Government has completed masterplans for industrial parks for each of the country’s 10 provinces, it has been learnt.
It is believed that provincial industrial parks, which are designed to make provinces centres of economic excellence, will naturally fit in with plans to devolve power. Government is concurrently working on establishing incubation hubs at State universities in order to explore the possibility of transforming ingenious innovations into commercial ventures.
About $700 000 has been set aside for the exercise. Speaking to The Sunday Mail recently, Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira said the industrial parks are envisaged to be centres where the innovative products will be manufactured.
“We are going to have hi-tech industrial parks. These are the ones where all good prototypes from innovation hubs are going for manufacturing. We already have the designs and Cabinet approval. As you know, we are in the process of building innovation hubs. We have done six so far and we are left with eight. We will be finishing that in the next budget cycles. The other hubs will be finished this year,” said Prof Murwira.
The Harare hub will specialise in the motor industry, while the one in Bulawayo will focus on advanced manufacturing technologies. Gweru and Mutare industrial parks will each concentrate on developing high-tech industrial goods and services, as well as mineral beneficiation, respectively.
An industrial hub focusing on food processing will also be constructed in Mashonaland East’s capital, Marondera. Bindura will concentrate on minerals’ beneficiation, while Lupane will specialise in tourism and coal energies.
It is through this initiative that a $5,2 billion deal was signed between Government and a South African investor, which will see the beneficiation of coal to liquid fuels.
Plans are also on course to establish a $750 million plant that beneficiates coal to ammonium nitrate fertiliser in Chiredzi. Industrial parks in Gwanda and Masvingo will focus on new energies and energy-saving technologies, as well as cattle and beef industry development, respectively.
In Mashonaland West, an industrial hub will be constructed in Chinhoyi to focus on bio-technologies and new medicines. Minister Murwira said this initiative is the highlight of his ministry’s vision in the Second Republic.
“Zimbabwe will grow through knowledge. As a ministry, we have what we call the 2030 industrialisation agenda. We believe through science and technology that is heritage-based, we will industrialise this nation,” he said.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the Chinhoyi hub is expected to take place soon. Here, an artificial insemination project aimed at boosting the country’s cattle herd is already under way. In line with Government’s broader vision to achieve middle-income status by 2030, Minister Murwira said his ministry is exploiting science development for economic recovery.
Government recently launched the Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency (ZINGASA), which is expected to help in the production of consumer products.
“When we talk about the space, we are not talking about something amazing. This country is losing a lot of money people going to pay for DSTV in South Africa. If we throw our own satellites in space today how much money will we save?” he said.