The country director of World Bank Group in Uganda, order Ms. Christina Malmberg Calvo has urged government to make sure all World Bank funded projects benefit the whole citizenry saying that at end of the day, these loans will have to be paid back using the taxes.
Ms. Malmberg was Tuesday addressing the crowd that gathered at Kololo independence grounds for the inaugural World Bank Open day.
The day, according to Malmberg, was aimed at reflecting and enlightening the public about the different projects and achievements of World Bank-funded projects in the country.
It was also meant to allow the public to seek for accountability from different organizations that are benefiting from the fund.
Malmberg said the aim of the bank is to help government implement policies that will end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity among all Ugandans.
The open day which is likely to be held annually, she said, was intended to expose government to the public.
“Our main purpose is to make sure that a common Ugandan receives services and the right knowledge to economically improve their social status. We are helping the government of Uganda in areas that are critical for social development like agriculture, education, infrastructure development and technology,” she said.
In his remarks, Uganda’s Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Matia Kasaija emphasized that government was doing all it could to make sure that World Bank loans were utilized to develop Uganda both socially and economically.
“The economy of Uganda is still struggling because our people are not taking advantage of different projects and opportunities that have been put in place. However, we are hopeful that in years to come, Uganda will achieve a middle income status if all the projects and plans are put in place,” Kasija said, asking World Bank to “continue funding us.”
The investment portfolio in Uganda is primarily financed by World Bank under the International Development Association which provides interest free credits and grants at only administration fee of 0.75% of the disbursed credit amount.
As of March 2017, the bank’s portfolio stood at $2.46 billion (credit and grants), with a 40% on infrastructure, 14% on agriculture, 7% on water and 30% on human development.
As of February 2017, Ugandan government had disbursed 10% of the money with an undisbursed balance of $ 1.7billion.