Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
THE Government expects to stimulate robust entrepreneurship and innovation through the National Venture Capital Fund (NVCF), as part of measures to steer economic growth and widen the job market.
So far, the Government has set aside $500 million under the NVCF, which will be continually reviewed. The fund is a major component of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), a two-year economic blue-print (2018-2020), which is a building block towards the attainment of an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
Finance and Economic Development Deputy Minister, Clemence Chiduwa, told stakeholders during a recent Matabeleland South provincial economic review meeting that significant progress was being made to transform the economy.
“We have made great progress in terms of economic recovery strategies if we compare the current scenario and where we are coming from. As the Government, we have come up with the National Venture Capital Fund to provide capital to innovation-based enterprises with strong growth potential,” he said.
The Deputy Minister said the fund was available to all innovative minds in Zimbabwe, adding that applications were not limited as these were subject to approval by the set committee. He said Government was looking at a situation where those with great economic development ideas make partnerships to form vibrant enterprises.
“Before the TSP, we were coming from a background of low productivity in sectors including mining, agriculture, services and manufacturing and in some instances the industries were uncompetitive,” he said.
“So, what we are doing now is that we are implementing a number of economic reforms and rolling out related programmes to ensure that we achieve an upper middle-income economy as enshrined in Vision 2030,” said Deputy Minister Chiduwa.
He said among other initiatives the Government was engaged in a financial re-engagement programme aimed at capacitating Treasury to be able to fund most of its commitments.
Deputy Minister Chiduwa said the road to economic recovery must be built on a strong foundation of positive gains and the right fundamentals in an inclusivity manner.
With the TSP coming to an end, he said consultations were already underway for the implementation of the National Development Strategy (NDS 1) to run between 2021 and 2025.
“The TSP is running between 2018 and 2020. So, we will be moving into the NDS (1) for 2021 to 2025 and the NDS (2) 2026 to 2030.
“Consultations for this process started in 2019 and so far, we have covered 14 thematic areas. We are now consolidating what has been done by various sectors,” said Deputy Minister Chiduwa.