For the better part of the year, Zimbabwean SMEs have operated under very tough conditions. Most entrepreneurs have had to deal with various key challenges including 18-hour power cuts that have crippled their businesses. Others have opted to work at night since power is currently between 10 pm and 5 am.
Businesses have also been hit with the dollar shortages forcing some to close shops. The dollar shortage was felt after Zimbabwe reintroduced the Zimbabwean dollar making it the sole legal tender. The situation made it impossible for some businesses to operate since they need US dollars to be able to import new products and purchase raw materials.
These Zimbabwean SMEs have operated in one of the toughest environments but finally, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel for them.
India has donated USD 5 Mn machinery to Zimbabwe for incubation projects in the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sector.
The equipment will upgrade 16 technology and common facility centers across the country. Technology centers will benefit from the equipment and specifically those in the fields of Tool and Die Making, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Plastic products manufacturing, as well as carpentry and metal fabrication.
Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr. Rungsung Masakui handed over the equipment to Sithembiso Nyoni Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister on Monday.
Speaking during the handover of the machinery, the Minister said the project will benefit over 3 000 SMEs annually since they will be able to hire the equipment which they will use to manufacture their own products.
“This is most humbling considering that the equipment we are receiving today is coming to upgrade part of the 16 Technology and Common Facility Centres which were established through a Grant of USD 5 Mn which was extended to support the development of the SME sector in Zimbabwe in 2006,” she said.
Worthy not note also, Nyoni said the machinery project will allow Zimbabwe manufacture molds, machine parts, tools, and components some of which are currently being imported.
Featured Image Courtesy: africajumpstart.com