Government has assured investors that it will accelerate the tendering process and feasibility study for the development of the Batoka Gorge Hydro electric Scheme .
ZANIS reports that Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy Emelda Chola said the governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe remain committed to addressing investors’ concerns on the implementation of the power project.
Brigadier General Emelda Chola was speaking when she gave a vote of thanks at the closure of the investor conference in Livingstone.
She described the hosting of the conference a success as the response exceeded the expectations of the two contracting states.
The Permanent Secretary assured the investors that the two governments will quickly expedite conclusion of the environmental and social impact assessment report.
Brigadier General Chola said the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) has been mandated to engage the investors to crystallize their interests into commitments and investment pledges.
Earlier after detailed financial and technical presentations investors were concerned with the slow pace of tendering, and completion of the ESIA report and feasibility study.
Some investors had expressed eagerness to immediately commence with the actual development of the Batoka Gorge hydro power project.
Meanwhile, Chief Mukuni of the Toka Leya speaking people of Livingstone praised government for finally initiating the process of developing the Batoka Gorge Hydro Power project.
Chief Mukuni said the route government has taken to source for USD4 billion needed to develop the power project is the best economic option .
He appealed to government to ensure that it devises empowerment programmes for local communities in order for them to benefit from the power project.
The traditional leader said it is imperative that local communities are empowered to create employment and wealth from the exploitation of their natural resources through which they can benefit from.
Meanwhile, the government of Zimbabwe says it cherishes the political history and bilateral relations it shares with Zambia.
Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development Patrick Chinamasa said his country is grateful for the long standing ties between the two former British colonies.
Mr Chinamasa said this in Livingstone during a cocktail party held to welcome leading financiers, developers and contractors to the investor conference on the development of the Batoka Gorge Hydro power project.
Mr Chinamasa who termed Zambia and Zimbabwe as siamese twins stated that the existing political and bilateral relations are cardinal in enhancing socio-economic development in the two countries.
The Zimbabwean Finance and Economic Development Minister has since called for intensifying bilateral ties between the two sister republics to maximize socio-economic benefits for its two people.
And Finance Minister Felix Mutati is confident that Zambia and Zimbabwe will raise the USD4 billion dollars from the investor conference to develop the Batoka Gorge Hydro power project.
Mr Mutati implored the investors to help nurture the development of the Batoka Gorge Hydro electric scheme into a power project that will provide energy to boost the economies of the two countries and promote regional trade and growth.
And speaking at the same occasion, Minister of Mines Christopher Yaluma was delighted that the development of the Batoka Gorge Hydro power project will provide the much needed power to run the country’s mines.
Several cooperating partners, local and foreign multilateral financial and development institutions and multinational private entities are in the country to attend the conference being held under the theme ‘harnessing the sustainable power generation of the mighty Zambezi River’.