Home » Governance » Govt to Inject New Life Into Growth Points

Government wants to revive the growth points development concept to attract investment to rural areas and decongest cities and towns.

This was said by Secretary for Industry and Commerce Mrs Abigail Shonhiwa when she appeared before the Senate Thematic Committee on the Millennium Development Goals in Harare on Wednesday.

“I would want to say that this is something that is under development, a growth point strategy. Where we are coming from is that when these growth points were set up initially, they were given infrastructure and most of them were electrified and the idea was we develop industries around them to avoid this (rural-urban) migration.

“I would want to say we are talking about this in the ministry but perhaps I would not want to go much further but it’s something on the table and we think it’s something doable.

“I believe in the next month or two perhaps by June there would have been a mapping out of the various growth points of what is there and what is not there so that we do a promotion and support industries that are already existing and potential new industries at growth points.

“So it’s something we are looking at, it’s something we have been discussing on growth points under our entrepreneurship development. We do have that running in the ministry and we were linking it with growth points and come up with a strategy on how we can develop growth points,” she said.

Growth points were established just after Independence as part of Government’s efforts to correct colonial imbalances that had seen most rural areas – where the black majority were confined to – lacking basic services and infrastructure.

Each of the country’s designated rural districts has a growth point or business centre.

However, resource constraints have hampered full implementation of Government’s initiative as most growth points are largely service centres with very little or no productive sectors available.

Under the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation, Government is also introducing Special Economic Zones to attract investment.

Meanwhile, Mrs Shonhiwa said establishment of an Industrial Development Fund by the Industrial Development Corporation Board was progressing.

“The structure is there and we are now mobilising resources,” Mrs Shonhiwa said, explaining that this would assist industries to access financing.

Lack of long-term and affordable credit has negatively affected industry’s capacity to produce.

Mrs Shonhiwa also told the committee that her ministry would present the Consumer Protection and the National Quality Control Authority bills to Parliament.

The two proposed laws safeguard the rights of consumers against unscrupulous businesses.

The National Quality Control Authority would also enforce maintenance of standards as set by Government.

Source : The Herald