via Government moves to create 2 million jobs – Sunday News Apr 3, 2016
Tinomuda Chakanyuka Sunday News Reporter
THE Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment will soon start public consultations on the implementation of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy which will see each House of Assembly constituency in the country getting $1 million worth of credit to harness its resources. Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Cde Patrick Zhuwao said the idea to capacitate constituencies to exploit their respective resources was part of Government’s efforts to fulfil the pledge to create two million jobs.
Cde Zhuwao said officials from his office will, in a few months, hold public meetings to get views on the implementation of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy before holding a workshop with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to further work out how to implement the strategy.
He said there was over $200 million worth of loans from local banks which his ministry has decided should be extended to constituencies to capacitate them to exploit the respective resources that they have and in turn create employment for locals.
According to policy measures for banks to comply with the indigenisation and economic empowerment policy, contained in the January monetary policy statement, affected banks are expected to allocate five percent of their total lending towards funding youth programmes.
With the total lending capacity for local banks standing at $4,3 billion, $215 million worth of credit will be made available to the 210 constituencies in the country.
Cde Zhuwao said the National Financial Inclusion Strategy will, among other things spell out how constituencies will access the loans.
He added: “Our officials will soon go on the ground to meet people and get views on how the strategy can best be implemented. People of Zimbabwe should start engaging our ministry officials now in their districts to give them ideas on how best we can fulfil the objectives of the programme.”
The National Financial Inclusion Strategy is premised on four pillars which include, financial innovation, financial literacy, financial consumer protection and microfinance.
“We would want to implement the national financial inclusion strategy in a manner that will allow first, the development of bankable projects. The funds must be administered taking into account all the necessary legislative requirements in a manner that will ensure these won’t become non-performing loans.
“The workshop with the RBZ has been postponed to a date we are yet to set because we are still dealing with this directive from Cabinet on compliance to the indigenous law by companies. Once we are done with this issue we will certainly continue with our programme,” he said.
Cde Zhuwao said the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, based on a business ecosystem approach, will allow for the development of bankable and securitisable projects, as well as provide measures to ensure the loans will perform.
The business ecosystem approach framework, he said, is in line with the National Economic Empowerment Strategy that was developed in the last quarter of last year.
“Each constituency will be eligible to $1 million worth of credit from banks for projects that are based on the resources found in that particular area. Zimbabwe is blessed with diverse resources and each area has its own resources.
“Some of the resources are lying idle because there is lack of capital to start exploiting them. Now that the funding is there we want to see communities coming up with bankable projects towards exploiting these resources,” he said.
Cde Zhuwao added: “President Mugabe pledged to create 2,2 million jobs and this is part of efforts to fulfill that commitment. We are looking at companies being created in the various constituencies, companies that will create employment as well as spur development in those respective areas.”
He said once the implementation plan for the financial inclusion strategy was in place, members of the public can approach his ministry on the steps they should follow to access funding for their projects.