As a Consulate, we are always available and ready to provide consular services to all Zimbabwean nationals resident in South Africa
By Melody Chaurura
Allow me to start by expressing my sincere appreciation for the invitation to participate at this very important event. I feel greatly honoured and fortunate to represent His Excellency, Ambassador David Hamadziripi, who unfortunately could not be available to address the gathering today due to competing schedules. He sends his greetings and well wishes.
Before I go any further, let me seize this opportunity to acknowledge the good work that is being done by Vessels of Virtue towards transforming and empowering marginalised women, children and the blind through various short term training programs in areas such as Office Administration, Craft/Beading, Entrepreneurship, bee keeping and beauty therapy among other courses.
There is no doubt that such initiatives significantly contribute towards the achievement of the desired social and economic targets. It should be appreciated that the economic empowerment of women is an aim in itself and a game-changer for development. Women hold an enormous potential that must be unleashed at all levels of society.
When more women get equal rights, opportunities and freedom to choose, everybody wins. Women economic empowerment is one of the proven ways of ending poverty and achieving equality and inclusive economic growth. Today, we celebrate Vessels of Virtue‘s major achievements thus far.
Such progress include, the training and securing of jobs for over 1000 women, provision of assistance in the form of food, hygiene packs, school hampers, mentorship to over 100 children, the setting up of an equipped training center among others.
We wholeheartedly share the conviction that when the mind is empowered, communities are transformed and that such transformation will certainly have a direct positive impact at all levels of the society.
Today we are gathered for the launch of Vessels Global Entrepreneurship Awards.
The event was motivated by the desire to recognize the achievements of entrepreneurs who stood distinctly in their various fields of trade, despite the massive pressure exerted by the Coronavirus pandemic.
We recall with grief that a majority of entrepreneurs were forced to close down their business since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 due to a myriad of challenges arising from the scourge.
We therefore welcome the initiative to recognize, celebrate and cheer on those who survived as a way of encouraging them to keep the fighting spirit and also to reignite hope for those who might have lost hope as a result of the coronavirus-induced setbacks.
Entrepreneurs are innovators, risk-takers, and key drivers of the global economy, they launch start-ups that bring new ideas to life, invest in communities, and create good-paying jobs for all.
It is therefore worth celebrating their ingenuity and hard work and sincerely thank them for their important contributions towards the development of our nations, the SADC region and the African continent at large.
Let us continue to join hands as we strive to connect people around the world and equip them with the tools and resources they need to engage in entrepreneurial activity, transform their ideas into products and services, and unlock economic opportunities for all.
As you might already be aware, the government of Zimbabwe, in its National Development Strategy 1, already recognised the importance of harnessing collective energies of all Zimbabweans, from across the length and breadth of our uniquely blessed country, including the diaspora community towards the realisation of the set target of attaining an Empowered and Prosperous Upper Middle-Income Society by the year 2030.
Nurturing entrepreneurship therefore naturally falls within the government’s National Development Strategy which is premised on inclusive development.
We hold the conviction that entrepreneurship, if well natured has a high potential of contributing towards the economic integration of Africa. It is pleasing to note that this award presentation has brought together various stakeholders from around the world. This is a clear testimony of the positive impact being made by African entrepreneurs.
In this regard, it is vital to continue fostering public and private sector partnerships as this offers a health opportunity for the success of entrepreneurs.
There are indeed numerous challenges to entrepreneurship, but also many success stories. There has never been a more opportune time to make a concerted push towards the development entrepreneurs from grassroots level than now given the opportunities presented by the information and technology revolution.
I would therefore like to take this opportunity to congratulate the award winners and to wish them every success as they continue to transform lives in their various fields of business.
It would be amiss for me to conclude this statement without pointing out the importance of regular documentation for entrepreneurs operating in foreign countries. As a Consulate, we are always available and ready to provide consular services to all Zimbabwean nationals resident in South Africa.
Like any other establishment world over, we were negatively affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, resulting in a significant consular backlog over the past few months.
As a result of this backlog, Consular appointments were at some point difficult to secure. I am however pleased to announce that through the consistent deployment of various intervention strategies, the backlog has since eased, hence consular appointments are now easily available to our national intending to apply for birth certificates and
Remember that regular migration brings huge benefits at the individual level, fuels growth, innovation and entrepreneurship in both the countries of origin and the host countries. Allow me also to seize the chance to directly address my compatriots here present.
Please remember that Zimbabweans are renowned for their peace loving nurture and strong commitment to the values of hard work, love, unity and good neighbourliness.
Let us not stain the good image and standing of our beloved country in any way. Instead, let us at all times, commit ourselves to hard work and peaceful co-existence with our South African brothers and sisters.
We should always bear in mind that we are the guardians of the brand Zimbabwe in our individual capacities. As such, we should strive at all times, to uphold the highest standards of integrity as we go about our daily routines.
I take this opportunity to thank our South African brothers and sisters for their hospitality and friendship.
As I conclude and leave the space for other speakers, allow me once more to say thank you to Vessel of Virtue for the unique space to address this important gathering and to wish them success as they continue with the important work of transforming lives.
I thank you.
This is the speech that was delivered by Zimbabwe Consul General In Johannesburg, Mrs Melody Chaurura on the occasion of the inaugural launch of Vessels Of Virtue Global Entrepreneurship Awards Ceremony at Radisson Blu in Johannesburg this week
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