ITC Executive Director, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, today launched the United Kingdom Trade Partnerships (UKTP) Programme in Zimbabwe. Attendees at the launch included government officials, international organisations, the private sector, farmers associations and smallholder farmers.
The UKTP Programme assists farmers and producers suffering from trade disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by unlocking the potential of Economic Partnership Agreements with the United Kingdom and the European Union.
UKTP is working with the horticultural sector in Zimbabwe because of its high potential for employment creation and export generation. The sector produces a wide range of crops including vegetables, fruits and flowers.
Horticulture is a top priority for the Zimbabwean Government. Growing this sector has benefits for the economy as a whole. UKTP aims to boost the production and export capacity of at least 600 smallholder farmers to create jobs, enhance export competitiveness and to avert poverty, hunger and malnutrition.
In addition, ITC will work with trade support organisations and government agencies to help businesses access market opportunities through online trade intelligence tools and public-private dialogue.
Tom Hill, Director of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office of the United Kingdom said, “We’re proud to support Zimbabwean businesses to boost exports and create jobs through the UK Trade Partnerships Programme that was launched today. Good news especially for Zimbabwe’s horticultural sector, and for smallholder farmers who are being linked to global markets.”
Pamela Coke-Hamilton, the Executive Director of the International Trade Centre speaking on the occasion said, “The unprecedented COVID-19 lockdown measures have resulted in supply-side disruptions and a decline in demand across all value chains in the Zimbabwean economy. Women and youth-owned enterprises have been hit the hardest. The International Trade Centre, through UKTP is working to help build the country’s resilience to shocks such as this one. Together with our partners, our efforts will help raise employment and increase incomes through value-addition, high quality products and strong market linkages”.
Dr. Sekai Nzenza, Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Zimbabwe, also attended the launch ceremony.