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ZimTrade’s women focused initiatives bear fruit – The Herald

Kudzanai Sharara in Cairo, Egypt 

ZimTrade’s efforts to champion women entrepreneurs and enterprises are bearing fruit with women accounting for a bigger portion of exhibitors at the 2023 Intra-Africa Trade Fair underway here.

Zimtrade is Zimbabwe’s trade development and promotion organisation with the mandate to boost the country’s exports.

As part of its initiatives, ZimTrade runs the Next She Exporter programme targeted at businesses that are wholly female-owned or where women hold at least 51 percent shares of the business.

The programme, which empowers women to be export ready, could not have come at the right time as Africa marches toward the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which gives exporters access to more than 1, 3 billion customers with a GDP of approximately US$3, 5 trillion.

The programme rightly fits into President Mnangagwa’s philosophy of leaving no one and no place behind as it catapults previously marginalised women right at the centre of not only national aspirations but continental aspirations as well.

Organisations such as the International Trade Centre (ITC) also highlight the significant role played by women in the global economy as they “invest more in their families than men do, in areas such as education, health and nutrition, creating a secure foundation for the future of their families and communities”.

One of the exhibitors at this year’s IATF is Mrs Choice Rusike whose company Jadesave is into the production of construction products such as oxides, bitumen putty and termite poison among others.

With the support of Zimtrade, Mrs Rusike is exploring export markets and lauded government’s initiatives to support women led businesses.

“Women have been marginalised for a very long time but because of the initiatives of government through constitutional provisions that protect and promote the participation of women in economic spheres we are so excited that Zimtrade has also taken this initiative to actually do the Next She Exporter programme of which I was the 2023 winner.

“I am even more encouraged seeing young women breaking the barriers and participating and it’s very exciting and if you look at the quality of their products, they are amazing, so it really gives me great excitement,” Mrs Rusike said.

One such young woman is Paula Mazvita whose company, Rukunda Pride, is representing Zimbabwe with pride showcasing world class leather products at IATF 2023.

Miss Mazvita said efforts by Zimtrade have gone a long way in uplifting women businesses although more can still be done to bring even more women into the fold.

She said women used to fight for their rights to be at such platforms where they are now slowly being integrated.

“It seems like women are getting support especially in Africa because we used to fight for these rights, to say we also want inclusion in the building of the economies, but to see fellow women that are in enterprises it means that we are growing as women.

“It is also inspiring for me to see women of different ages because I’m in my 20’s right now and if I can see a woman who is younger than me or a woman who is older than me in business it means that the future is bright,” she said.

Miss Mazvita, however said, there is still need for more support, “Especially when it comes to funding and capacity building because already it is hard for us women out there to maneuver our way through business.”

“So sometimes I wish there was a way, a win win situation where corporates , government or the international community would include women led businesses in their suppliers list and give them some sort of security to start work.”

“We do get business sometimes, but then for us to fund them its very difficult. We need patient capital. We need capital and then we fund our businesses then pay back patiently because it is hard already for us out there, ” said Miss Mazvita.

Ms Faith Takundwa said seeing more women exhibitors at IATF 2023 showed massive growth in terms of empowerment and it terms of women being ready to tackle previously male dominated markets.

“It shows that women are being more empowered and are being supported more from growth initiatives, growth in businesses, value addition chains and access to different kind of forums.”

She however said more can still be done in terms of capacity building and funding.

Another young woman Lienne Shonhiwa whose company Manetain Organics is also exhibiting said trade fairs such as IATF 2023 are the kind of platforms where you get to actually see what others are doing out there.

“So it is very inspiring to see that there is so much representation for women, even us as Zimbabweans as well, you can actually see that the more exhibitions we are going there is even more representation and its very encouraging.

“I feel that we need to do more in terms of supporting women because traditionally speaking, these kind of platforms were not necessarily open and encouraging to us as women.

“So it is nice to see that there is more businesses, there is more products and services that are being provided by women. As Zimbabwe we need to keep on pushing, encouraging more women to fly out, to come to these exhibitions, and see what others are doing, just to also start competing at a national scale.”

ZimTrade chief executive officer Allan Majuru said the participation of more women does not only meet the Next She Exporter programme’s objectives but will also encourage other women to follow suit.

“The successes recorded by these participating women at IATF is a positive development that will encourage other women to take part in the mainstream export business.

“It is a statement that this can be done, and some form of peer learning will take part from this, with the current crop of women business-leaders sharing their experiences and journey with women looking to venture into exports,” said Mr Majuru.

The organisers of IATF2023, Afreximbank and the African Union (AU) also took time during the fair to extend their support for women led businesses.

On Saturday the 12th of November, the AU organised a forum to celebrate women as part of the official opening of the Industrialisation Week at the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023).

Afreximbank President Professor Benedict Oramah urged women to avail themselves for the diverse facilities offered by Afreximbank for them to benefit more from intra-African trade.

“If you need advisory services, Afreximbank has it.

“If you are an SME and want to become a company of some size, we also have a venture fund that is managed under the fund for export development in Africa (FEDA)”

“For those of you here who are in industrialisation, we want to remind you that you have a strong partner in Afrexim.

“We have a variety of products that are available for you as a business, ” said Professor Oramah.

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Govt overhauls vocational training programmes – NewsDay

The new strategic framework for the modernisation and transformation of vocational training systems has already been approved by Cabinet, Youth Empowerment and Development minister Tinoda Machakaire said yesterday.

GOVERNMENT is overhauling vocational skills training at its centres across the country to ensure that graduates meet the demands of the current job market.

The new strategic framework for the modernisation and transformation of vocational training systems has already been approved by Cabinet, Youth Empowerment and Development minister Tinoda Machakaire said yesterday.

Machakaire made the remarks while addressing 1 501 graduands from Magamba Vocational Training Centre in Manicaland province.

He said the new framework would facilitate the review of skills training and programmes to modernise the vocational training system (VTS) and transform vocational training centres (VTCs) into modern centres of excellence.

“The framework which was developed through wide consultations will facilitate the review of the skills training system and programmes to modernise the VTS and transform VTCs into centres of excellence,” he said.

“The VTCs are expected to provide relevant skills for youth empowerment and the socio-economic development of the communities which these VTCs serve as required by Heritage Education 5.0.”

Education 5.0 is a five-mission model of teaching, research, community service, innovation and industrialisation.

The VTCs have a mandate to develop an entrepreneurial and self-reliant culture among the Zimbabwean youth.

Machakaire pleaded with industry and commerce to support VTCs in their communities as part of their corporate social responsibility to contribute towards the youth economic empowerment agenda.

“The youth empowerment agenda requires the concerted and collaborative efforts of us all — government, development partners, the private sector and community leadership in general,” he said.

“Vocational training and skills development is one of the youth development and empowerment strategies that my ministry is pursuing as an integral cog in Zimbabwe`s industrial development agenda.”

Machakaire, however, admitted that VTCs were facing various challenges related to underfunding.

“I have been informed that some of your challenges include dilapidated infrastructure, inadequate staff, obsolete tools and equipment including the unavailability of reliable vehicles,” he said.

“This strategic framework which is to be implemented should adequately deal with the above challenges.”

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Muckracker: The sandy journey to democracy – NewsDay

It was reported that Tendai Biti, one of the country’s angriest men, is unhappy because of some parody social media account.

MUCKRAKER, like most patriotic people across the country, is still recuperating from the vigorous exertions of dancing in the sand last weekend.

In case you have been hiding under a rock, probably hiding from sanctions, the absolute geniuses in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) organised musical galas recently, which were meant to celebrate the environmental destruction of the country’s longest river, Save.

The Siltation Gala drew thousands of imbibers, who debauched their way through the balmy night and danced away on what used to be a river.

According to the OPC: “Save Beach Bash! Strategic Communications, Presidential Communications, Zimbabwe. Communicating to give impetus to the programmes and projects that contribute to the attainment of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030”.

Indeed, in that vision, all rivers would have disappeared. At that time, we will be hosting similar concerts. Where we once had roads, we will host the Pothole Jamboree. We have already turned old train coaches at the National Railways of Zimbabwe premises into low-cost accommodation for those with rather urgent personal needs.

Nothing can stop this vision.

Nothing puzzling

Around the country, many people are still scratching their heads in puzzlement after a former minister complained about corruption. It was reported that Dzingai Mutumbuka, a former education minister, found out to his horror that someone in the Deeds Office had found better things to do with his property, transferring it to someone else for a small fee, naturally.

For some reason, Mutumbuka is making a song and dance about this small issue. In fact, shockingly, he claims to have taken this up with the country’s owner.

“I met President Emmerson Mnangagwa and I congratulated him on his achievements, but I told him he will not achieve much if he doesn’t deal with corruption,” Mutumbuka said.

“I am known that is why I am able to fight my case in the courts. What about those ordinary men and women in the streets who are not known? They easily lose their hard-earned properties to such fraudsters.”

Of course, we are sure that Mnangagwa must have rolled on the floor with laughter at such a suggestion. First, what does Mutumbuka mean by “achievements? Secondly, why does he think “ordinary men and women in the streets”? Are they the vene of the country? When did they start to matter to warrant such needless noise?

This Mutumbuka fellow should crawl back to quiet retirement and let comrades eat in peace.

Human exports

Speaking of achievements, the country continues to excel by increasing exports. Among the biggest exports of the country, are human beings.

Once, our previous deceased owner described Britain as “a very cold, uninhabitable country with small houses”. Now, we are told by Britain that Zimbabwe is among the top three countries in the whole world in terms of sending people to work in the UK’s health and care work system.

In total, over the past year, some 40 000 Zimbabweans and their dependents left Southern Africa’s fastest growing economy to go and stay in this “very cold, uninhabitable country” and get jobs in care work.

Other countries are trying to copy us. This week, we heard that Pastor Lazarus Chakwera is being congratulated widely for sending 221 young Malawians to work on farms in Israel. The nation congratulates Zanu PF for this massive achievement in growing exports.

We call upon the geniuses in the Office of the President and Cabinet’s Communication Department to speedily host another gala, preferably at our shiny new airport, to celebrate this milestone.


Meanwhile, it’s all hotting up over there in the alleged opposition. It was reported that Tendai Biti, one of the country’s angriest men, is unhappy because of some parody social media account.

It was all to do with an account in the name of one Sengezo Tshabangu, the unemployable lout who now claims to be in charge of the Citizens Coalition for Change. In one post, whoever runs the fake account mischievously claimed that Tshabangu had met Biti for a meal at a hotel. Asked to comment, a frothing Biti told NewsDay: “I’m not interested.

That account must be a parody account that was created by Chamisa and his team. Just check it. I have not met Tshabangu and let me repeat that I am not interested”.

We congratulate Biti for always managing to commit political hara-kiri when his opponents need him to. He has a long, tried and tested history in that department.

French honeymoon

According to reports this week, the Mayor of the Former Sunshine City Lovejoy Chitengu and his deputy Rosemary Muronda are leading a high-powered delegation to the tourist resort of Nyanga to eat as much as they can while they still can.

It is reported that the two, accompanied by 23 other chefs, will spend US$24 000 at a strategic retreat to discuss very important things.

“The objectives (of the retreat) are to find new financial and business partners, expand the network to top-level business contracts, discover and learn best practices from leading” as well as learning about “efficiency towards defined goals and standards”.

We are told the seminar’s theme – there is always a long theme for such events – is “Refining Corporate Excellence and Efficiency towards delivering a Middle Income Economy —Vision 2030.”

Yet, you hear ungrateful residents complaining. They are whining about the fact that “city fathers and mothers” are spending money on hotels, leaving behind a cholera crisis. But these people need to zip their mouths.

Since when do we elect people based on competence? Why are we surprised? Did they show you their qualifications when you voted for them? No. so why the shock? Let them eat on your behalf. What else are they there for?

Jobs, jobs, jobs!

The Public Service Commission (PSC) has flighted advertisements calling on people to sign up to work for the government.

“Are you a recent graduate? Are you between the ages of 19-30? Are you looking for a job? If you answer ‘Yes’ to all three questions then mark this date on your calendar and the venue below: December 6, 2023.

Do you want to work for the government?

Come to the PSC Job Fair for a chance to be considered for employment.”

Muckraker suspects there was a genuine, innocent mistake made by whoever wrote that advert.

It is more likely that they meant to say: “We know you are over 30 and never had a job. Are you desperate enough to sign yourself into slavery? Then come and work for the government”.

The “slavery” part there, of course, refers only to low-level workers.

The rest are the slave drivers who drive 4X4s. Those ones do not need to apply through “job fairs”.

Could this be true?

There were shocking revelations in the trial of Marry Mubaiwa, who was once married to the country’s deputy owner, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.

According to one report: “Former health and child care deputy minister Dr John Mangwiro testified in court that Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, while admitted in South Africa, received treatment from a veterinary doctor at the insistence of his ex-wife, Marry Mubaiwa.

Dr. Mangwiro revealed that he discovered Dr. Peck was a veterinary doctor after initially being presented as a family medical practitioner by Mubaiwa.”

Calling a vet to treat a whole human? We can only surmise that Marry, in her affection, took the VP’s totem a bit too far.

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Mawaba primary school unveils e-learning classroom block – The Zimbabwe Mail

The Bulawayo City Council (BCC), Thursday, commissioned an e-learning classroom block at Mawaba Primary School in Lobengula West.

The new facility will provide learners with access to information and communication technologies (ICTs).

The classroom block was renovated for US$5,000 through a collaboration between the school and its parents. The classroom is equipped with 45 laptops, which the school won under a merit award from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.

Speaking during the commissioning ceremony held at the school under the theme, “Empowering Learners Through E-Learning,” Ward 14 Councillor Dumisani Netha, who was standing in for Mayor David Coltart, said that the city of Bulawayo strives to be a leading smart and transformative city by 2024. He said that empowering education through e-learning facilities is essential to achieving this vision.

Netha applauded the school and the parents for putting together the resources to convert the classroom into such a magnificent learning facility.

“This is a befitting facility to train our learners in Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) as set out in the smart city concept, national outcomes and requirements provided for by the National Development Strategy (NDS1) and Vision 2030,” said Netha.

“We might pride ourselves on providing our children with such remarkable facilities for e-learning, this is because it is a powerful tool in the modern-day learning experiences as it is a convenient and flexible platform for individuals to acquire skills.”

Netha said that e-learning has great accessibility potential as it offers a wide range of courses and resources. “This accessibility ensures that no one is left behind and learners have an opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills while being flexible in scheduling and pacing,” he said.

He said that, unlike traditional fixed classrooms with fixed timetables, in e-learning, individuals can balance education with other responsibilities such as home, sports, and family chores. This allows learners to take control of their learning journey, resulting in a personalized learning experience and increased motivation.

“In the face of envisaged high breed learning, we congratulate Mawaba school and credit to all schools with such projects or are in the process of putting up their internet classrooms. The Education Sector Strategic Plan demands that all schools have user-friendly facilities including disability ramps, ECD classroom blocks, and libraries among other facilities,” said Clr Netha.

“I desire to ensure all council schools and others in our beautiful city implement these requirements as we strive for a smart Bulawayo,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Provincial Education Director for Bulawayo, Sibongile Khumalo, congratulated the school for successfully venturing into e-learning, saying that it is a powerful way to achieve good results.

“Schools are encouraged to embrace online learning as we might appreciate, it comes with several benefits. E-learning is about being able to access education whenever one needs to and from wherever one is. Our competency-based curriculum has embraced ICT and the concept of e-learning is topical,” said Khumalo.

She said that the curriculum has seen the transition of education from being predominantly a face-to-face approach to digital learning platforms where a teacher has merely become a facilitator.

“Through e-learning, learners should be able to take responsibility for their educational progress and access the numerous Ministry endeavours to expose them to as much educational material as possible. These include such platforms as online catch-up strategies, e-learning passport, imfundo endlini, and blended learning, just to mention a few, which are all digital learning programs,” Khumalo said.

She encouraged all schools and their communities to make e-learning a priority in their school development committee budgets.

Source: Cite

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