Buy Zimbabwe has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Business Standards and Systems Certification (BSSC).
According to BSSC Executive Director Mr. Sebastian Zuze, the MOA will support initiatives to provide quality standards certification to both large and small to medium enterprises across Zimbabwe and the SADC region.
“As BSSC and Buy Zimbabwe what we have done is to develop a local content rating system which is in line with international standards so that one can declare goods and services that they are local goods.
“The move will make sure that we don’t have disputes arising because if our goods are in dispute in terms of their rating system, we will have issues.
“The other thing is the issue of SME development, this MOA that we signed will make sure that we help the SME sector to grow right from students at universities and this is actually exciting news for university students.
“We are going to make sure that we grow the upcoming entrepreneur’s businesses helping them to implement relevant standards and systems to a point where there a now certified and therefore assure the market that the products meet standards.
“We look forwards to growing Zimbabwe through this initiative,” he said.
Speaking during the ceremony, Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr Sekai Nzenza who was the guest of honour welcomed the initiative saying the government is committed to creating optimum conditions for the operation of SMEs.
“The certification and rating of content bodes well for the African Continental Free Trade Area which is opening up opportunities and possibilities beyond our borders.
“It will ensure that Zimbabwe does not lag behind in exploiting the market access availed through quality guaranteed products.
“So all these things basically mean buying Zimbabwe should be an opportunity to grow our economy, to create jobs locally and also to break into the export market on the basis of a defined local content threshold.
“I am told the offering of standards certification which currently has been restricted to a few large companies will now be extended to SMEs to promote the growth of the sector under Buy Zimbabwe’s initiative.
“As the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, we are committed to creating optimum conditions for the operation of SMEs. We thus welcome initiatives that seek to enhance these enterprises,” she said.
Buy Zimbabwe Chairman Munyaradzi Hwengwere said SMEs products must be supported by quality standards.
“Local must not be a substitute for mediocrity, it must be supported by quality standards. We have an existing partnership with the Standards Association of Zimbabwe and a number of our large-scale companies have secured that certification.
“However we have also realised that a significant part of the Zimbabwean market including SMEs does not have the certification and a major thrust of this objective is going beyond the local content certification rating for everyone.
“The informal and SMEs sectors also require this certification. We are committed that Zimbabweans should not find an excuse for saying we are poor when they are born and bred in a country with the largest resources and we boast that we are the most literate country in the continent,” he said.