Though this instalment is a continuation of the previous articles, its main purpose is to provide a high-level summary of the findings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) “Zimbabwe Infrastructure Report 2019
By Dr Eddie Mahembe
Today’s article is a continuation of the previous seven articles in the Zimbabwe Digital Express on the call for Zimbabwe to consider establishing Public-Private-Community Partnership (PPCP) model as a panacea for building unity, improve access to quality infrastructure, and addressing development challenges such as unemployment, low economic growth, poverty, and inequality.
As we have argued in this series, infrastructure also helps promote economic linkages, foster competitiveness and trade, reduce the cost of doing business, promotes the development of private sector, allows for access to markets and is a key enabler of regional integration.
Though this instalment is a continuation of the previous articles, its main purpose is to provide a high-level summary of the findings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) “Zimbabwe Infrastructure Report 2019”.
The report includes the costing of the infrastructure sectors, focusing on transport, electric power, information and communication technologies (ICT), and water and sanitation in Zimbabwe.
Main Findings of the Zimbabwe Infrastructure Report 2019
In January 2010, the Government of National Unity (GNU) requested the AfDB to assist with a comprehensive report on the state of infrastructure in Zimbabwe.
The flagship report of 2011 entitled “Infrastructure and Growth in Zimbabwe” focused on economic infrastructure, ‘the economy’s capital stock that produces services to facilitate economic production or serves as inputs to production process.’
Following the political transition of November 2017, the new Government requested the AfDB to update the 2011 Report.
As was the case with the 2011 Report, the main objective of the 2019 Report was to provide Government with a masterplan for the rehabilitation of infrastructure assets and recovery of infrastructure services in the context of Vision 2030.
It was also a strategy to promote international re-engagement in the area of infrastructure in the event that Government went ahead with arrears clearance. The table below summarises these findings by sector.
Table 1: Zimbabwe Funding Arrangements for Proposed Infrastructure Programme (in USD millions)
Sector National Budget State Enterprises Local Authorities Donors Private Total Share (%)
As shown in Table 1:
The total cost of the capital programme for the period 2020-2030 is projected at US$33.779 billion at 2017 constant prices.
This includes US$8 billion of private investment to upgrade the existing infrastructure and new capacity; US$3.67 billion for water, sanitation and resource management; US$1.14 billion for the power programme; US$28.56 billion for the transport sector, most of which is earmarked for the road network; and US$412 million for the communications sector, mainly to create a national fibre optic backbone network.
The proposed funding arrangement is such that state enterprises involved in the provision of services in these sectors would contribute US$1.5 billion (4%), the private sector US$7.9 billion (23%), the national government and local authorities US$20.7 billion (61%), and donors the balance of US$3.7 billion (11%).
The next article will argue for the involvement of citizens as one of the sources of capital for infrastructure development.
PPCP Model Can Unlock US$10 billion for Infrastructure Development
As argued in the previous articles, the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) has limited fiscal space due to its international debt and the decades-long economic crisis, now worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Though the GoZ, the private sector and some few donors are currently busy repairing roads and attending to other infrastructure needs, it is enough funds to bridge the infrastructure gap by 2030.
As we have argued in this series, there is a need for an innovative way of raising funds for infrastructure development. Our proposal is that the GoZ should consider the establishment of the PPCP framework for Zimbabwe.
It is estimated that Zimbabwe received around US$1 billion in remittances in 2020.
This translate to approximately US$10 billion in a decade, which is almost 30% of the total infrastructure gap.
If half of these remittances are to be channelled towards infrastructure development, they will cater for around 15% of the country’s infrastructure needs.
Thus, the PPCP creates a significant funding stream for infrastructure development in Zimbabwe.
Dr Eddie Mahembe is an Interim Chairperson of the Zimbabweans United for Progress (ZUFP). He holds a PhD in (Development) Economics, MCom in Economics, BCom Honours in Econometrics and BSc. Honours in Economics. He can be reached on Email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or WhatsApp (+27 60 532 8754).
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