New shopping mall to transform Mutoko centre 

Source: New shopping mall to transform Mutoko centre – The Standard

Social entrepreneur and academic Abel Mavura and his business colleague Guidance Makani are on the drive to modernise rural centres through construction of state-of-the-art shopping malls at Mutoko growth point.

Mutoko was among a number of rural centres transformed into growth points in 1981, thanks to the government’s policy which was meant to redress the unbalanced nature of the colonial economy.

The growth of rural service centres was seen as shifting investment concentration from urban areas, as well as reducing rural-urban migration.

In 1985, through the Public Sector Investment Programme, each growth point received a minimum of Z$160 000 for infrastructural development, which saw the establishment of bus termini and market stalls, as well as rural council offices and cottages for council workers.

Over the years there has been a significant reduction of funds available for rural development, particularly growth points, which has relegated the idea of curbing rural-urban migration into oblivion.

However, Mavura believes funding small-to-medium enterprises, as well as other infrastructural developments at the growth point is a panacea to unemployment in the country.

“I joined forces with my friend Guidance Makani to develop infrastructure starting with Mutoko where I come from,” he said.

“We are almost completing a state-of-the-art shopping mall which we hope would create employment for the youth and attract investment at Mutoko centre.

 

“We hope to build another shopping complex at Mutoko after completing this project.”

Mavura said the double-storey shopping mall would be completed at of this month.

He said their collaboration with Makani was meant to inspire other youths.

“I am biased towards youth empowerment and I believe this business venture and others to come would inspire youths to come up with ideas to transform their rural communities,” Mavura said.

Mavura wears many jackets; he is a social justice advocate, development practitioner, an author, a trained journalist, social entrepreneur and an academic researcher.

The 36-year-old entrepreneur established a youth and community-based organisation called Marvel Act Youth Organisation (Mayo) in Mutoko.

Under his social justice activism he has advocated for inclusive education, thus he is a firm believer in bridging the gap between rural and urban education.

Most importantly, Mavura has been accelerating youth empowerment through the creation of youth hub and book club project Mutoko.

“The aim of the hubs is to boost research skills and incorporate a culture of reading thus bridging the information gap for marginalised youths,” he said.

“Occupying the youth helps them neglect drugs and substance abuse and divert their attention rather time towards something of value to the society.

“I have been instrumental in calling for the strengthening of mental health and education systems as well as abolishment of harmful practices in children.”

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