ZIDA signs up for Singaporean “apprenticeship”, 200MW solar project teed up

ZIDA CEO: Doug Munatsi

The Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (ZIDA) signed a partnership agreement with Singapore’s development cooperation agency on Wednesday, announcing the planned construction of a 200MW solar project as an example of benefits expected to flow from economic ties with the Asian city state.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Fredrick Shava oversaw the virtual official signing of the cooperation agreement between ZIDA and SCE, represented by chief executives Doug Munatsi and Kong Wy Mun, respectively.

Singapore consistently ranks high on the World Bank’s annual doing business list, coming second in 2020 behind New Zealand. Zimbabwe, which seeks to improve its position from 140 out of 190 in the 2020 rankings, hopes to tap into Singapore’s expertise.

The Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) was created by the nation-state’s government in 2006 “to respond effectively to the multitude of foreign requests interested in Singapore’s development experience.”

The SCE is collaborating with Zimbabwe as the country executes its special economic zones strategy. 

ZIDA chief executive Munatsi said Zimbabwe would be undergoing an investment promotion “apprenticeship” with Singapore.

“To be the best, you must learn from the best. It is, therefore, fitting that today, ZIDA embarks on this apprenticeship journey, if you will, with Singapore, who are the flag bearers in investment promotion,” Munatsi said.

“It is our intention to learn from the Singaporean experience, with a view to repositioning Zimbabwe as the premier investment destination in the region.”

The SCE also has cooperation pacts with several African countries, including Rwanda, Mauritius, Senegal, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco and the Seychelles. 

Wednesday’s signing also involved AF Power, a Singaporean independent power producer that plans to develop solar power projects in Matabeleland.

AF Power hopes to complete the first 50MW phase of a solar plant in Umguza by 2022, with additional investment to ramp up generation to 200MW over the next three years, according to a statement jointly issued by ZIDA and AF Power.