- June 25, 2019
- Posted in LOCAL
ZIMBABWE’s two potentially game-changing policies — the Zimbabwe National Industrial Development Policy (ZNIDP) and the Zimbabwe Local Content Strategy — have been primed as key drivers of President Mnangagwa’s aspiration of transforming the country into an upper middle-income economy in the next 11 years, industrialists have said.
Cabinet approved the two critical policies about a fortnight ago and brought fresh hope for massive economic take-off among industrialists, who contributed significantly towards their formulation.
Massive job creation, particularly in the value addition and beneficiation sectors, is expected in the country on the back of the two laws, which are also expected to play a pivotal role in foreign currency generation.
Both policies run from this year to 2023.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) immediate-past president Mr Sifelani Jabangwe told The Herald recently that he pushed for adoption of the two policies during his tenure, and is hopeful they will deliver Vision 2030 .
“As you are aware, I am now the immediate past president of the CZI and during my tenure, the key issue was to bring some Statutory Instrument that would assist the economy to move forward,” said Mr Jabangwe.
He said the Local Content Strategy should “take over” from the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act, as it brings an “empowerment model similar to what other countries have”.
Mr Jabangwe added that the Industrial Policy “will help us on how we can grow our industries, setting up new sectors . . . (and) how do we grow into those critical sectors that we have identified, so this is key.”
“Also, it opens avenues for those who want to assist Zimbabwe’s development agenda to grow, and becomes the cornerstone for development of the industrialisation strategy.
“As we indicated, the industrialisation strategy is actually the one that delivers us Vision 2030,” said Mr Jabangwe.
President Mnangagwa says under Vision 2030, the country should be transformed into an upper middle income economy.
Government wants citizens to have decent jobs by then, and a per capita income of US$3 500.
Mr Jabangwe said CZI’s participation in the crafting of the Local Content Policy together with other business member organisations (BMOs) such as the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC), was premised on the need to “ensure that the locals were also promoted and to ensure that they would be empowered, especially after the amendment of the former Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act”.
“We are happy that it has now been approved by Cabinet because the Local Content Policy aims to ensure the maximum usage of resources in production or any manufacturing process conducted in the country across all sectors, including tourism and mining, and by doing so, we ensure that locals are included in the value chain of those particular processes,” said Mr Jabangwe.
Value chain resuscitation is seen in the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) as a sustainable way of enhancing production and exports.
Norway is a key case study regards employment of the local content policy, particularly after the discovery of oil, after insisting that whoever was to invest in the oil sector should use local resources such as human capital and various other materials, and also ensure technological transfer.
This has seen Norway achieving competencies in a sector they didn’t have knowledge in, regards production processes and maintenance, among others.
Mr Jabangwe said as Zimbabwe moves towards 2030, the key aspect was not just about “increasing the number of jobs in mining and agriculture, but also about increasing the economic complexity of this country where we start also manufacturing hi-tech products”.
“So as we invite foreign investors to come in, a key aspect should be about also transferring skills to locals,” he said.
ZNCC vice president (Mashonaland) Mr Archie Dongo said as business “we agree” with the adoption of the Local Content Strategy, adding that “the local content requirements, which were long implemented by countries across the globe, tend to stimulate local industry and drive economic growth”.
“So incentives should be given for those that procure raw materials locally,” said Mr Dongo.
Several countries across the globe have laws aimed at empowering citizens, with Zambia crafting the Citizen Empowerment Act while South Africa has the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) policy.
BBBEE is a pragmatic growth strategy aimed at realise the country’s full economic potential while bringing the black majority into the mainstream economy. HERALD