WORLD BANK Group Africa executive director Peter Larose on Wednesday pledged to push for international funding to revive Bulawayo industries after expressing confidence in their capacity to rebound after years of collapse.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Larose, speaking on the sidelines of a tour of Bulawayo companies, said revival of Bulawayo firms such as Archer Clothing Manufacturers gave the global bank a good case to push for immediate funding.
The tour was organised by the Industry and Commerce ministry.
“We are here to familarise ourselves with opportunities and economic challenges in Bulawayo so that we can see where we can chip in as financial institutions.
We are very impressed with the level of performance that is taking place in Bulawayo and we believe global financial institutions will give support,” Larose said.
“Seeing is believing and Zimbabwe has got a lot of potential. We are going to make a strong case.” so that we could bring a total package to Zimbabwe.”
He said the struggling National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) needed to invest in new technology.
Larose’s delegation comprised African Development Bank executives and government officials.
They toured companies such as Archer Clothing Manufacturers, NRZ, Dunlop, Cold Storage Company, Mpilo Central Hospital as well as Bulawayo City Council water works.
Zimbabwe owes International Monetary Fund, the World Bank group and African Development Bank a sum of over $10 billion and has for years been deliberating on various routes to clear arrears.
The debt overhang has precluded Zimbabwe from accessing badly needed funding from international financiers, this further worsened by frosty ties between Zimbabwe and the West, and the European Union.