ZAMBIA, ZIMBABWE ECONOMIC COOPERATION HAILED
Written by Millennium on August 21, 2019
OLIVER SAMBOKO writes
THE Kariba and Batoka hydro-electricity power schemes are a very good example of trans boundary economic cooperation that must be supported, says Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) chief executive officer Munyaradzi Munodawafa.
Mr Munodawafa said cooperation between Zambia and Zimbabwe could be used in development of other trans boundary projects both in SADC and the world at large.
He was speaking to the press and other stakeholders through a representative during the SADC Day commemoration in Siavonga.
Mr Munodawafa said the fact that the Batoka Hydro Power scheme was given a regional status and later elevated to continental was not only encouraging but also made the mobilization of resources easier for ZRA.
He said that at its completion, the Batoka power project would generate 2400 megawatts which will not only benefit Zambia and Zimbabwe but also feed into the Southern Africa power pool for the benefit of the SADC region.
He said his organization would continue riding in the good relation among SADC countries and common objective of sustainable development underpinned by cooperation in the management of shared resources.
He said ZRA and the Kariba Dam would continue to be at the center of cooperation between Zambia and Zimbabwe and would ensure that communities along Lake Kariba who were stakeholders benefitted from the existing water storage.
Zimbabwe and Zambia through ZRA have picked General Electric Company(GEC).and Power Construction Corp. of China to build a $4 billion hydropower project.
The 2,400-megawatt Batoka Gorge plant has been planned for years by the two Southern African nations, both of which were facing serious electricity shortages after a drought curbed hydropower output.
“Zambia and Zimbabwe have agreed on this project. We have all agreed that we give it to GE — China Power and GE together,” Zimbabwean President Emerson Mnangagwa is reported to have said recently in Maputo, Mozambique’s capital, where he was attending a conference,” he said
The project will be based on a build-operate-transfer financing model and won’t put any fiscal strain on the two nations’ governments.
The cost of the project included expenditure on civil works, construction of power turbines, among others.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) said in September that it had started mobilizing funds for the project.