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A company based in Singapore, AF Power Pte Ltd, is working on investing in a 200MW solar power plant in the country, according to a joint press release by the company and the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA). 

AF Power is an independent power producer based in Singapore with group companies also involved in agriculture, mining, and oil and gas exploration in Africa.

The first phase of the solar power plant project will see AF Power invest in a 50MW Solar Plant in Umguza near Bulawayo in Matabeleland North by 2022.

Construction is expected to begin before the end of this year, according to Mr Jonathan Chalk, AF Power’s business development executive and the country head of Zimbabwe.

There is, however, commitment by AF Power to invest in a total 200MW of solar power over the next three years, reads part of the statement released on Wednesday.

Away from the power project, Mr Chalk said AF Power is also facilitating a virtual workshop between ZIDA and the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE). 

The workshop is aimed at sharing Singapore’s experience and long journey in investment promotion, economic zone development and operations with ZIDA and the Republic of Zimbabwe, he said.

“The Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) is an agency formed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore to respond effectively to the many foreign requests and to tap on Singapore’s development experience. 

“SCE’s primary role is to serve as the focal point of access for foreign parties interested in adopting Singapore’s public sector expertise for their development journey,” said Mr Chalk in a speech at the signing of a cooperation agreement between SCE and ZIDA.

The cooperation agreement was described by ZIDA CEO Mr Douglas Munatsi as an “historic day” and an “apprenticeship with the best in the game”. 

The collaboration between SCE and ZIDA is expected to result in sharing experience in investment promotion, special economic zone development and capacity building.

“SCE aims to be the key vehicle for exporting Singapore’s public sector expertise and to ensure that requests for Singapore’s public sector expertise are met with the highest standards,” Mr Chalk said.

He added that SCE works closely with Singapore’s 15 ministries and over 60 Statutory Boards to customise solutions for its foreign partners.

Wealthy state

Singapore is a wealthy city state in south-east Asia. Once a British colonial trading post, today it is a thriving global financial hub and described as one of Asia’s economic “tigers”. 

It is also renowned for its conservatism and strict local laws and the country prides itself on its stability and security.

Chinese account for more than 75 percent of Singapore’s multi-racial population, with Malays and Indians making up much of the remainder. 

Densely-populated, most of its people live in public-housing tower blocks. Its trade-driven economy is heavily supported by foreign workers. In 2013, the government forecast that by 2030, immigrants will makeup more than 50 percent of the population.

The People’s Action Party has dominated politics since the country declared independence from Malaysia in 1965. Issues such as the rising cost of living, immigration and income inequality are major challenges facing the government.

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