HARARE – Senior World Bank officials are visiting Zimbabwe to have a first-hand appreciation of the challenges facing the country.
The two directors, who will be in the country from May 19 – 22, are set to tour companies in Zimbabwe’s second largest city of Bulawayo and the Midlands province that include Appollo Tyres (Dunlop), Archer Clothing, Bata and ZimGlass.
They will also visit the National Railways of Zimbabwe, the Cold Storage Commission as well as tour one of the biggest government hospitals in Bulawayo, Mpilo Hospital and Bulawayo Water Works.
The visiting executive directors Louis Peter Larose and Mahomed Rafique said they are “having a feel and appreciation” of the challenges the country is facing on the infrastructure front as well as the adverse impact the lack of access to capital is having on capacity utilization in private sector companies.
Addressing journalists Tuesday night, Rafique, who is also an executive director at the African Development Bank, said Zimbabwe needs to clean up its past in order to get new money from multilateral financial institutions.
“We are pleased to be here and to be part of the process. For it to be successful the country needs to link what it says to what it does. It needs a strong private sector to be able to pay taxes and a strong government which is able to implement policies,” said Rafique.
Zimbabwe has not been receiving loans from the WB since 2002 due to arrears standing at one billion U.S. dollars. The country’s total external debt stands at 9 billion U.S. dollars and the debt has been cited as the major drawback to government efforts to attract offshore lending to revive the economy. – Xinhua