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Inauguration of Vocational Training Centre(VTC)- Waterfalls-R.Masakui, Indian Ambassador (20th February 2019)

Guest of HonourH.E E.DMnangagwa, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe

Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises, Hon’bleSithembisoNyoni

Senior Official of the Government of Zimbabwe
Distinguished Guest,
Ladies and gentlemen, 

I am delighted to be a part of the inaugural ceremony of the Vocation Training Centre (VTC). Zimbabwe is one of India’s few friendly countries where we have established such Incubation Centre. For India, such project is an important project, not because of its size and magnitude, but because of what they signify and stand for. Such projects represent livelihood of millions of our population.  For economies like India and Zimbabwe, informal sector plays a key role in providing jobs and economic security to huge portion of our populations.

In India, SME contribute 37% to our GDP, 40% to manufacturing sector and 45% to our exports. Realizing the importance of this sector, India, in the last more than 70 years of our independence, has evolved policies and measures to strengthen this sector. Government supports this sector by granting tax holidays and tax incentives and include in the priority lending list for availing benefits from banking system. India today is sharing its success stories and experiences with friendly countries.

Excellency, ladies and gentlemen,

India’s friendship and relationship with Zimbabwe has been one based on the values of mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty, partnership for mutual benefits, shared history and values and shared vision to build a better world.

Relationship between India and Zimbabwe is deep, profound and bound by these elements of invisibles. We share the values of democracy that demonstrates that humanity can be governed with freedom, that it is possible to achieve inclusive economic growth without sacrificing democracy and diversity.

Zimbabwe has just demonstrated to the world again that it can hold free, fair and credible elections. Eight observers from India witnessed the election process and was the first observer team to make press statement commending the polls.

Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu visited Zimbabwe in November 2018. This high level visit from India to Zimbabwe took place after a gap of more than two decades and it was the first high level visit after Zimbabwe held her elections successfully in July 2018. The timing of the visit was not of convenience and random. It was well thought of, conscious and deliberate. It was a message from the government of India and its people showing a fresh direction and new level of relationship that India accords to Zimbabwe.

Surely, the policies of H.E E.D Mnangagwa to align Zimbabwe with new economic policies that encapsulate open business environment, buy Zimbabwe efforts and Vision 2030 to make Zimbabwe a middle income country are indications of the commitment of this country to rise to the challenges it has been and is currently facing. In this context, India re-affirms its commitment to support in making Zimbabwe a peaceful, inclusive and prosperous nation.

Excellency,

VTC is a symbol of addressing the livelihood issues of the common people. The centre does not use sophisticated and high value technology. They are simple, easy to operate by any average person and at low cost. The objective therefore is to make the technology affordable to common people and create positive impact at the grass root level economy. It is my sincere hope that these 25 technologies categorised in four areas- paper, engineering, Food processing and brick making process will help ignite interest among young entrepreneurs to value add to the nations economy.

There are other supports from Government of India in SME sector. The Indo-Zim Technology Centre with the value of $2.92 million is under the process of implementation. We have started procuring machines and will be shipped very soon. This project is to upgrade the existing nineteencentres by injecting new machines in case of ten centres and repair of the old ones in case of eight centres.

Training programmes under ITEC is another flagship programme of GOI to support capacity building, skill development and inculcating entrepreneurship spirit in the minds of young people and with a objective that skilled youth, digitised youth will easily stand up to build nations. This programme does not confine to Government officials only but also accept application from young private entrepreneurs. India allocates 260 training slots for Zimbabwe every year. In the last 10 months of current financial year, we have so far trained more 200 personnel.

During the visit of my Vice President in November 2018, he had also announced that India is happy to depute five experts to Zimbabwe in the areas of Engineering, Information, science and technology, Agriculture, Public sector Business Management and Rural Development. This programme will be fully sponsored by GOI. The process is under way to identify specific requirement of the GoZ.

Excellency, ladies and Gentlemen,

At the institutional level, we have witnessed intensification of collaboration. Harare Institute of Technology has signed MOUs with sixteen institutions in India. Besides, during the visit of HVP of India, there were six MOUs signed and four are in the process. They cover the areas of Science and Math education, Data Science and Artificial Intelligence certification for Universities, Data Science analysis and scientist exchange programme.  This collaboration will have significant and long term impact in the development of our countries.

Our constant effort to remove negative perception of Zimbabwe market is bearing fruit. More investors from India arecomingto Zimbabwe, specially, in mining sector. Investors who are already present in this market are re-investing and expanding. Indian investors are no longer fence sitter. We are fully in the game, Excellency.

Let me conclude with re-affirmation of India’s commitment to working  togetherwith Zimbabwe to better the lives of common people of the two countries and for mutual benefits of the two governments.

Thank you- Tadenda

 
 
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