REGIONAL bloc Sadc has unveiled a fund in which member states and implementing agencies can tap into for infrastructure projects.
The fund, Project Preparation and Development Facility (PPDF), will give a minimum grant of $250 000 for infrastructure projects.
Sadc said it had established PPDF with the main objective of enhancing sustainable economic growth and delivery of key services affecting development within the Sadc region and among its members and their citizenry.
The Development Bank of Southern Africa was appointed by the Sadc secretariat as implementing agent and fund manager for PPDF.
The fund will meet project development costs in sectors such as transport, energy, information and communication technologies, water and sanitation and tourism-related infrastructure.
Beneficiaries under the facility will be required to contribute a minimum of 5% in monetary terms of the total cost of the proposed project preparatory activity.
The PPDF will finance major service contacts only and for that reason a minimum threshold has been set for project value in tandem with the expected scale of project significance.
According to the statement, the Sadc Development Finance Resource Centre, a key co-operating partner to the PPDF initiatives and headquartered in Gaborone, Botswana has requested the infrastructure development bank of Zimbabwe to disseminate information about the facility and its availability terms and conditions.
The fund will be a boost for Zimbabwe that has been failing to fund infrastructure projects due to the unavailability of adequate resources.
At least 80% of the revenue generated by government is gobbled by salaries costs leaving little for infrastructure financing.
In his 2014 National Budget, Finance and Economic Development minister Patrick Chinamasa said there were a number of infrastructure projects in various sectors such as roads, dams, health and education, among others, that have taken long to complete resulting in increased costs.
Under the economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation the infrastructure and utilities cluster requires $14,7 billion. The blueprint requires funding of $27 billion.