SMEs body launches Biometric Database Sys­tem

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle -

T H E Zim­babwe Chamber of Small and Medium En­ter­prises (ZCSME) on Fri­day launched a Biometric Database in ef­forts to for­malise their in­dus­try.

A Biometric Database is a unique sys­tem, which iden­ti­fies in­di­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies us­ing dif­fer­ent iden­ti­fiers such as name, sig­na­ture, fin­ger­print and ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion.

It is aimed at ef­fec­tive iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and man­age­ment of Small and Medium En­ter­prises (SME’s). Min­is­ter of Small and Medium En­ter­prises and Co­op­er­a­tive De­vel­op­ment Sithembiso Ny­oni ap­plauded the ZCSME for coming up with its own database for mi­cro, small and medium en­ter­prises (MSMEs).

“This database will not only as­sist the Chamber but also pol­icy mak­ers, re­searchers in academia in un­der­stand­ing the na­ture, size and scope of MSMEs in Zim­babwe,” she said while of­fi­ci­at­ing at the event in Harare.

She also said that the database will as­sist in giv­ing an idea of the con­tri­bu­tion of MSMEs to eco­nomic growth.

“My Min­istry also estab­lished a database in 2012 and so far 10 000 MSMEs have been cap­tured,” said Min­is­ter Ny­oni.

The progress in data cap­tur­ing has been slow due to inadequate re­sources, fi­nance, hard­ware and soft­ware chal­lenges as well as the lack of in­cen­tives for MSMEs to reg­is­ter in the database.

She, how­ever, said that the prob­lem will soon be al­le­vi­ated as an African bank has availed a three-year grant to the Min­istry of SMEs to up­grade the database soft­ware and in­stal­la­tion of a Wide Area Net­work in all 72 dis­tricts, which is ex­pected to be op­er­a­tional by the end of this year.

In 2012 the Min­istry of SMEs along with the World Bank did a sur­vey, which showed that 85 per­cent of the MSMEs are in­for­mal and that al­most $7,4 bil­lion was cir­cu­lat­ing in this sec­tor.

The re­port also re­vealed that there are 2,8 mil­lion busi­ness own­ers em­ploy­ing 2,9 mil­lion peo­ple and giv­ing a to­tal of 5,7 mil­lion peo­ple.

Min­is­ter Ny­oni added that the for­mal­i­sa­tion of the in­for­mal sec­tor should be given paramount at­ten­tion by the Gov­ern­ment so that all the ac­tiv­i­ties are ac­counted for in the na­tional sys­tems and fis­cus.

“In an ef­fort to pro­mote for­mal­i­sa­tion of the in­for­mal sec­tor, my Min­istry is in the process of coming up with a For­mal­i­sa­tion Strat­egy, which will pro­mote their (MSMEs) par­tic­i­pa­tion in the main­stream econ­omy.

“This database will also en­cour­age the for­mal­i­sa­tion ini­tia­tive by Gov­ern­ment and at the same time as­sist in the grad­u­a­tion of MSMEs from mi­cro to small, small to medium and ul­ti­mately, from medium to large en­ter­prises,” said Min­is­ter Ny­oni.

When fully func­tional the biometric database will re­sult in tar­geted sup­port schemes, which will fa­cil­i­tate in de­vel­op­ment, growth and grad­u­a­tion of MSMEs in large cor­po­rates. — BH24

Min­is­ter Sithembiso Ny­oni

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