Story by Theophilus Chuma
THE Government has announced plans to reconfigure some areas in Harare, Mutare and Bulawayo to create workspaces for the emerging economy as part of efforts to ring-fence the micro-small to medium enterprises.
Honored for helping turn the economic wheels of development, 140 micro and small to medium entrepreneurs graduated in Harare this Tuesday.
They are part of the broad small to medium enterprises sector players employing about 80 percent of the country’s workforce.
To support this growth, government is taking a raft of measures including adopting a formalization strategy that will see the creation of workspaces for the sector.
Vice President Rtd General Dr. Constantino Chiwenga said, ‘‘Government recognizes the critical role played by MSMEs as we endeavor to become an upper middle-income society by 2030. The sector has grown to become the bedrock of economic growth, job creation, and poverty reduction. The MSME 2021 Survey revealed that the sector is made up of 3.4 million businesses and provided full-time employment to over 4.8 million people. According to the 2022 Finscope SME Survey, MSMEs contributed USD 8,2 billion to the national GDP.’’
Given the positive growth trajectory of the sector, SMEs are now expected to look beyond the domestic market.
VP Chiwenga noted, ‘‘I urge Zimtrade to work with the Ministry of Women Affairs to exploit export opportunities. Given their versatility, if supported adequately, SMEs have the potential to significantly contribute towards the country’s productive capacity and the targeted exports of US$14 billion by 2030. However, there is a need for them to embrace adherence and compliance to standards and technical regulations as an imperative for global competitiveness.’’
The appetite for increased investments in the sector remains high, with partnerships cited as key to growth.
Harare Chamber of SME’s chairperson Mr. Lucky Moyo said, ‘‘We have a delegation that will be coming from India and they will be looking at various opportunities. Right now we have opportunities for rice production.’’
Employing at least three million people, the micro, small to medium enterprises sector is a critical plinth to the country’s vision to attain an upper-middle-income society by 2030.