The Mashonaland West Devolution and Business Conference, which was postponed last month, will be held tomorrow, Government officials have said.
The conference is expected to set benchmarks and lay the foundation for a competitive provincial Gross Domestic Product for Mashonaland West. It is also expected to attract the business community and local authorities to come and formulate the province’s devolution strategy.
The initial conference was postponed after Zimbabwe was plunged into mourning after Cyclone Idai hit some parts of Manicaland Province, prompting Government to move in to assist the victims. Among the dignitaries expected at the Indaba are guest of honour, Local Government, Public works and National Housing Minister July Moyo, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando, Industry and Commerce Minister Mangaliso Moyo and Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri.
Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs Minister Mary Mliswa-Chikoka said at least 500 guests are expected to attend the conference.
“We among other things intend to come up with an investment profile for our province, one which will become an anchor towards our investment drive in our province,” she said.
All key speakers have confirmed their attendance. The speakers will be drawn from the Ministries of Finance and Economic Development, Industry and Commerce, Lands, Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry. The indaba will be co-hosted by the Chartered Institute of Project Managers Zimbabwe that has been running devolution conferences in other provinces.
Government has started disbursing part of the $310 million earmarked for devolution and Mashonaland West like all the country’s other nine provinces is set to get $31 million. In an earlier interview last month, Provincial Affairs Minister Mary Mliswa-Chikoka said the Indaba brings together stakeholders in the key economic pillars of agriculture, mining, tourism and local authorities, among others. “The idea of the Indaba is to have entrepreneurs, big corporates, Small to Medium Enterprise to come together and take the vision on where we want to take our provincial economy.”
“This will also inform what we need to do as a province to get to that destination. The engine is already heated up and we have a number of people and organisations confirming their attendance.”
The Business and Devolution Conference is aimed at getting everyone up to speed with the thinking of Government programmes while also getting input from all players on how best we can move the province forward.
It is also expected to provide a platform for dialogue, cooperation and the deepening of ties between captains of industry and the offices of Minister of State for Mashonaland West.