President Emmerson Mnangagwa has challenged local industry to increase output of local goods thereby reducing dependency on imports.
He was speaking at the Buy Zimbabwe 10th anniversary awards held in the capital on Friday.
The President said government has put in place measures and policies to reduce dependency on imported products which include a directive to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to make a list of imported products and work to reduce these over time.
“I have instructed the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to regularly publish a list of all imported products.
Thereafter, it is my expectation that the manufacturing sector begins to incrementally knock off products from that said list through local production.
“It also helps our science and technology students at institutions of higher learning to apply themselves to produce those products,” he said.
President Mnangagwa also urged local industry to push for modernisation and industrialisation, which is an agenda being pursed under the Second Republic.
“Over and above the agro-based industry growth and riding on the back of the envisioned US$12 billion mining industry, the manufacturing sector must venture more concertedly into the production of products and gadgets that talk to science and technology, as well as the modernisation industrialisation drive, being advanced by the Second Republic.
“We must therefore work harder to see tech-products and components which have the ‘Proudly Made in Zimbabwe’ insignia in both local and international markets,” said President Mnangagwa.
Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr Sekai Nzenza commended Buy Zimbabwe for positioning itself as a champion of the production and consumption of local goods.
She applauded the partnership between the private sector and government which she said has contributed to increased capacity utilisation.
“Your Excellency, as a testimony to the joint collaboration between government and the private sector, aided by exchange rate stability, capacity utilisation increased by 10.6 percent to 47 percent.in 2020 alone despite the covid-19 pandemic.
“The export of processed foods increased by 18 percent. This upward growth trajectory is expected to continue under government’s economic blue print the National Development Strategy 1,” she said.
Buy Zimbabwe Chairman Munyaradzi Hwengwere said they were using the awards to launch a campaign about some of the most enduring brands, adding Zimbabwe has demonstrated resilience despite facing some challenges.
“Today we also launch in partnership with national broadcaster ZBC, and our voice of the miners from the Midlands, YAFM, the Great Zimbabwean brands campaign.
The Great Zimbabwean Brands campaign seeks to unite business and the general public on a story of greatness. Our sense is that if we get the Zimbabwean story right, investors locally and internationally will follow suit.
“These awards today, Your Excellency are a simple testimony that, Zimbabwe is not broken but a country with great personalities, products and brands. We are only too happy that you are here to witness this event,” he said.
The awards which ran under the theme: Celebrating a Decade of Supporting Great Zimbabwean Brands also saw President Mnangagwa bestowed with the Buy Zimbabwe Champion of the Decade award for his leadership and dedication for driving the production and consumption of local content.
Innscor Group scooped the Buy Zimbabwe Best Company of the Decade Award while Mazoe was adjudged as the Best Product of the Decade.