By Nkululeko Sibanda
ZIMBABWEAN women run the risk of remaining in the business doldrums if they do not up their game and come up with products that compete in the open market.
This was said by Bulawayo Metropolitan Affairs minister Judith Ncube when she welcomed guests at a one-day business seminar for women that took place in the city yesterday.
The seminar, organised by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development, drew participants from across the country with the aim of interrogating challenges faced by women in business.
It also attempted to scrutinise women’s contribution in helping make the government’s Vision 2030 a success.
Government hopes that by the year 2030, Zimbabwe would have attained an upper-middle-income economy status, lifting it from the murky waters of poorly-run countries.
Ncube, in her address, said she had been disappointed by the poor quality of wares on exhibition at the 2019 Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) , which kicked off yesterday.
“I have now come to the conclusion that we are our worst enemies as women,” she said.
“I took a tour of the ZITF yesterday (Monday) ahead of its opening today (yesterday). Let me say that I am convinced that some of us do not put much effort in producing some of these products that we want to then sell to other people and countries.
“My analysis is that we have developed a tendency of just doing things or producing substandard goods for the sake of it. Government has empowered you with exhibitions such as ZITF to market yourselves and what do you do? You send substandard products hoping that they will be bought. It’s very unfortunate,” she charged.
Ncube added that women would rue the opportunities that government had availed to them as well as other empowerment initiatives because most of these were going to waste.
“I would like to advise that we need to take advantage of these opportunities and the empowerment that the government has given to us as women. My challenge is that the time for these freebies will come and go,” she said.
“We do not need to regret at a later stage when these things have been taken away. Let us improve on our products and make them competitive. This is the only way we can show government that we deserve the assistance it has been giving us.”