Zimbabwe requires at least $13 billion in investment to stabilise the energy sector and to roll out the rural electrification project, the World Bank has said.
World Bank country director for Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi, Kundhavi Kadiresan, told journalists yesterday the country had recorded improvements on the economic front with inflation pegged at a modest 3,3% while the economy was expected to grow by 9% this year.
“Agriculture potential is still limited unless we address some of the land issues. There is a huge deficit in the energy sector due to demand and supply. Investment into the energy sector is going to be high,” Kadiresan said.
Zimbabwe is currently experiencing power shortage that has resulted in countrywide load-shedding.
The country requires at least 2 100 megawatts which it is failing to generate and has to import power from neighbouring countries. The power utility is owed at least $470 million by consumers and has suffered heavily from vandalism and theft of infrastructure.
Kadiresan said despite the positive growth in the economy, the country still faced several challenges including liquidity risk in banks while manufacturing companies had antiquated machinery making them uncompetitive on the regional market.
The World Bank official said the financial institution was yet to conduct normal business with Zimbabwe but would do so after assessing the macroeconomic environment.
“Even though we may not be bringing a lot of money into the country, there is a lot of activity happening,” she said.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe is expected to attend the World Bank meeting later this year.