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Buy Zimbabwe to promote local production of mining equipment

THE Buy Zimbabwe Campaign is working on promoting local production of mining equipment to a minimum of 50 percent in the country and has called on players in the mining sector to join the campaign by playing their part in the economic revival and job creation drive.

Buy Zimbabwe Campaign chairman Mr Munyaradzi Hwengwere said as the country works towards the attainment of a US$12 billion mining industry by 2030, there was need to increase local production of the mining equipment and reduce imports.

“We have realised that for the mining industry in Zimbabwe, 70 percent of the inputs in the sector are still imported material. It’s not that we are never at a better place to locally manufacture the equipment but it’s just that our manufacturing capacity had collapsed.

“We want to make sure that of the US$12 billion mining industry, local manufacturing of mining inputs and equipment contributes as well, therefore we are advocating for a minimum of 50 percent of the equipment to be produced and made in Zimbabwe. This will in turn reduce the current continuous importation of these things,” said Mr Hwengwere.

He also noted that there was also a need to increase by a minimum of 50 percent in the agriculture industry by locally manufacturing of fertiliser and other inputs or equipment that are also usually imported. Mr Hwengwere said they made a clarion call to President Mnangagwa at their 10th anniversary early this month that in the next five years they want to grow locally manufactured products in supermarket shelves to 80 percent from 60 percent.

“Buy Zimbabwe as the secretariat of the local content committee of Government has put together a number of value chains spanning from pharmaceuticals, agriculture, mining and retail among other sectors. By end of this year, we intend to submit to Government our proposal which we hope will be carried in the national budget, to have a rebate structure or incentive framework for companies, goods and services that have a higher local content.”

Mr Hwengwere said they were building one of the strongest databases that comprised of small-scale youths, large-scale enterprises and anyone who makes a product in Zimbabwe and their intention was to make sure that those in the database get first preference of tenders from local authorities and the private sector. He said consumers also needed to play a part in the revival of the Zimbabwean industry by prioritising local products.

“We want Zimbabweans to fall in love with their products, services and themselves. Right now, Zimbabweans don’t love themselves enough and we want to encourage them to love themselves, this can be shown by them opting for more local products and services,” he added.

Finance Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube in the 2021 budget statement indicated for the first time, Buy Zimbabwe will receive support from the fiscus in a move welcomed by advocates of the buy local campaign.

The statement also states that for exports promotion the country targets to grow manufactured exports by 4,1 percent in 2021 from an estimate of 3,6 percent in 2020. This will be achieved through focusing on diversifying exports into non-traditional markets and exploiting existing preferential trading agreements with various countries. Sunday News

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