EU avails equipment worth 250 000 Euro to Bulawayo industries

By ZBC Reporter
THE EUROPEAN Union ambassador to Zimbabwe, His Excellency, Timo Olkkonen met the Bulawayo business community this Wednesday to deliberate on areas of cooperation in the beef-leather value chain and other manufacturing sectors.
The government’s re-engagement efforts have seen the European Union (EU) rescuing the ailing manufacturing sector in Bulawayo with equipment worth more than 250 thousand euro.
The EU ambassador to Zimbabwe His Excellency Timo Olkkonen who toured a leather cluster complex in Bulawayo said hope is not lost for the sector as a cocktail of rescue packages are in the pipeline which are set to be unveiled through the Zimbabwe Agriculture Growth Programme.
“It’s so pleasing to see that the assistance from EU is making a difference. Zimbabwe has a decorated history of beef-leather value chain and if we improve on cooperation, the sector stands a chance to make a rebound,” said Olkkonen
The secretary of a 15-member leather cluster, Fungai Zvinondiramba said the EU-supported project will transform the sector and capacitate many across Matabeleland region.
“The programme has increased our capacity to reach external markets. As we speak now we are processing orders for Namibia,” said Zvinondiramba.
The Minister of State for Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Judith Ncube encouraged the Bulawayo business community to take advantage of such strategic engagements to grow the economy.
“We endowed with many resources which are yet to be fully utilised. As business people we need to take advantage of the government’s engagement policy to increase our capacity,” she noted.
Meanwhile, the EU top diplomat has also pledged to invite more delegates from the European bloc to the upcoming Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.