The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will help facilitate trade and investment not just in Zimbabwe but also within Southern Africa and the rest of Africa, said Minister of Industry and Commerce of Zimbabwe Sekai Irene Nzenza at a session of the 14th Annual Meeting of the New Champions, also known as the Summer Davos Forum, in North China’s Tianjin Municipality on Tuesday.
She mentioned the Kariba hydropower station in Zambia’s expansion through Chinese investment. The station provides energy to both Zambia and Zimbabwe.
“So BRI will be very much of great benefit to Zimbabwe as a whole,” she said.
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a development strategy proposed by China in 2013 with the aim of promoting economic cooperation and connectivity between countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, and beyond. It involves infrastructure development, trade facilitation, financial cooperation, and people-to-people exchanges. The initiative seeks to enhance regional integration and boost economic growth through increased connectivity.
Minister Sekai Irene Nzenza’s statement at the Summer Davos Forum highlights the potential benefits of the BRI for Zimbabwe, Southern Africa, and the wider African continent. She specifically mentioned the Kariba hydropower station in Zambia, which has undergone expansion through Chinese investment.
The Kariba hydropower station is a significant source of energy for both Zambia and Zimbabwe. The expansion of the station indicates China’s investment in the energy sector, which can contribute to meeting the growing energy demands of these countries.
By investing in infrastructure projects like the Kariba hydropower station, the BRI aims to improve connectivity and enhance trade within and between participating countries. This can facilitate economic development, attract foreign investment, and create employment opportunities. The BRI’s focus on infrastructure development aligns with the needs of many African countries, which require significant investment in sectors like transportation, energy, and telecommunications.
In the context of Zimbabwe, the BRI could potentially lead to the development of infrastructure projects such as roads, railways, ports, and energy facilities. These developments can improve trade routes, enhance access to markets, and stimulate economic growth. Additionally, increased investment and cooperation under the BRI can create opportunities for technology transfer, knowledge sharing, and capacity building, ultimately contributing to the long-term development of Zimbabwe and other African countries.
It’s important to note that while the BRI presents opportunities, it also raises concerns related to debt sustainability, environmental impact, labor practices, and transparency. Each participating country should carefully evaluate the potential benefits and risks associated with BRI projects, ensuring that they align with their own development priorities and promote sustainable and inclusive growth.