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Cablegate: Congressional Staffdel Visits

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001280

SIPDIS

AID/W FOR AFR/SA; MCOPSON, PFLEURET, ELOKEN
EGAT/PR; MHANRATTY
LPA/CL; SUSAN WILLIAMS

E.O. 12958: N/AOREP
TAGS: EAID PREL US ZI VIP
SUBJECT: CONGRESSIONAL STAFFDEL VISITS
TWO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY CENTREERS (BOCs)
IN ZIMBABWE

REF: HARARE 01157


----------------------------------------
Chitungwiza Business Opportunity Centreer
----------------------------------------

1. On July 2nd, Congressional
Professional Staffers Joan Condon and
Pearl Alice Marsh, House International
Relations Committee, and USAID
Congressional Liaison Officer, Susan
Williams, were joined by Acting USAID
Director, Michael Foster, and Econ
Opportunities Team Leader, Sarah Bishop,
on a fact finding visit to a USAID-funded
Business Opportunity Centreer(BOC) based
in Chitungwiza, a town with a population
of overaround one million, situated close
to Harare. The Chitungwiza BOC has been
open since July 2003.

2. On arrival at the BOC, the group was
welcomed by One-Up-Business Training
Trust, a local NGO who manages the centers
under a sub-grant from Development
Alternatives Inc. (DAI). DAI is the
implementing contractor for USAID's Access
to Economic Opportunities for
Disadvantaged Groups Project. The BOC
manager gave a presentation on the variety
of programs offered, in particular the
business training modules, and their links
to HIV/AIDS education programs. At each
workstation laminated brochures list
various websites, including local and
international news (e.g., CNN, and BBC),
HIV/AIDS education and advisory
organizations, business, sports and
training sites. The BOC also offers
telephone, fax, photocopying and scanning
facilities.

----------------------------------
GOKWE Business Opportunity Centerre
----------------------------------

3. On Saturday July 3rd, the Staffdel
/USAID group were joined by Embassy
Political Chief, WinJohn Dayton, on an
early start visit to Gokwe Growth Point.
Gokwe is a thriving rural settlement
situated over 300 kilometers from Harare
in traditional communal land, where the
predominant cash crop is cotton. Gokwe
has little or no access to the outside
world.

4. The Staffdel was met by DAI and One-
Up-Business Training Trust staff, and were
given a tour of the premises.
Prominent posters of up-coming training
events and advertisements for New Start
HIV/AIDS voluntary testing centers were
displayed around the walls. Photocopying,
fax and scanning facilities were available
for public use.

5. The Gokwe BOC manager discussed the
variety of activities offered at the
Center, emphasizing outreach programs to
nearby schools. As at Chitungwiza, the
Gokwe BOC had a list of websites beside
each workstation, guiding the users to
different media websitessources of
information for news, HIV/AIDS, small
business, and other sites of general
interest.

---------
COMMENTS
---------

6. The Staffdel expressed admiration for
the excellent work of the BOCs in small
and micro-business development and
support, and in providing uncensored
access to news and information to the
public. USAID/Zimbabwe appreciates the
interest the Staffdel took in our
assistance program and, in particular, in
the BOCs. We were extremely pleased to
learn, shortly after the conclusion of the
staffdel, of the decision of the House
International Relations Committee to
release the hold on funding for this
program. SULLIVAN

7. The Staffdel did not have time to
review and clear this cable prior to their
departure.

WEISENFELD

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