By Luckmore Safuli
ZIMBABWE and Zambia governments have expressed satisfaction with the progress towards development of the 4.5 billion United States dollar Batoka Hydro Electric Scheme, with formal engagements set for the fourth quarter of the year.
This was revealed during a Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) Council of Ministers extra-ordinary meeting held this Wednesday via a virtual platform which saw the two countries expressing satisfaction with the work covered to date towards the implementation of the 2400 megawatt project.
Among other milestones, the two governments noted with satisfaction the launch of the Public Disclosure Process of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Plan, the establishment of the Project Negotiating Team and the coming on board of the Africa Legal Support Facility Unit.
In his official opening remarks, Chairperson of the ZRA Council of Ministers Honourable Zhemu Soda highlighted the significance of the mega project to the two sister republics’ socio-economic transformation agenda.
“The implementation of the Batoka Project needs to come alive as quickly as reasonably possible. Consequently, the decisions we will come up with today have far-reaching impact on our two sister countries and the SADC region as a whole,” he said.
The two governments also hailed the continued support from the African Development Bank (AfDB) on the project and the mobilisation of financial resources to finance completion of the pre-development of the scheme.
Meanwhile, the Council of Ministers adopted the ZRA Corporate Strategy for the period 2020-2024 and approved the jointly owned authority’s 400 000 United States dollar supplementary budget for the second half of 2020.