Sunday Mail Reporter
French construction mogul Mr Christophe Martin, who heads Sogea-Satom, a subsidiary of the third largest construction company in the world, Vinci Construction (worth US$40 billion), last week expressed interest in participating in infrastructure development projects in Zimbabwe.
Mr Martin, who was in the country on a four-day working visit to explore investment opportunities in water, road network construction, power generation and airport construction, met several senior Government officials, including Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa, to discuss possible areas of co-operation.
During discussions with the Government officials, Mr Martin said his company has the capacity to raise funds to undertake multi-million-dollar projects in Zimbabwe through public-private partnerships.
“Sogea-Satom has its own US$8 million worth fleet of equipment consisting of more than 9 000 modern, high-performance machines fitted with high performance technologies such as satellite navigation systems across the whole of Africa,” he said.
“Once a project is commenced in Zimbabwe, part of that equipment can easily be shipped to start work immediately.”
He told Government that the company enjoys good relations with several multilateral financiers. He, however, expressed concern over insurance, stating that most international financiers do not accept sovereign debt. He was assured by the Finance Minister that Government would support any initiatives aimed at developing local infrastructure in line with the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset).
Mr Martin also met Senior Minister of State in the Office of the President Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo as well as other senior officials in the ministries of Energy and Power Development; Environment, Water and Climate as well as Transport and Infrastructure Development. Sogea-Satom group is the African branch of Vinci Construction and employs at least 180 000 employees around 100 countries.
In Africa, it employs 10 000 workers of which only 500 are expatriates from other countries. Since its establishment in 1972, Sogea-Satom has built roads, airports, dams, water treatment and distribution plants, thermal power stations and buildings in Cameroon, Chad, Benin, Burundi, Gabon, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania, among many other countries.
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