The Sunday News
Nkosilathi Sibanda, Business Correspondent
THE Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) is working on securing Private Public Partnerships (PPPs) with young entrepreneurs in Binga and other parts of Matabeleland North to enable them to start exploiting business ventures in alternative energy sources.
Of late the country’s energy regulator has been on a nationwide training exercise to equip budding entrepreneurs interested in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) business. The trainings are conducted at no charge as Zera aims to impart skills and create an even operating environment. This is in line with Government’s energy position of promoting new investments in renewable energies in a bid to reduce power demand on the national grid.
LPG is now the preferred energy source for both domestic and industrial markets, with Zera tapping into the switch-over by engaging stakeholders to make strides in forming business start-ups in the sector. Zera customer services officer Mrs Flora Ngwenya said there is a huge opportunity for business owing to the high demand in LPG and other renewable energy sources.
“In our education campaigns we have noticed that whenever communities start being aware of the energy industry, it triggers business. Naturally there comes a supply of the product and more benefits are accrued downstream. That is why we strongly advocate for not only energy awareness but community development in our outreach programmes,” she said.
Zera’s expert engineer in alternative energy Mr Hugh Mlauzi said it was high time young people open businesses in the alternative energy sector.
“We call upon anyone with interest in the gas sector to come and register for training. Last month we engaged the community of Binga where a lot of people expressed their intention to be trained on how to handle the business of dealing in LPG. We train so that there is a better understanding about energy in the home and in business. But, with this training there comes an advantage for businesses in the energy sector to be formed. We talk of the LPG retailers, marketers and other aligned economic activities that may arise,” said Mr Mlauzi.
There is a noticeable few young people in the country who have made fortunes by starting businesses in the country’s energy, after having taken up the opportunities abound in renewable energy business.