Zimbabwean business leaders to sharpen advocacy skills through ITC training
Business leaders in Zimbabwe are learning to better represent the interests of the private sector in government policies through a training led by the International Trade Centre (ITC).
The business advocacy workshop, to be held from 2-3 July in Harare, is designed to assist members of the Business Council of Zimbabwe to better engage with policymakers on issues related to trade and business, positioning the organization to serve as the national focal point for the business community.
As part of the workshop, participants will review case studies, perform interactive exercises and hear lectures on political economy and persuasion theory.
The training will be given as part of the European Union-funded Trade and Private Sector Development Programme, which is designed to foster economic recovery and diversification in Zimbabwe. It is also aimed at reducing poverty through increased trade opportunities for businesses, including small and medium-sized enterprises, under the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (i-EPA) with the European Union.
Zimbabwe has a rich endowment of natural resources, but economic and social challenges, such as the lack of access to finance, inadequate infrastructure, government bureaucracy and encroachment by the informal sector pose challenges to development. The business advocacy workshop and other trainings implemented under this Programme are designed to address these issues.
Priorities areas include helping exporters to gain access to market information, improving the capacity of organizations working in trade, and strengthening the partnership between the public and private sectors in policymaking.
The European Union and ITC signed an agreement in December 2013 to launch the Trade and Private Sector Development Programme, for which the European Union agreed to fund ITC with €2.96 million to strengthen Zimbabwe’s business environment.