World Economy

Global Investors Target Zimbabwe Energy Sector

Global Investors Target Zimbabwe Energy SectorGlobal Investors Target Zimbabwe Energy Sector

Zimbabwe has become a magnet for billionaire global firms such as General Electric and the Enel Group of Italy, in what is seen by observers as a massive vote of confidence in the country’s investment opportunities and critically, the new administration.

Since his inauguration in November last year, President Mnangagwa has declared that Zimbabwe is open for business, and investors from across the world have been stampeding for opportunities in the country, AllAfrica reported.

This has seen foreign direct investment enquiries soaring to over $3 billion in the last few weeks. But it is the coming in of a high powered delegation from GE, whose revenue for its global operations was $122 billion last year, which is seen as a potential game-changer.

Formed in 1892, GE has a range of products such as aircraft engines, electrical distribution, electric motors, energy, gas, finance, health care, lighting, locomotives, oil, software, water, weapons and wind turbines.

Currently, it operates in several African countries such as Nigeria, South Africa, Angola, Ghana, Mozambique and Kenya, where its continental headquarters are situated.

GE Africa director Reginald Max told the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy last week that they are eyeing the Batoka power project, among many other energy projects. Max said they have huge financial muscle to undertake any project in Zimbabwe.

“We have a track record and we have the financial muscle to undertake the Batoka project. We will invest to develop the power station, but ownership will be retained by the Zimbabweans,” said Max.

Feasibility studies have shown that the Batoka hydro electricity project–which is shared by Zimbabwe and Zambia–requires about $6 billion.

Some international financial institutions are currently working towards raising $4 billion, and the African Development Bank is the lead arranger for the 2,400 MW project.

Another global firm interested in investing in Zimbabwe is Italy’s Enel Group, whose net worth is estimated at $40 billion. Sources say the Enel Group has been keen to invest in Zimbabwe for some time and its delegations have visited the country three times.

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