Government will provide tax holidays among other incentives to promote the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sector which is expected to anchor rural industrialization in Zimbabwe
This emerged at the launch of the National MSME Policy 2020-2024 policy document provincial dissemination workshop held in Harare on Tuesday this week.
At inception, the concept of growth points, was a unique endeavour by Government to help decentralise development to remote parts of the country in order for the general populace to receive essential services.
Growth points are artificially created or stimulated in disadvantaged regions with the intention to eventually become centres of economic growth for the benefit of communities.
President Mnangagwa launched the National MSME Policy 2020-2024 policy document last year.
The sector accounts for more than 76 percent of all employment and a source of livelihoods by absorbing retrenches from closing companies, school leavers, youths, women and those with disabilities.
Government has, however, noted that the MSMEs face many challenges.
The challenges include a restrictive regulatory environment, limited access to finance, limited use of information communication and production technologies.
Inadequate skills and inability of their products to meet international standards also affect MSMEs development.
The MSME Policy 2020-2024 sets out strategies for implementation, co-ordination, monitoring and evaluation of the sector development programmes to enhance productivity, quality, employment capacity including domestic and export competitiveness
Addressing the meeting SME Development director in the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Mamvura Mabika said beacon projects in strategic areas would be pursued as a nucleus to anchor MSMEs and enhance the rural industrialization process.
“Government in collaboration with local authorities and other partners will focus on providing incentives such as tax holidays, concessionary and financing and technology common facility centres for MSMEs to set up business at growth points and business services centres,” he said.
Secretary for the ministry, Melusi Matshiya said: “The promotion of rural industrialization and establishment of rural industrial hubs with appropriate technology for MSMEs will be continued with the aim of harnessing local endowment and adding value to local resources.”
“Policy measures will be directed at supporting entrepreneurs to establish enterprise in rural areas and growth points. Enterprises that tap into indigenous knowledge and resources endowment in various provinces will be encouraged.”
He said growth points and business services centres serve as the nucleus of the development of small towns which have the potential to industrialize.
Stakeholders attending the meeting said the rural areas should be targeted for development as raw materials are scarce yet requiring transportation and digital networks.
They also called for the enactment of a vending policy to protect the MSMEs.