Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Gwanda Correspondent
GOVERNMENT is reviewing the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Policy in order to enhance creation and maintenance of an enabling regulatory environment for budding businesses.
Through the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Government is already conducting consultative meetings in all 10 provinces in the country. Speaking on behalf of provincial development coordinator, Ms Majorie Skundla, during a Matabeleland South stakeholders consultative meeting in Gwanda on Friday, Umzingwane district development officer, Mr Nhlanhla Magagula, said the policy was being reviewed to replace the one which expired last year.
“The ministry has embarked on a process of reviewing the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Policy. The SMEs sector has been operating under a policy, which ended last year hence the need to come up with a 2019 policy,” he said.
“We need to reflect on the previous policy and identify the gaps it had. As stakeholders we need to make inputs that will feed into the new policy and create a new dimension in the MSMEs sector.
“The policy will serve as a tool that will enable the expansion and diversification of SMEs. The SMEs sector is crucial to the growth of the country’s economy. Similar consultative meetings are being conducted in all the country’s 10 provinces.”
Ministry consultant, Mr Mike Nyamazana, said they had so far conducted consultative meetings in six provinces. He said there was a need to review the policy to be in line with Government’s economic policy framework. The previous policy was crafted in 2013 and hence the need to align it with latest policies such as the new National Industrialisation Policy, Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) and the drive to transform Zimbabwe into an upper middle economy by 2030. Mr Nyamazana said the policy review process started in September and that public views from all provinces will be compiled to form a draft policy.
“Government has aspirations for economic growth where SMEs are a major player in the growth of the economy hence the need for this policy. Under the new policy Government wants to address capacitation of MSMEs to enhance production, productivity and quality, capacitation of MSMEs to diversify products and markets as well as competitiveness in the export markets,” he said.
Some of the pillars that inform the policy include access to markets, finance, technology, rural industrialisation, business management and support, research and development, enabling legal and regulatory framework, entrepreneurship skills, access to workspace, export promotion, investment promotion, market development and trade promotion among other issues.
Mr Munyaradzi Denga, also from the ministry, said the policy was premised on the need to address the challenges facing MSMEs to enhance their contribution to the economy. It has been noted that gaps remain in areas such as access finances due to high interest rates and collateral required by financial institutions, access to workspace such as factory shells and limited collaboration with academic research institutions. — @DubeMatutu