Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau

THE Government expects to drive robust entrepreneurship and innovation through the National Venture Capital Fund (NVCF) as part of measures to steer economic growth and creating more job opportunities.

Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Clemence Chiduwa, said the NVCF was part of the broader Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), a two year (2018-20) short term blue-print, which builds towards the national vision of an upper middle-income economy by 2030.

He told stakeholders during a recent Matabeleland South provincial TSP review programme that to date the Government has poured $500 million to the NVCF, which will be reviewed. The meeting was part of a review process and build up towards the successor National Development Strategy.

“We have made great progress in terms of economic recovery strategies if we compare the current scenario and where we are.

“As a Government, we have come up with the National Venture Capital Fund to provide capital to innovation-based enterprises with strong growth potential,” said the Deputy Minister.

He said the fund was available to all innovative minds in Zimbabwe, adding that applications were not limited as these were subject to approval by the set committee. Chiduwa said Government was looking at a situation where those with great economic development ideas make partnerships to form big vibrant enterprises.

“Before the TSP, we were coming from a background of low productivity in sectors including mining, agriculture, services and manufacturing and in some instances the industries were uncompetitive.

“So, what we are doing now we are implementing a number of economic reforms and rolling out related programmes to ensure that we achieve an upper-middle economy as enshrined in Vision 2030,” said Deputy Minister Chiduwa.

Among other initiatives, he said the Government was working on a financial re-engagement programme that will enable the Treasury to fully fund some of its commitments. The road to economic recovery must be built upon a strong foundation and the right fundamentals in an inclusive manner.

As such, Chiduwa said consultations were already underway for the implementation of the National Development Strategy (NDS 1) to run between 2021 and 2025.

“The TSP is running between 2018 and 2020. So, we will be moving into the NDS (1) for 2021 to 2025 and the NDS (2) 2026 to 2030,” he explained.

“Consultations for this process started in 2019 and so far, we have covered 14 thematic areas. We are now consolidating what has been done by various sectors,” said Deputy Minister Chiduwa.