PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has lauded the Buy Zimbabwe initiative, which has enhanced the promotion of locally-produced goods and services.
Speaking during the Buy Zimbabwe awards ceremony recently, Mnangagwa said over the years the campaign had successfully lobbied government for the enactment of laws and policies that support local production while also ensuring that the consumers’ right to choice is improved.
“Furthermore, the relationship between local producers, retailers, consumers and other relevant stakeholders has been enhanced.
“I, therefore, congratulate the Buy Zimbabwe team and all stakeholders who have worked hard throughout the years for the growth and market presence of locally manufactured products,” he said.
The president said the nation was looking back at the last 10 years with jubilation and to the year ahead with optimism and hope as local products on the domestic market continue to grow from strength to strength.
“Our manufacturing sector has shown an admirable capacity to grow as reflected in the manufacturing survey and the number of locally-produced goods on our shelves,” he said.
However, he said more still needed to be done by the sector to speedily achieve the targets set out in the National Development Strategy 1 for the realisation of Vision 2030.
“On its part, my government continues to implement responsive policies and interventions for a conducive operating environment for local manufacturers. The National Development Strategy 1 buttresses the value chain concept for sustainable production and consumption of local products, ” Mnangagwa said.
He added that this was being complemented by the Zimbabwe Industrial Development Policy and the Zimbabwe Local Content Strategy which focus on structural transformation, value chain and entrepreneurship development.
These interventions are expected to consistently facilitate rapid private sector-led economic growth.
“This is more so as we seek to achieve national self-sufficiency and to penetrate global markets including the African Continental Free Trade Area while maximising on opportunities offered by the Southern African Development Community and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa,” he said.
Mnangagwa said the prevailing stable and predictable macro-economic environment should give impetus to increased production, productivity and profitability across the industrial value chain.
“The need to enhance efficiencies for competitiveness of local products at both local and international level cannot be over-emphasised.
“This will ensure that prices remain competitive for the ultimate benefit of consumers,” he said.
Mnangagwa also noted that it was encouraging that the quality of products being manufactured locally had been embraced by the domestic market. He called upon every Zimbabwean to continue utilising and consuming domestic products and local brands.
“As we accelerate the modernisation and industrialisation of the economy, domestic producers are challenged to keep in sync with the times to maintain competitiveness in the cut-throat globalised operating environment. Hence, local manufacturers must improve the overall quality of goods through greater product research and development while also investing in new and more efficient technologies,” said the President.
Mnangagwa urged the manufacturing sector, including small-to-medium enterprises, to take advantage of the foreign currency auction system for their re-tooling and raw material needs and other requirements.
He also challenged Buy Zimbabwe stakeholders to set clearly defined targets, timeframes and indicators of success that must be achieved by 2023, 2025 and 2030, respectively.
The president told delegates that he had instructed the Industry and Commerce ministry to publish regularly the list of all imported products.
“Entrepreneurial individuals should take advantage of the opportunities to fully supply gaps by locally manufacturing identified products outlined in the list of imported goods,” Mnangagwa said.