Zim’s renewable energy fund grows to US$45m

Alpha Media Holdings CEO Kenias Mafukidze (right) shares a lighter moment with Vice President Constantine Chiwenga (left) at the Energy Conference organised by The Standard in conjuction with the Energy ministry

The United Nations’ seed capital for its Zimbabwe Joint Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Fund to help the country to catalyse renewable energy projects has grown from US$10 million to US$45 million due to increased interest in the initiative, a top official has revealed.

UN resident coordinator Edward Kallon told the just ended fifth edition of the International Renewable Energy Conference and Expo in Victoria Falls that financial services giant Old Mutual had been entrusted with the management of the fund.

 “With an investment of US$45 million, this fund signifies a concrete commitment to driving sustainable development and progress in our nation,” Kallon said.

 “I am pleased to announce that Old Mutual has been entrusted with managing this renewable energy fund, leveraging their expertise and dedication to sustainable finance.

“Together, we will harness the power of partnerships to unlock the transformative potential of renewable energy and pave the way for a brighter future.

“I express deep appreciation for the initial capital received from the Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) through the UN SDG Fund secretariat in New York amounting to US$10 million.”

Kallon said the generous contribution had laid a solid foundation for the UN’s renewable energy endeavours for Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe’s external debt estimated at over US$20 billion has precluded it from receiving international investment support from multilateral partners and institutions for key energy projects.

Kallon said the renewable energy fund was designed to mobilise resources and facilitate investments in renewable energy solutions across Zimbabwe.

“Together with our esteemed national and international partners, we have launched the ‘Catalysing Investments into Renewable Energy for the Acceleration of the Attainment of the SDGs in Zimbabwe’ project—an ambitious endeavour aimed at promoting sustainable development and advancing progress across the nation,” he said.

“This flagship project was jointly developed by the Ministry of Energy and Power Development and four partnering UN agencies:UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), UN Development Programme, UN Women, and UN Capital Development Fund), under my coordination.”

Old Mutual has committed to injecting US$10 million into the renewable energy fund alongside commitments from Treasury amounting to US$1 million.

“As Old Mutual we have to date invested in six renewable energy projects with a combined generation capacity of 42 megawatts (MW).

“Out of the six projects, we are already feeding 10MW into the national grid with an additional 32MW coming on stream by the middle of this year,” OMZ group chief financial officer Takura Mudekunye said.

“These investments are part of our contributions towards the National Development Strategy 1 to develop a prosperously empowered upper middle-income society by 2030 as well as contributions towards ongoing efforts by Zimbabwe to meet its sustainable development goals by 2030.”

Mudekunye said the renewable energy fund was meant to be a platform for “mobilising resources and facilitating renewable energy solutions across Zimbabwe” leveraging Old Mutual’s experience and expertise in this sector.

“The fund will be launched onto the market soon,” he said.

The UN set up the renewable energy fund last year to address barriers to financing renewable energy by catalysing local investments.

 It will leverage local financial markets to finance renewable energy projects that have a return on investment while achieving social impact for the acceleration of SDG achievement in Zimbabwe. 

The conference that drew delegates from more than 10 countries was organised by The Standard, a publication under the Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) stable, in conjuction with the Energy and Power Development ministry.

AMH are also publishers of the Zimbabwe Independent and NewsDay as well as owners of Heart&Soul Broadcasting Services.

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