HARARE – Zimbabwe Agriculture Society (Zas) is in the process of constructing a $20 million state-of-the-art shopping mall at the Exhibition Grounds in Harare.
Zas chief executive Anxious Masuka said his organisation came up with an idea to set up the mall to cater for exhibitors and visitors who frequent the exhibition grounds throughout the year.
“Zas conducted a survey and census that indicated that we have over one million visitors annually. And the visitors demanded that we provide virtual convenience.
“What has been missing is the shopping experience, added entertainment and some upmarket restaurants,” he said.
The oldest convener and host of agricultural, commercial and industrial shows in Zimbabwe has partnered with private investors to construct the one-stop shopping mall within the next eight to 12 months.
“What we intend to do here is to build on a build-operate-and transfer basis a state-of-the-art shopping mall together with convenience shops that allows exhibition park visitors to come in and enjoy,” Masuka said.
He added that the organisation, which was established in 1895 and operates as voluntary member-based organisation, has also secured $1,5 million from a local investor to construct a fuel service station within the exhibition grounds.
“We are excited that this upmarket development will enable us to provide that all round service that exhibitors and show goers have been looking for,” he said.
Zas transitioned from a show theme to an annual theme in 2015, to rally additional support for the cause of accelerated agricultural development.
This transition has afforded the organisation and other like-mined stakeholders, an opportunity to periodically discuss various pertinent aspects of the value chain relevant to the theme under its now popular Leadership for Enhanced Agricultural Development Series (Leads).
Leads has become a platform that uses a value chain approach to bring key stakeholders to interrogate, highlight, discuss, distil, synthesise and communicate practical policy interventions for the advancement of agriculture.