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His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Al-Qassimi meets President Mnangagwa

Story by Josephine Mugiyo, Diplomatic Correspondent

HIS Highness Sheikh Ahmed Al-Qassimi of the United Arab Emirates has paid a courtesy call on President Emmerson Mnangagwa at State House this Monday, accompanied by stakeholders from the energy sector, with discussions focusing on the establishment of a cables manufacturing plant in Harare.

The visit is linked to a landmark development that will see the country produce its aluminium conductors and power cables.

A new company, IVACO, a joint venture between ZESA Holdings and QLV Private Limited of the United Arab Emirates has been established, with production targeted to begin in the next nine months.

Speaking on behalf of His Highnesses Ahmed Al-Qassimi, a representative, Dr Marcin Lapa was confident the setting up of the new project will support the county’s electrification programme.

“We are about to establish the first joint venture that will support the Presidential programme of rural electrification of rural areas. We are starting with the manufacturing of the cables, that will be in the next phase is the metering,” said Dr Lapa.

ZESA Holdings executive chairperson Dr Sydney Gata said the setting up of the plant is a welcome development as it will reduce the import bill, with production of the cables expected to commence in the next nine months.

“This project is important. To attain the targets you need three key things: professional leadership, techno-industrial capacity and equipment. In the past, we would import everything and it would come in drips and drabs. This project will ensure we can manufacture very sophisticated equipment here and we expect production to begin in nine months.”

Energy and Power Development Deputy Minister Honorable Yeukai Simbanegavi said the development will ensure the county’s electricity infrastructure is upgraded.

“As the Ministry of Energy, we appreciate this investment into the area of energy. We also discussed the issue of smart metering, we appreciate this joint venture because it will ensure we upgrade our electricity infrastructure system as this will make sure electricity will be supplied. This project will be stationed in one of our depots.”

Reliable energy supply is key for the country’s economic growth in line with the National Development Strategy One.

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