26 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Nation to Host Empowerment Conference

THE National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board and the Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment will host the Economic Empowerment conference in Harare this week.

The conference will be held on Wednesday and Thursday under the theme "Consolidating economic empowerment as a tool for sustainable economic development - employees, communities and the Zimbabwean nation at large".

Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere will be the keynote speaker.

He is expected to address the conference on issues pertaining to the empowerment of local communities and the introduction of Share ownership trusts/schemes.

Legal, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa will also speak on the ways of overcoming legal barriers to indigenisation and how to address counter revolutionary laws: legislative buy-in.

Local Government, Urban and Rural Development Minister Ignatius Chombo will present on "how to leverage cohesive local governance and decentralisation for development".

Various speakers from South Africa and Zimbabwe will also cover topics that include black economic empowerment, the role of youth in advancing Zimbabwe's development for long-term prosperity and experiences and international best practices for financing indigenisation and economic empowerment transactions.

Women will also be represented at the conference, as there will be two female speakers to address issues on women empowerment.

Dr Charity Manyeruke who is a NIEEB board member will tackle the topic: "Economics of women's emancipation and related paradigms" while entrepreneur Mrs Devine Ndhlukula will talk of her experiences as a woman entrepreneur.

The first CSOT was established in October last year in Mhondoro-Ngezi and there have been subsequent launches in three other provinces.

The empowerment initiative has not only proved to be a viable model but also restored communities' confidence in the role of Government towards empowering them and fostering meaningful development.

Zimplats was the first to launch a CSOT in Mhondoro in October last year in Mhondoro-Ngezi. Unki Mine in Shurugwi was the second and the third scheme was launched at Mimosa Mine in Zvishavane. There is also one in Marange, Manicaland.

The Zvishavane Community Share Ownership Scheme is reportedly doing well as it has managed to drill boreholes, construct classroom blocks, clinics and teachers' houses and sprucing up buildings at a number of schools.

The Blanket gold mine in Gwanda has become the first mine in the country to be fully indigenised after the central bank approved its indigenisation transactions last month.

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