The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)-Fund – an international multi-donor, multi-agency development mechanism – will invest $10 million into Zimbabwe’s renewable energy sector through a program that aims to catalyze clean energy developments in the southern African country.
The 4-year program will be implemented in collaboration with the Zimbabwean government, who, through the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe, will be investing $35 million together with local partners, Old Mutual Investment Group – alongside its member CABS – and Zimnat Asset Management. Expected to commence as early as April 2022, the program positions renewable energy developments as a catalyst for sustainable socio-economic growth.
Collaboratively developed by UNESCO, UNWOMEN, UNDP and the Government of Zimbabwe, the program will leverage private capital for the attainment of all SDG goals. By emphasizing the role that the private sector will play in driving renewable energy developments, the program ensures a high return of investment while meeting social impact objectives. Key to this process, is the establishment of Renewable Energy Fund (REF).
Attention to the realization of key national priorities will also be given, as highlighted in Zimbabwe’s National Development Strategy. Zimbabwe is endowed with solar, wind and hydropower energy sources, most of which remain largely untapped. These resources, coupled with the fact that urgent solutions are required if the country is to realize its economic development objectives – specifically economic growth, increased access to electricity, climate mitigation and women and youth empowerment – positions the country as a primary market for programs such as this.
In addition to project investment, the program comprises strategic capacity-building components, whereby the Zimbabwean workforce will be trained in ICT, renewable energy and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Accordingly, the program is not restricted to only developing the sector, but the capacity of the local workforce as well.