HARARE, 12 May (The Source) – The City of Harare says a twinning agreement with the South Korean city of Cheonan provides an opportunity to access concessional funding to address the Zimbabwean capital’s housing challenges.
Harare and Cheonan, major transportation hub of Korea, already enjoy a working relationship with employee and cultural exchanges, although a formal twinning agreement between the two cities is still to be signed.
Last week, Cheonan deputy Mayor Byoung Wook Jun led a delegation which toured Harare to explore areas of further cooperation.
Harare, with a housing backlog of 500,000, is currently battling an accommodation shortage and Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni told The Source that in taking the relationship to the next level, he would prioritize funding for the city’s housing needs.
“For now housing is our main priority and we would channel any support we get towards it because the returns are good,” he said.
“We are here talking about a city that has a $13 billion budget and out of that size we see the opportunity for Harare to piggyback on a financial relationship where long term borrowings can be explored.”
Zimbabwe has a national housing backlog of 1, 25 million and Harare has a target to deliver 105,000 houses by 2018 under the government’s ZIMASSET economic blue print.