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US$10m boost for Zim renewable energy projects

THE United Nations (UN) has donated US$10 million to Zimbabwe to finance renewable energy projects as the country battles a crippling power situation.

The fund was availed through the countryโ€™s joint sustainable development goals (SDG) fund partners including Unesco, UNDP, UN Women and UNCDF.

Projects under the renewable energy fund will be implemented in partnership with the government and financial services group Old Mutual.

โ€œThe SDG fund is a US$10 million renewable energy fund that aims to leverage local financial markets to finance renewable energy projects with a return on investment while achieving social impact for the acceleration of SDG achievement in Zimbabwe,โ€ the UN said in a statement.

โ€œMatch funding is expected from other private sector players. For now, we have matching fund commitments from Old Mutual among other financial players. The joint programme hopes to benefit Zimbabwe by increasing access to capital to finance renewable energy projects, the introduction of renewable energy technology with new entrepreneurship opportunities, income and job creation, and improved quality of life and the environment,โ€ the UN statement read.

โ€œTo address capacity gaps and increase access to funding of SMEs in the pre-investment, investment and post-investment stages, the joint programme will leverage partnerships with international renewable capacity-building organisations and local money markets.โ€

Zimbabwe is currently facing power supply challenges and citizens are enduring up to 22 hours of load shedding.

The project will be launched today in Harare. _*NewsDay*_

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