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Provinces challenged to take ownership of GDP growth initiatives

Story by Kenias Chivuzhe

PROVINCES have been challenged to take ownership of initiatives to grow their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with a raft of measures being tabled at the National Economic Consultative Forum held in Mutare this Thursday.

The forum was attended by captains of the industry, government officials and civic society.

The participants emphasised the need for increased collaborations and leveraging on comparative advantages in growing the provincial GDP.

“Manicaland has a strong growth in agriculture, mining and manufacturing and going forward, the province can do more in the timber industry as there is increasing demand for timber country-wide,” said a participant.

Another participant said, “We used to be a leading coffee producer in Africa, and we need to ensure we retain our status. Such unique crops will help to grow the provincial GDP.”

Manicaland Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Advocate Misheck Mugadza underscored the need for more investment and collaborations.

“In every district, we have what it takes to start industrial plants. We have macadamia in Chipinge, timber in many districts and many fruits and vegetables in Honde Valley. We want to start a processing plant there. We have many fruits in Nyanga and we grow a lot of tobacco in Makoni district and an investor wants to put up a cigarette production plant there.”

Other key stakeholders challenged provinces to take full ownership of the development initiatives to effectively grow their GDPs.

The National Economic Consultative Forum Steering Committee’s co-chairperson, Dr Mike Bimha said, “The private sector is the engine of economic growth and the government is there to facilitate and create a conducive environment for the private sector to excel. Provinces must take ownership of generating their own GDPs and be able to plan on increasing productivity.”

“My advice to provinces is that they need to take ownership of the initiatives that exist within their provinces. We encourage the political leadership and the administrative leadership to work with all stakeholders to ensure they leave no stone unturned in addressing any challenges,” said the co-chairperson of the National Economic Consultative Forum Steering Committee, Mr Willard Manungo.

The Manicaland Provincial Development Dialogue was running under the theme: “Towards Inclusive Socio-Economic Transformation; Leaving No One and No Place Behind”.

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