Bulawayo business people have been challenged to fully participate in the coming Special Economic Zones (SEZ) initiative that will see the city being the epicentre for leather and textile industries.

The Special Economic Zones initiative is part of a raft of measures rolled out by the government to address the prevailing economic challenges and is aimed at encouraging the population of industrial sites and economic space while attracting investment promotion, export oriented growth and generation of employment for locals.

This will see a number of sector specific benefits being accrued by players in different parts of the country with Bulawayo being home to the textile and leather industries.

While pointing out that Bulawayo had an abundance of educational institutions with capacity to make the Special Economic Zones initiative a success if properly used, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) past president, Mr Busisa Moyo called for the revitalisation of such institutions to make local businesses grow their visibility and influence to other countries.

With Bulawayo carrying a legacy of being the industrial hub of the country, the coming of the Special Economic Zones programme has been seen as a way of redressing the demise especially of the leather and textile industries.

Calls have been made for the government to also move with speed to address some of the bottlenecks that have hindered the full operationalisation of industry especially the ease of doing business.