Traditional leaders have been challenged to take a leading role supporting the rural entrepreneurship in line with the country’s vision of achieving inclusive and sustainable economic transformation.

The National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in partnership with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe subsidiary, Homelink, recently hosted the chiefs training workshop in Victoria Falls meant to equip the traditional leaders with the skills in promoting rural entrepreneurship.

The training workshop was graced by several traditional leaders from Matabeleland North province.

NUST Vice Chancellor Professor Mqhele Dlodlo said traditional leaders have a critical role to play in facilitating development and challenge the chiefs from Matabeleland North to promote rural entrepreneurship.

“The bulk of the people in Zimbabwe are in rural areas and we have to help the traditional leaders to facilitating development and in the long run reserve the rural-to-urban migration. We want the rural areas to be commercial zones,” said Professor Dlodlo.

Traditional leaders who participated during the training workshop commended NUST and Homelink for the capacity building initiative which they say will help promote sustainable business development in rural areas.

“We are grateful to the two institutions for this important initiative which we feel will go a long way in assisting various communities to achieve sustainable development,” said one of the traditional leaders.

Homelink Channels and Operations Manager Ms Sibusisiwe Mashoko said the institution which is on a financial inclusion drive and is administering several loan facilities to support economic activities stands ready to work with traditional leaders in promoting rural entrepreneurship.

“We have several facilities which are administering and we would like to work with the traditional leaders in promoting rural entrepreneurship. We are also eager to promote financial inclusion by targeting women and youths in rural areas,” said Ms Mashoko.

The training workshop was among other objectives meant to introduce traditional leaders to basic concepts of rural entrepreneurship, stimulate interest in business development, identify some of the challenges being faced in rural development and  identifying the untapped business opportunities in the various communities.