The 2017 edition of the Harare International Carnival  is expected to rake in an estimated US$50 million with calls for Zimbabweans to support the event not just as a social programme but an important economic activity.

Carnivals worldwide have a huge benefit to local economies and businesses.

On the socio-economic level, carnivals generate business opportunities for musicians, choreographers, costume builders and designers and make-up artists to name a few.

More importantly carnivals have driven the growth and development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), many of which are skills-based services.

These range from entertainment services related to cultural art forms such as dance, the production of local crafts, cuisine, and the display of folk arts.

Speaking to ZBC News on the sidelines of the Bigtime Harare International Carnival launch party, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority’s chief executive officer, Mr Karikoga Kaseke highlighted the importance of the carnival to the economy.

This year’s carnival which will run from the 1st to the 10th of September has been rebranded to Bigtime Harare International Festival as it is being sponsorship by Bigtime Group of Companies.

This year’s carnival is expected to attract three million people and is running under the theme, “One Love, Our Unity, Our Pride”.