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A joint Sino-Zimbabwe coal exploration project, named China-Africa Sunlight Exploration, has broke ground in Zimbabwe's western province of Matabeleland North
The US$2bn coal and methane gas project will attempted to ease electricity woes in Zimbabwe and generate close to 4,000 jobs in the Gwayi area of Lupane.
The joint venture between Oldstone Investment and Shan Don Sunlight Energy Company of China will lead the companies to embark on a coal extraction and power generation project in 2013.
In a speech read by the defence minister ED Mnangagwa, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe claimed it was the first time the country had undertaken a project to "alleviate power shortages since they became apparent five years ago".
“I consider this project as beneficial to Matabeleland North Province and the nation as a whole and a well-timed one, for the country has been in short supply of energy since 2007,” Mnangagwa said.
“The success of this project will no doubt provide the necessary impetus for the development of our economy, which has been crippled by the power deficit and illegal sanctions.”
According to President Mugabe, other benefits of the project would include employment creation, construction of social amenities, infrastructure development and expansion of agriculture through fertiliser production.