Coffee Break ...with Manakore Attorneys - 'Sunshine is good news for energy investors'

Africa Legal Podcast

07-11-2023 • 23 mins

In this Coffee Break episode, Jabulani Nhongo chats to Tom Pearson about Zimbabwe’s energy supply structure and the exciting opportunities available to foreign investors. Zimbabwe is an attractive destination if you’re looking to invest in the energy sector. With 70% of its power being sourced from geothermal and hydroelectric schemes, and a push towards other cleaner alternatives, businesses will be able to import and service their energy needs from sources other than the country’s national grid. This means independent power producers (IPPs) will play a major role. Jabulani Nhongo, partner at Manakore Attorneys, part of the DLA Piper Network, an expert in mergers & acquisitions and finance, says the power demand in the country is forecast to increase to 3 500 megawatts by 2025. Future capacity increases in generation, Nhongo says, are going to be reliant on foreign investment, which presents key opportunities in the energy sector for investors. He explains that the National Development Strategy has provided a platform for IPPs to contribute to the national energy mix through renewable energy projects. “The government has initiated projects to support 1 000 megawatts worth of solar IPPs. There’s always a lot of sunlight in the country and that means that there’s great potential for solar power projects as well as other renewable energy sources, such as mini hydro and biomass,” Nhongo said. He explains that investors can also take advantage of incentives such as negotiable tax holidays, tax incentives, duty free importation of solar equipment and special dispensations for public projects, which ties into the public–private partnerships that form the basis of the current energy strategy. Nhongo says the Government Implementation Agreement has been designed to attract investment aimed to provide a stable fiscal and policy environment for IPPs. He adds that foreign investors can repatriate their funds from Zimbabwe with ease, based on the exchange control framework coupled with the protection afforded by the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency Act, which seeks to promote and protect foreign investment in the country.

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