Director of the World Bank Group’s Governance Global practice Dr Edward Olowo-Okere emphasized on investment into infrastructure development for economic growth during the Zimbabwe Accounting Conference in Harare last week.
The director, who is responsible for Africa, Middle East, Europe and Central Asia, was presenting on Building Solid Foundation for Economic Development in the presence of the Deputy Minister of Finance Terrence Mukupe and representatives in the Ministry of the President and Cabinet.
“I would like to emphasise that without investment in infrastructure, and I believe that is something we can all look into, it’s impossible to really be able to propound the economy and grow in the economy,” Okere said.
The fifth edition of the Zimbabwe Accounting Conference which took place last week was running under the theme “Expanding horizon Mapping the Digital Future”
Okere, went on to discuss infrastructure development in Zimbabwe, which have not been in corresponding with population growth as the African country faces harsh economic conditions.
The World Bank Director said that there is very little space for public investment in Zimbabwe.
“Sixty-four percent of total expenditure and 90 percent of total revenue was devoted to paying the wage bill in 2017. So if you are to spend that much on the wage bill and when we are now talking about other recurring costs and the other costs involving the public sector, the question is how much you would have left for public investment,” Okere said.
An Economist Professor Ashok Chakravarti, is on record saying that the “huge” wage bill, which is the amount of money paid by an employer, is also contributing to the liquidity crisis Zimbabwe is facing. Expenditure is an amount of money that is spent on something.
Infrastructure development in Zimbabwe has been facing challenges with the Harare City mayor Benard Manyenyeni stating that the country’s capital has not seen the construction of skyscrapers in 20 years.
Manyenyeni said that Harare was having an infrastructure development when compared to other cities in Africa.