Article by Memory Chamisa
A Sustainable Development Fund has been launched in Harare to address investment challenges and promote the participation of women and youths in the Renewable Energy sector.
The US$45 million Sustainable Development Fund, a joint programme by the government of Zimbabwe and United Nations agencies is set to enhance investment in climate and renewable energy projects.
“The SDG fund is going to ensure that women and youth who have small businesses are capacitated and also have space in renewable energy development. various activities are lined up and we look forward to having more investors on board,” said Lidia Brito, Unesco’s Regional Director.
“The fund will also have strict monitoring for accountability purposes, to ensure that the set beneficiaries are assisted and it keeps evolving. This launch has also paved way for the implementation of activities and will also sensitize the key stakeholders and potential investors on the objectives of the programme,” said Fatou Aminata Lo, UN Women’s Country Representative.
Guest of honour and the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Honourable Zhemu Soda commended public-private partnerships for complementing government efforts in funding renewable energy projects.
“The UN SDG fund will undoubtedly assist to address the various challenges being faced in the energy sector. I also believe it is time we begin to see rapid deployment distributions of renewable energy technologies in our communities.
“The joint programme will carry out a full-scale demonstration of concept on the use of renewable energy fund instruments for the economic empowerment of communities through the transformational impact of introducing renewable technology with new entrepreneurship opportunities, income and job creation and improvement of life and the environment,” said the minister.
The four-year joint programme is set to accelerate investments in climate change mitigation and sustainable energy projects to achieve SDGs in Zimbabwe with a special focus on women and youth empowerment.