Old Mutual to inject funds into infrastructure development

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PHILLIMON MHLANGA

Diversified financial services group, Old Mutual Zimbabwe says it is ready to pour in millions of dollars into infrastructure development in the coming few years.

The deployment of capital will help turn around Zimbabwe’s ailing economy, according to Jonas Mushosho, Old Mutual chief executive officer for Rest of Africa.

Mushosho did not specify how much Old Mutual would invest into infrastructure development but said the financial services group was ready to transform the economy.

According to the African Development Bank, Zimbabwe requires $20 billion to rehabilitate its dilapidated infrastructure.

Market experts assert that poor infrastructure continue to be a serious impediment to inclusive growth in Zimbabwe.

And the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised to make a number of economic reforms that will help open the Zimbabwean economy to investment opportunities. The proposed huge structural reforms by Mnangagwa, who took over the country’s top job in November last year after President Robert Mugabe resigned, will have a big impact on making it easier to do business in Zimbabwe. This will pave way for a pool of potential infrastructure financing, which is now poised to enter Zimbabwe under the right conditions.

The move by Old Mutual is expected to create thousands of new jobs in an economy whose unemployment rate is estimated to be more than 90 percent.

“We are very happy investors. We are going to go out of our way to help turn around the economy as we are driven by two things. The first one is that we want to be part of economic revival in Zimbabwe,” Mushosho told Business Times.

“We want to make sure we work towards turning around this economy. What is good for the economy will be good for us too.

“In respect of turning around the economy, we need to play our part to support the infrastructural development. Some of them, we plan to do directly and others indirectly in partnerships to drive this economy. Last year, we commissioned mini hydro power plant in Manicaland. We now look for many other more infrastructure development.”

Old Mutual has invested in housing projects in Harare’s Budiriro suburb and Bulawayo’s Pumula and Nkulumane suburbs. Mushosho said the financial services group will expand the housing project after setting up a housing fund.