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DANIDA invests $750 million

01 November 2000

The Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) has invested more than $750 million in 60 Zimbabwean companies in the past five years under its linkages programme for business people in Zimbabwe and Denmark. The DANIDA linkages programme, which started in 1995, aims to foster cooperation between Zimbabwean and Danish companies. Under the programme, local companies have also secured loans from DANIDA for new technology and development. Representatives of local companies have also been sent to Denmark for further training in their counterpart Danish firms. The Danish ambassador to Zimbabwe, Erik Fiil, said last week the linkages programme had helped in the transfer of skills and technology from Denmark to Zimbabwe. He was speaking in Harare at the official launch of Headway Enterprises, a Zimbabwean fibre glass manufacturing firm which has linked with Danish-based fibre glass manufacturer BN Produtker. Headway Enterprises has diversified into manufacturing marble products with the help of a $21 million loan from DANIDA. The company has already received orders worth $9 million dollars from the Scandinavian market and more continue to pour in. "The export deal with Danish companies is worth $9 million in fibre glass products but we are also concluding a deal in Botswana to engage an agent there to facilitate exports into that country," said Headway's managing director Willas Masocha. Fiil said his country was committed to continue linking Zimbabwean firms with their Danish counterparts. "Although I am not going to comment on the present situation in Zimbabwe, we all hope and pray that the country will see a turn of the present tide," he said.