Mat North eyes more exports

Mat North Correspondent

Matabeleland North Province (MNP) is set to anchor its provincial economy on exports buoyed by the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) launched in 2020, an official has said.

The New Dispensation launched the NDSI 2021-2025 as a successor of the Transitional Stabilisation Program 2018-2020 in quest for Vision 2030; to transform Zimbabwe into an Upper Middle Income Economy.

In pursuit of Vision 2030 and specifically under NDS1, the country’s 10 provinces are supposed to formulate own Provincial Economic Development Plan (2021-2025).

MNP Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Richard Moyo said the province was coming up with an appropriate plan to boost export earnings.

“This task is a challenging one, since the Plan that we intend to come up with, will determine the type of investment that we will attract to our province.

“This plan is expected to transform the province into an export led economy that is driven by the private sector,” Moyo said.

Moyo was speaking at the Provincial Economic Development Planning Workshop in Victoria Falls.

He said under the Devolution Agenda all Provinces will be competing to grow their economies and their provincial Gross Domestic Product.

“His Excellency the President wants each province and local councils to become dynamic hubs that are capable of luring investment in their own right by taking advantage of their rich natural endowments,” Moyo said.

“Matabeleland North Province is endowed with immense and diverse natural resources. There is nothing that can stop us from being the lead province.”

The first step in crafting the Provincial Development Plan (PDP) is identifying the province’s priorities which will constitute Thematic Working Groups (TWG). The TWG will then be developed into provincial development matrices.  The matrices will then be consolidated into a PDP followed by approval and launch of the plan.

The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works is spearheading the programme.

Speaking at the same occasion, City of Victoria Falls Mayor, Somvelo Dhlamini said the province had a number of interconnected economic activities which when fully utilized could make it self- sustainable.

“We are alive to the vastly utilised and untapped economic resources which need to be put to good use for the development of our communities. Victoria Falls, being home to tourism attractions, remains steadfast in pursuing the advancement of its society by creating opportunities which have a knock-on effect on our socio-economic strata,” he said.

MNP has huge deposits of minerals such as gold, tin coal and natural gas. Apart from minerals the province is also home to the country’s largest national park: Hwange national park, water and the Victoria Falls.