HARARE, Dec 11 — The African Development Bank (AfDB) has extended a 110 million US dollar grant to Zimbabwe for use in funding various infrastructure development projects.

The grant was extended under the African Development Fund (ADF) facility, the concessional window of the AfDB which became operational in 1974 and comprises, to date, 27 contributing countries and benefits 40 countries.

The 40 ADF eligible countries include those that are increasing their economic capacities and heading toward becoming the new emerging markets as well as those that remain fragile and need special assistance for basic levels of service delivery.

The AfDB resident representative in Zimbabwe, Matthias Magala, told a media briefing here Wednesday that
the AfDB approved the facility last week.

“We are here to announce that the people of Zimbabwe are being supported with additional 110 million USD from the AfDB, this grant can be augmented to about 125 million USD, if not more, once additional resources are leveraged from partners and the private sector,” he said.

“These resources are made available under what we call the ADF 13th cycle, as you may be aware we have a fund that runs in a cycle for three years.”

Magala pledged the bank’s continued support to Zimbabwe. “We hope these resources will contribute to projects and initiatives aimed at arresting fragility, building resilience and promoting accelerated re-engagement of Zimbabwe with the international community.,” he added.

“We believe transformation can only be possible if there is adequate investment in infrastructure. Infrastructure development underpins growth.”

Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the bulk of the money would be used to fund infrastructure development. He said 35.6 million USD would go towards rehabilitation of the Kariba Dam wall, while rehabilitation of Alaska to Karoi power transmission lines would take 16.9 million USD.

The development of the energy master plan study would be funded to the tune of 1.9 million USD. “But more importantly with respect to water is that we are going to put 37 million USD towards the water supply and sanitation project in Bulawayo,” he said.

“Bulawayo missed out on earlier opportunities and we have taken note of that and we were fully aware throughout that the perennial problem of Bulawayo needs attention. We are also going to address the water situation in Marondera. Infrastructure is critical and is a priority in the resuscitation of our economy,” said Chinamasa.

At least 2.6 million USD would also be used to support the meat and leather industries.