Government secures AfDB $1,3m for transport

via Government secures AfDB $1,3m for transport 10 October 2014 by Tarisai Mandizha

GOVERNMENT has secured $1,3 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to undertake a Transport Master Plan which links rail, road and air transport for the national economic growth.

The first draft is expected to be out by mid-2015, Transport and Infrastructure Development secretary Munesu Munodawafa said yesterday.

Speaking at the Mining and Infrastructure Indaba 2014, Munodawafa said the master plan would give solutions on how to plan for the national economic growth within the context of Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset). ZimAsset is the new economic blueprint.

He said the master plan would also cater on the long-term needs of all the other economic activities including mining and agriculture.

“Talking of the Transport Master Plan, we have secured funding of $1,3 million from the Africa Development Bank and we have since gone to tender. AfDB has since short-listed and l think now the number has narrowed down to six companies [international and some of them with local partnerships] to spearhead the master plan that they will be working with Zimbabweans,” he said.

“Once we have finalised the selection process, there will be engagement and thereafter we start working on the master plan.”

Munodawafa said by mid next year, Zimbabwe would have at least the first draft of the Transport Master Plan for the country.

“It could very well happen that there are mining initiatives wanting to take place in some areas where there are no roads now, so the master plan will seek now to identify all the potential economic activities including the current ones,” Munodawafa said.

He said this was one of the biggest projects that the ministry was working on and would inform decision-making in Zimbabwe as to which sector to concentrate on.

“With the Master Plan, we will be able to say is it roads or roads to where to concentrate on rather than us just continuing to work on the current roads because they have always been there. These roads were done to serve an economic purpose,” he said.

He, however, said there were areas like Gokwe which, without taking any serious study, one would be able to tell that the area has lot of potential for cotton.

If government was to open the Kwekwe-Lupane road without any scientific study, it would promote economic activity in that area.

Munodawafa said the Transport Master Plan would be done in a scientific fashion where people actually got on the ground doing all the assessment and then informed the decision-making process so that Zimbabwe doesn’t wake up one day, saying the Kwekwe to Lupane road should be done while there are more pressing needs elsewhere in terms of potential economic growth.

Munodawafa said with the Master Plan, the country would look at what needs to be done in Lupane following the discovery of methane gas.

He said if companies started mining where there are no roads, it would become the impediment and the missing link to grow the economy.