European Union funding to boost the informal sector in Zimbabwe
The European Union Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Mr Neven Mimica was at Stodart Hall in Zimbabwe on 9 April for the signing ceremony and national launch of a European Union funded public and private sector partnership project to be implemented by a Save the Children led consortium.
The 2, 8 million dollar worth project called “Creating Multisector Partnerships for Supportive Regulatory and Policy Environment for Informal Traders in Harare and Adjacent Rural Districts” (MP4ITZW) is set to improve the livelihoods of 15, 000 young women and men in the informal sector.
Speaking during the visit to Zimbabwe, Mimica said he was happy to launch EU support programmes aimed at job creation. He added that as Zimbabwe opens a new chapter in its history, the EU is putting its trust in the authorities to seize this unique opportunity and address the political and economic challenges in the country.
Partners in the MP4ITZW project include the City of Harare, Galelio Holdings, MC Meats, Schweppes Holdings, Zimbabwe Informal Traders Council, Murewa, Mutoko, Manyame and Goromonzi Rural District Councils as well as Save the Children.
The MP4ITZW project comes against a background where Zimbabwe has been hit by an economic relapse over the past years leaving many people jobless. The project will seek to uplift the lives of informal traders that are dependent on the vegetable and livestock value chains as they will be linked to markets, offered flexible production and marketing contracts for tomato and livestock production as well as weather information for timely decision making. The move is also expected to help decongest the Harare streets, where almost every available empty space had been turned into a vending site.
The Zimbabwe Informal Traders Council (ZITC) will be actively involved in lobbying for inclusive and supportive local authority by-laws, regulations and effective essential service delivery hence creating a conducive environment for vendors to sell their produce and earn a living.
Save the Children as the consortium lead responsible for spearheading project activities will work towards strengthening public and private sector partnerships for improved livelihoods with the children in mind as parents will be able to provide for their children once they have sustainable jobs and income.
The MP4TZW project will run for the next four years ending in January 2022.