and strategic logistics handling and shunting of cargo earmarked for export, through the traditional sea routes in Durban, Beira, Maputo and Walvis Bay,” he said. 

“Movement of cargo along these rail corridors will give a big boost to the NRZ business. 

“National Handling Services (NHS) and the Walvis Bay Dry Port. Further, the Zimbabwe Dry Port in Walvis Bay which was officially opened by the Presidents of Zimbabwe and Namibia on 26 July 2019 in Namibia and other envisaged dry ports in the country such as Mutare and Harare will require capitalisation to ensure their full operationalisation.”

Zimbabwe is upbeat that partnership between DP World and NRZ and the NHS could assist the country in unlocking value as the hub of road and railway infrastructure in Southern Africa.

Minister Mhona proposed that DP World officials visit Zimbabwe in the near future for them to appreciate the potential business opportunities in Zimbabwe and at the dry port in Walvis Bay, Namibia.