US$5,5m EU fund bolsters Zim SMEs

Source: US$5,5m EU fund bolsters Zim SMEs –Newsday Zimbabwe

Small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) received €5 million (US$5,5m) under a programme funded by the European Union (EU) which has enhanced their competitiveness, a senior government official has said.

The fund came under the Technical Assistance to the Zimbabwe Economic Partnership Agreement (TAZEPA) project launched in 2018 to facilitate Zimbabwe’s economic integration into the global economy.

Speaking at the closing meeting of TAZEPA in Harare yesterday, Foreign Affairs and International Trade ministry secretary James Manzou expressed gratitude to the EU saying the project was one of the products of the re-engagement and engagement efforts under the second republic.

“The beneficiaries of the TAZEPA support project include government ministries, agencies, and business support organisations. Further, a number of SMEs received financing support amounting to €5 million of the total €10 million (US$11 million) extended to Zimbabwe

“We are informed that the resources have been put to good use, contributing to the enhancement of trade facilitation infrastructure, and export growth and competitiveness, especially in the SMEs sector.

“The success of these projects will enhance the growth and development of the sector. Let me thank the European Union for their flexibility to extend the project life, following the COVID-19 era and its adverse impact on the project implementation schedule.”

Manzou also extended the government’s appreciation to the leading European consulting firms GFA Consulting Group, Crown Agents in the United Kingdom, and a South African specialist economic and development consulting firm, DNA Economics, for their support and guidance during the implementation of the TAZEPA project.

He said the support provided by the companies ensured the timely engagement of consultants and the sourcing of project material.

“It is our hope that the wide range of support received by various beneficiary institutions and organisations is, and will continue to manifest in enhanced and strengthened operational capacity that is needed to spur our nation’s economic growth pursuits towards an upper-middle-income society by the year 2030,” he said.

“I am happy that today we are taking stock of the performance of the TAZEPA support project, which presents an opportunity for us to identify the key successes, challenges and possible gaps in the implementation of the project.”

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