Prosper Ndlovu recently in Nkayi
THE United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Zimbabwe has set aside $5 million for various capacity building projects in the country with half a million dedicated to financing micro small to medium enterprises this year.
The funding package was announced Monday in Nkayi District during a baseline survey validation workshop on needs assessment of economic actors in the highly impoverished districts in Zimbabwe.
Nkayi is among the districts with highest rates of poverty in the country at above 90 percent, recent surveys show. Urgent measures are needed to support communities with interventions that improve livelihoods.
The Ministry of Small to Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development in conjunction with the UNDP organised the event, which drew local business leaders, traditional leaders, Government officials and the civic society.
“We have set aside $5 million nationally and $500 000 for small to medium enterprises. The funding is meant for capacity building projects to different beneficiaries in a variety of projects within local organisations,” UNDP national economist Ms Ethel Bangwayo said in an interview.
She said her organisation, in partnership with Government, has come up with a five-year inclusive growth and sustainable livelihoods work plan to assist communities with a possibility of up scaling project support in view of needs in different communities to achieve sustainable development.
Small to Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development Minister, Sithembiso Nyoni, who is also MP for Nkayi North constituency, commended the UNDP for supporting such flagship projects. She said the five year programme was targeting four districts — Lupane, Nkayi, Gokwe South and Binga.
“The programme is aimed at tackling poverty at community level by supporting sustainable livelihoods through increased access to economic opportunities. In addition, the project is also meant to strengthen the capacity of national and sub-national institutions in designing pro-poor policies and programmes,” she said.
The minister said the project was built on four pillars namely rural livelihoods support, technical innovation support, national capacities support and strengthening sub-national capacities.
“These pillars are pivotal in providing a comprehensive business development support that creates a conducive environment that favours sustainable livelihoods interventions,” said Minister Nyoni.
Under this innovative project, a Needs Assessment on Economic Actors in the MSME sector was carried out by an independent consultant, Mr Stanford Senzere, to identify local endowments and economic opportunities in the four named districts.
The minister said UNDP has played a pivotal role in supporting her ministry’s programmes thereby setting a commendable trajectory in sustainable livelihoods interventions and entrepreneurship growth.