Buy Zimbabwe has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Business Standards Systems Certification, BSSC for local content rating and standards certification.
The agreement provides Buy Zimbabwe with an operational framework to provide competent and credible local content rating certification to both large and small to medium enterprises across Zimbabwe and the SADC region.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Buy Zimbabwe Chairman Munyaradzi Hwengwere said the initiative will ensure that companies are incentivised to use local materials for production.
“At Buy Zimbabwe we have always said from the beginning buying local must not be a call to buy mediocre. We must compete at the highest level of standards in terms of taste, in terms of packaging, and everything.
“The initiative will see companies with 100 percent local content getting 5 stars, those with 80 percent will get 4 stars and the stars will be declining in that order,” he said.
BSSC Executive Director Sebastian Zuze said the certification will also target emerging businesses in the SME sector who may also want to benefit from the ratings to boost their brands when they compete on the African market.
“The MOU is an agreement whereby BSSC will be responsible for training, auditing and offering certification services to companies that fall under the Buy Zimbabwe portfolio.
“BSSC will ensure that they are certified to the relevant standards, some of which include the ISO Quality Management Systems, the ISO Environmental Management Systems, the ISO Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems, Risk Management and various other product specific standards,” he said.
The Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr. Sekai Nzenza who was the guest of honour said the certification and rating of content bodes well for the African Continental Free Trade Area which is opening up opportunities and possibilities beyond borders.
“We have made strides as a country in terms of promoting the production of local goods and one can witness this in supermarkets that local products have increased. However, the rating system will further harness the localisation of value chains to create jobs and save foreign currency,” she said.
Under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce’s hundred-day business cycle, Buy Zimbabwe has been mandated to begin rating products, services, and companies with respect to local content.
Buy Zimbabwe has roped in BSSC, which is a regional body whose role is to help individuals and companies to trade successfully and competitively in Africa and beyond.