By Jonathan Mbiriyamveka
HARARE – More than three million fun loving Zimbabweans and across southern Africa are expected to take to the streets for the 2017 edition of the Harare International Carnival set for September.
Dubbed as the biggest street party in southern Africa, the carnival has been rebranded after a cash injection from Big Time Strategic Group, the headline sponsors of the event.
Speaking at the launch last week end, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive Karikoga Kaseke, confirmed that this year’s carnival was bigger and better.
“Last year we had an impressive crowd of 2 million people on the streets and this year we are targeting 3 million people.
“At least 25 countries will be participating in the carnival and we are expecting a boom in business for the tourism industry,” Kaseke said.
An estimated $50 million is expected in receipts for visitors to the carnival with calls for Zimbabweans to support the event not just as a social programme but an important economic activity.
Carnivals worldwide have a huge benefit to local economies and businesses.
On the socio-economic level, carnivals generate business opportunities for musicians, choreographers, costume builders and designers and make-up artists to name a few.
More importantly carnivals have driven the growth and development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), many of which are skills-based services.
These range from entertainment services related to cultural art forms such as dance, the production of local crafts, cuisine, and the display of folk arts.
This year’s carnival will run from September 1 to 10 in the capital Harare under the theme, “One Love, Our Unity, Our Pride”