PLAYERS in the environment, tourism and hospitality industry are gathered in Mutare for a four-day strategic planning indaba that seeks to provide a guiding framework to lead the growth of the sector and inform relevant policy interventions.
In her official opening address yesterday the Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Prisca Mupfumira, commended President Emmerson Mnangagwa for combining tourism and environment portfolios under one roof saying the two were inseparable functions that feed on each other.
Going forward, the minister said there was a need to create synergies between the two mandates of the former ministries to ensure creation of a shared vision.
As such Minister Mupfumira said the proposed strategic plan should be rooted in the national vision, “Towards a Prosperous and Empowered Upper Middle Income Society by 2030”, as enunciated by the President.
“The peace and tranquillity ushered in with the attainment of the Second Republic coupled with the current efforts at re-engagement, present great opportunities for our sector to grow in line with the national mantra ‘Zimbabwe is Open For Business’,” she said.
“In order to attain this vision, as the Minister I expect exceptional levels of achievements, which will reinforce the sector’s position as one of the key contributors to the prosperous middle income economy.
Therefore, I call for collective determination and serious commitment of every individual who is part of ‘team environment and tourism” to individually contribute to the collective efforts.”
Minister Mupfumira said the strategic plan would be aligned to the Government’s Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), which runs from October 2018 to December 2020.
The TSP prioritises key projects aimed at stimulating economic growth and employment creation.
Guided by this thrust she said her ministry would be implementing programmes aimed at fostering efficient environmental management, tourism development and promotion.
The transformation of Zimbabwe to an upper Middle Class State by 2030 requires total dedication and commitment by every Zimbabwean regardless of their station in life, said the minister.
She said the growth envisaged during the period of the Strategic Plan will inevitably be driven by Government working closely with the private sector.
Minister Mupfumira said her ministry has already set focus towards enhanced bio-diversity and conservation, sustainable environment protection, accelerated reforestation, tourism development and promotion, investment promotion and use of information communication technologies (ICTs).
“Our strategy should also be underpinned by Government’s overall thrust on devolution, which will ensure we restructure our operations to reach out to provinces. The ministry should be represented at grass root levels so that we communicate our intent, stimulate and boost local participation in the sector, through a bottom up approach,” said Minister Mupfumira.
“We, therefore, expect the Results Based Management to be cascaded down to all the parastatals and state enterprises who must all complete their strategic plans by December 2018, without fail.”
She called for judicious use of public funds by all parastatals and state enterprises characterised by zero tolerance to corruption and strict adherence to corporate governance practices.
“We need to foster a culture of accountability and a culture of service delivery. This is thrust of the Second Republic and I will religiously enforce it,” said Minister Mupfumira.