Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
President Mnangagwa yesterday launched the India-Africa Incubation Centre in Harare which he described as a key conduit that will drive the modernisation and industrialisation of the economy.
The centre, which specialises in equipping young people with entrepreneurial skills to start their own businesses, dovetails with the President’s Vision of transforming the economy into an upper middle income status by 2030.
The centre is equipped with 25 different technologies in food processing, engineering, brick making process, and paper processing.
It has capacity to accommodate 50 trainees per every intake.
President Mnangagwa, who was leading a high powered delegation including Vice President Kembo Mohadi, several Cabinet Ministers and senior zanu-pf leaders, toured some of the machinery at the centre after which he delivered a speech appreciating the impressive work being undertaken there.
He said with devolution which was coming, it was important to replicate the incubation programme in all provinces to boost rural economies.
“As we implement devolution and rural industry systems, I invite the private sector to partner public sector in setting up similar start-up villages across the country,” said President Mnangagwa.
“To that end, we should aim to promote rural industrialisation through utilisation of natural resource endowments, abundant land and human capital in the various communal areas towards robust rural economies.
“We look forward to seeing more facilities such as this one being replicated in all the country’s 10 provinces as we endeavour to create an economic order with vast trade and investment opportunities. It is through such initiatives that we leap frog our economic development and improve the standard of living of our people. Let us therefore, work in unity of purpose to ensure this programme is a resounding success.”
President Mnangagwa said launch of Incubation Centre came at the opportune time as Government intensified efforts to grow the economy.
He said Zimbabwe was keen to learn from the Indian experience.
India is renowned the world over for its vibrant and competitive SMEs and start-ups that have become the engine for its economic transformation.
“My Government adopted the business incubation concept to accelerate the development and growth of start-up businesses,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Thus, the Transitional Stabilisation Programme identifies business incubation as one of the key strategies for the sustainable growth and development of SMEs. We further envisage the development of more vibrant business linkages, greater market access, cluster development and business management training through this strategy.
“In the same vein, I call for greater collaboration and linkages between incubation hubs, research institutes, the academia and entrepreneurs in the design, development and commercialisation of new products which address our socio-economic needs. The India-Africa Incubation Centre along with other similar facilities we have set up, must result in the production of quality goods and services as well as accelerate our entry into new markets.”
President Mnangagwa urged financial institutions to assist in facilitating mentoring and growth of new SMEs and start-ups.
He said local authorities should also offer deliberate incentives to ensure accelerated development of SMEs.
Speaking at the same event Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Rungsung Masakui said: “The policies of His Excellency ED Mnangagwa to align Zimbabwe with the with the economic policies that encapsulate open business environment, buy Zimbabwe efforts and Vison 2030 to make Zimbabwe a middle income country are indications of the commitment of this country to rise to the challenges it has been and is currently facing. In this context, India re-affirms its commitment to support in making Zimbabwe a peaceful, inclusive and prosperous nation. Our constant effort to remove negative perception of Zimbabwe market is bearing fruit. More investors from India are coming to Zimbabwe, specially in mining sector. Investors who are already present in the market are re-investing and expanding. Indian investors are no longer fence sitters. We are fully in the game.”