The Ministry of Industry and Commerce held a validation workshop on the development of the Local Content Thresholds for the Fertiliser, Packaging, and Pharmaceutical Sub-Sectors. The Ministry had requested for technical support from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa (SRO-SA) to engage a consultant, Professor. Albert Makochekanwa to facilitate the process and propose the thresholds.
The Ministry invited other government Ministries and departments and the private sector to review and validate the findings and recommendations of the local content thresholds study for completeness and amenability to implementation. Private sector participants were from the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), Buy Zimbabwe, and Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs Association). The United Nations system was represented by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and UNECA Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa.
Acting Chief Director in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Mr. I Madziva officially opened the workshop on behalf of Hon. Minister Dr. Sekai I. Nzenza.
“This strategy (Local Content) is aimed at promoting the utilization of domestic resources as inputs along value chains, thereby achieving the objectives of increasing average local content levels, capacity utilisation, and manufactured exports in prioritised sectors,” said Hon Minister Nzenza.
Dr. Sekai I. Nzenza further elaborated that, “The government has also put in place innovation hubs to nurture and develop local ideas and solutions to industrial challenges.” The Minister encouraged the private sector to partner with Institutes of Higher Learning and assist them to overcome the challenges impeding progress and develop local solutions to the challenges.
Speaking at the same meeting, Mr. Tichaona Mushayandebvu, UNIDO Country Representative, speaking on behalf of United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator (Zimbabwe), Mr. Edward Kallon pointed out that UNIDO intends to closely collaborate with UNECA, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), International Trade Centre (ITC), and other specialized UN agencies to support Zimbabwe's industrialization, economic growth and competitiveness agenda.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) also weighed in on the discussions and their representative Mr. Victor Bhoroma explained that “there is massive potential for local content development starting with the production of intermediate raw materials which include plant-based compounds, caustic soda, hydraulic acid and additives that are major inputs in drug manufacturing.
UNECA Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa which is supporting the industrialization agenda in Zimbabwe and other Southern African regional member States emphased the focus on inclusive industrialization by the office. “We are committed to supporting industrialization which leaves no place and no gender behind (living no one behind), allowing stakeholders to move together in an industrialized environment where the country is able to produce products that will facilitate the exploitation of the market created by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.”, observed, Mr. Oliver Maponga ECA, Economic Affairs Officer.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).