Zimbabwe agency launches biometric database to identify and manage SME’s

August 10, 2016 - 

The Zimbabwe Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises (ZCSME) launched a biometric database last week in order to accurately identify and manage SME’s, according to a report by Chronicle.

Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development Sithembiso Nyoni championed the ZCSME for implementing 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,” Nyoni said, adding that the database will help determine how much MSMEs contribute to economic growth.

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

The country has failed to capture data in a timely manner due to insufficient resources, finance, hardware and software setbacks, along with a general lack of benefits for MSMEs to register in the biometric database.

Minister Nyoni said the problem should soon be resolved, thanks to an African bank providing a three-year grant to the Ministry of SMEs to upgrade the database software and install a Wide Area Network in all 72 districts, which is set to launch by the end of this year.

Nyoni said the government should focus on the formalization of the informal sector to ensure 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,” Nyoni said. “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.”

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.

Previously reported, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC) chairperson Rita Makarau said earlier this week that it will cost $55 million to deploy a biometric voters’ registration exercise in advance of the upcoming elections.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.