The government has challenged Buy Zimbabwe and the private sector to increase average local content in prioritised sectors from current levels of approximately 25% to around 80% by 2023.
Speaking during the Buy Zimbabwe local content subcommittee chairpersons virtual meeting held today, Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr. Sekai Nzenza said the government’s vision is to promote the development of vibrant sustainable, and globally competitive industrial and commercial enterprises.
“The local content strategy is aimed and established a very highly industrialised economy where the majority of goods and services are produced by local firms such as the ones that are represented by ourselves, the firms represented by CZI and also those such as the ones making PPEs.
“We are very much at an exciting moment where l see the government strengthening relationships with the private sector because there is no way we are going to implement this local content strategy without us strengthening that relationship,” she said.
She added that the role of the local content committee is to oversee the implementation of the local content strategy, including approving local content implementation plans.
“The main functions of the committee include among many other (things) reviewing, assessing, approving local content implementation plans as well as setting guidelines and minimum local content levels for those sectors that we would have jointly chosen together as a priority and also to recommend local content incentives and government support measures.
“You may already know that as a ministry one of our key focus was fertiliser value chain whereby l presented to cabinet a five year road map under the theme import substitution framework. The amounts of fertiliser that are coming into the country from outside is huge.
” For us to have food security and also to bring value to the consumer we have to seriously consider input substitution and l know we can do that,” she added.
Speaking to Great Dyke News 24 on the sidelines of the meeting, Buy Zimbabwe Chairman Munyaradzi Hwengwere promised to deliver.
We must admit that Buy Zimbabwe was formed to be an organisation that when others must walk, we run.
“So anytime we feel like our pace slackened, we must be the first to admit that we were letting others down and in this case, the government has gone ahead to actually adopt the recommendations of the private sector including Buy Zimbabwe and actually pass through the local content policy.
“Hopefully we will also carry the message to the rest of the cabinet ministers but we needed to re- organise ourselves and the most important thing Buy Zimbabwe should do is to make sure that we stick to what we said when we started Buy Zimbabwe.
“When we say we promise to deliver something we must deliver that. We promise to make sure that there’s local content rating and to make the noise that people know us for doing, to rate and to get the government to actually make sure that there is preference.
“If you are a company that produces in Zimbabwe let us know to what extent that product has local content and let’s make sure that you’re rewarded either by a tender, that’s the most important thing,” said Hwengwere.
He added that tenders should be given to companies that produce local goods and create employment for Zimbabweans.
“If you’re giving jobs to Zimbabweans why shouldn’t you get the tenders. The tenders must go to those that contribute to the development of the country’s public procurement?
“If you’re a company that claims to want the development of Zimbabwe, buy from a company that has the majority of local content. If you’re any of those individuals, public company or governments make sure that you’re part of Buy Zimbabwe. Be a member of Buy Zimbabwe and we are in this together,” added Hwengwere