Zim plans diaspora bond to fund power projects

Zim plans diaspora bond to fund power projects
Published: 01 December 2013
Zimbabwe plans to tap the wallets of its three million citizens living abroad by issuing bonds to finance power projects at home, state media reported Wednesday.

To start off the programme, an $8 million diaspora bond would be floated soon, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa told a meeting with foreign investors in Harare on Tuesday evening.

He did not however disclose the time frames, interest rates, or the tenure of the bond. Mr Chinamasa said Zimbabwe, which is also battling to overcome a deteriorating liquidity crisis, will engage the diaspora population and encourage them to remit money home to boost efforts to rebuild the economy following a decade of turmoil that ended in 2008.

Millions of Zimbabweans, both professionals and low-skilled labourers, fled the country during the economic meltdown.

Most of them found jobs and settled down in countries like South Africa and frequently remit money back home to their families who stayed behind.

The minister said Zimbabwe must immediately address the electricity crisis if it wants to compete with other African markets in attracting foreign direct investment.

Zimbabwe has been grappling with massive power blackouts due to ageing power generation facilities.

Three weeks ago, China's Exim Bank signed a deal to lend $319.5 million to finance the expansion of Zimbabwe's major hydro-power station, boosting its power supply by 300 megawatts.

The expansion of Kariba South Hydroelectric plant, on Zambezi River about 400 km from Harare, is among a number of power projects the new government prioritized.

- Xinhua
Tags: Chinamasa, Bond,


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