Contractors invited for tourism master plan development

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Former Minister of Tourism Walter Mzembi

THE government has invited contractors to provide consultancy services in the development of a National Tourism Master plan to activate the grant from the African Development Bank (AfDB).

CHIEF BUSINESS REPORTER

In January, AfDB gave Zimbabwe $4,1 million under the Youth and Tourism Enhancement Project meant to contribute to reducing poverty and youth unemployment.

AfDB said it was giving the country “greater financial latitude for developing tourism and youth services, particularly small-and-medium-sized businesses that are run by youths in Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces”.

In a notice on Sunday, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development said contractors should submit their offers by July 14 and be prepared to execute the work in seven months beginning August.

“The Government of Zimbabwe has received funding from the
African Development Bank towards the cost of the Youth and Tourism Enhancement Project, and intends to apply part of the agreed amount for this grant to payments under the contract for consultancy services in the development of a national tourism master plan,” the ministry said.

“The services included under this project are to develop a clear and concise national tourism master plan. It will provide direction to product development and diversification, infrastructure development, manpower development, community participation, preservation of nature, culture and heritage, marketing and promotion strategies, among others.”

The ministry said consultancy firms may constitute joint ventures to enhance their chances of qualification.

The availability of the youth fund came on the backdrop of the non-payment for loans disbursed to youths.

CABS managing director Kevin Terry told a parliamentary portfolio committee that over 70% of the loans disbursed under the youth fund had not been repaid.

Terry told the Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment committee that the bank had approved 3,622 applications worth $5,2 million and had disbursed $4,5 million.

“Of the $4,4 million that we have disbursed, the arrears currently stand at $2,3 million with a total of non-performing balances of just over $3,1 million,” he said. “Statistics of the non-performing loans disbursed are just under 72%,” Terry said.