By Tatenda Mujeyi
The Research Council of Zimbabwe (RCZ) announced in Harare today that it will hold national surveys in all the country’s provinces on research and development for the small to medium enterprises as well as cooperatives.
RCZ, which falls under the Office of the President and Cabinet feels the survey will better inform on the products and services produced by the SMEs to enhance global competitiveness.
“SMEs and cooperatives should use research results to produce improved goods and services that hold their own in external markets,” Research Council of Zimbabwe Executive Director Susan Muzite said.
The survey is being conducted in partnership with other government departments and is looking at the important concepts for SME and Corporative development.
“R&D is a key factor for Zimbabwe’s socio-economic transformation and competitiveness as the country strives to attain vision 2030. R&D statistics must therefore be available for informed decision making at all levels, national, provincial to individual SME’s and Cooperatives,” Muzite said.
“RCZ is working in collaboration with ZIMSTAT, Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology (MHTESTD), Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development and Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and other stakeholders.”
The surveys are aimed at increasing awareness, measure efforts, performance and inform decision makers on policies for socio- economic development as relevant to the SME’s and Cooperatives.
The survey comprises training and questionnaire response during the months of July and August with the pilot project having been conducted in June.
“The survey comprises training of all respondents, completion of the questionnaire by trained respondents and analysis of completed questionnaires. A pilot was conducted in June 2019. The full survey will be conducted in July and August 2019.For the pilot, two SME’S were selected from each province,” Mutize said.
Training days are as follows, “Mashonaland Central (Bindura) 15 July, Mashonaland West (Chinhoyi) 16 July, Matabeleland North (Lupane) 22 July, Bulawayo 23 July, Matebeleland South (Gwanda) 24 July, Midlands (Gweru) 25 July, Masvingo (Masvingo) 29 July, Manicaland (Mutare) 30 July, Mashonaland East (Marondera) 31 July and Harare 1 August,” Mutize added.
The research will benefit SME’s as they will be familiarised with the legislative advantages of research and development which include Tax rebates on funds spent on research among other benefits.