By Stanley James, Business Editor
Zimbabwe’s drive to establish smart cities has received a major boost after construction of the Afreximbank African Trade Centre commenced in Harare this Thursday.
A ground-breaking ceremony for the project has raised optimism over its impact in the social transformation of Zimbabwe, while creating a base for the modernisation agenda aspiration towards a green economy.
Boasting of features such as a major conference centre, a trade information centre, world class hotel and a tech incubation lab, among others, the centre is billed to accommodate regional, global and development institutions that will also make it an attractive project to investors.
“The construction of the Harare Afreximbank Africa Trade Centre and Regional Offices will also make Harare an intra-African trade hub and support the city’s rejuvenation as an important centre for financial services,” Afreximbank Director and Global Head Administration, Mr Robert Tomusange said.
The project is also expected to create employment for locals.
Building Contractor, Mr Avinash Sharma noted, “The Construction of this facility at a total cost of over US$80 million is coming at a time when the bank has continued to offer more support to Zimbabwe’s economic growth plans. So, indeed we are committed to create more jobs and support services to the locals.”
For the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, it is the potential of the centre to provide financial services to Zimbabweans that is key.
Said RBZ Deputy Governor, Dr Jesimen Chipika, “The central bank expresses gratitude to Afreximbank on its support to Zimbabwe that have seen us to come and witness such a historic event today through the construction of an iconic building.”
The project that will be opened in January 2025, is also expected to transform Harare’s landscape in terms of providing services at global standards.
The Cairo-based, Africa Export-Import bank (Afreximbank) is a pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote trade in Africa.