Zimbabwe to Boost Road Rehabilitation with China’s Belt and Road Funds 

Transport minister says country will tap into Chinese financing window for infrastructure projects

by Motoni Olodun

Zimbabwe is set to benefit from China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a massive global infrastructure and trade project, as it seeks to rehabilitate its road network and improve connectivity. On Wednesday, the country’s Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona announced that Zimbabwe would tap into the Chinese financing window of RMB 780 billion (US$107 billion) for the BRI to support its road development drive and economic growth.

Mhona made the announcement at the BRF for International Cooperation, a summit held in Beijing to mark the 10th anniversary of the BRI. He said the BRI’s thrust aligned with the government’s vision for infrastructure development as outlined in the National Development Strategy (NDS1). He added that Zimbabwe was not fully utilizing the BRI funding and expressed optimism that the country would access more resources from the forum.

Zimbabwe has been undertaking several road projects across the country, including rehabilitating and upgrading the Harare-Beitbridge highway, which is expected to be completed this year. The highway is part of the North-South Corridor that links Zimbabwe with South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The project is being funded by a US$21 million loan from the African Development Bank.

Other road projects include dualizing the Harare-Chirundu highway, which connects Zimbabwe with Zambia and forms part of the Trans-African Highway network; constructing bridges and culverts along major roads; and maintaining urban and rural roads. Mhona said these projects would enhance regional integration, trade facilitation, and socio-economic development.

The BRI, launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, aims to connect Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America through railways, highways, ports, power plants, and other infrastructure projects. China has invested hundreds of billions of dollars in BRI projects in more than 140 countries, boosting its global influence and economic cooperation.

However, the BRI has also faced criticism from some Western countries, which accuse China of using it to expand its geopolitical interests and saddle developing countries with unsustainable debt. China has denied these allegations and stressed that the BRI is based on mutual benefit, consultation, and respect for sovereignty.

At the summit, Xi pledged to uphold high quality, sustainability, and inclusiveness standards in BRI cooperation. He also announced new measures to support green development, technology transfer, and capacity building among BRI partners. He said China would set up two financing windows of RMB 350 billion each for development and export-import banks and inject RMB 80 billion into the Silk Road Fund.

Zimbabwe has enjoyed cordial relations with China for decades and considers it an “all-weather friend.” The two countries have cooperated in various sectors, such as mining, energy, agriculture, health, and education. Some major projects funded by China in Zimbabwe include the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport expansion, the new Parliament Building in Mount Hampden, the Hwange Power Station upgrade, and the Gwayi-Shangani Dam.

Mhona said Zimbabwe appreciated China’s infrastructure development and economic recovery support. He said Zimbabwe would continue to work with China and other BRI partners to achieve win-win outcomes and shared prosperity.

Source: The Herald

You may also like

white logo with motto

The Zimbabwe Advocate is more than just a news outlet. We are a movement, a symbol of resistance against misinformation.

Latest News

© 2024 The Zimbabwe Advocate. All Rights Reserved.