Zimbabwe

Industry seeks to up production next year

Minister Nzenza

Africa Moyo

Deputy News Editor

Zimbabwe will next year focus on increased industrial production, riding on the growth in agricultural raw materials and the need for greater farming inputs in line with National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza has said.

NDS1 succeeded the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) which laid the foundation for national growth under the New Dispensation. 

Important sectors such as fertiliser manufacturing, soya beans, cotton and leather production will get more attention, allowing value chains and supply chains to be extended.

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“Next year we are implementing the National Development Strategy 1 and focusing on moving up the value chains, increasing local production, focusing on key sectorial areas in fertiliser, cotton, leather production,” said Dr Nzenza.

NDS1 is Zimbabwe’s new five-year economic blueprint, which runs from 2021 to 2025.

There is a general feeling that productive sectors of the economy will perform well next year, starting with the expected higher harvests and growth in mining feeding opportunities and demand into manufacturing.

This year, the lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19 affected a number of companies, although not as severely as originally expected. The manufacturing sector was able to reopen fairly quickly.

President Mnangagwa twitted on December 23 that while this year was “filled with challenges”, 2021 promises to be much better, adding that his hope was “firmly anchored in Zimbabweans”. 

“I am certain that our collective action and shared vision can lead us to prosperity. Over and above everything, we need to thank the Almighty for opening up the heavens.

“In 2021, let us work our land, let us be the bread basket we used to be. I am certain that only maintaining our unity as a people of this nation will take us into the Promised Land,” said President Mnangagwa.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president Mr Henry Ruzvidzo told our sister paper The Sunday Mail that there was relative stability “on all the fronts going into the new year”.

“The promise of a good agricultural season and the higher levels of Diaspora remittances and export receipts point to less pressure on foreign currency. The expectation therefore, is that the foreign currency auction system will be sustained. If shocks are avoided on the policy front, sustained stability of the macro environment is possible,” he said.

Increased production is expected to allow Zimbabwean producers to move into exports following the coming onto stream of the African Continental Free Trade Area from this Friday.

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According to NDS1, the manufacturing sector will benefit from strengthening and creating value chains and developing mineral beneficiation. 

Productivity will be key in driving growth and the Zimbabwe National Productivity Institute will be established to spearhead the promotion of productivity consciousness in all sectors of the economy.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube has indicated that the achievement of increased and sustained economic growth requires orienting the economy towards higher value-added activities and production of complex products. 

Critical interventions involve targeting and strengthening existing value chains and mineral beneficiation and the value chains that will be prioritised are mainly those existing in agro-processing which include the soya bean, cotton, leather and fertiliser value chains. 

Outside agro-processing, priority will be to resuscitate the pharmaceutical manufacturing and restore bus and truck local assembly and value chains, said Prof Ncube. Building up value chains will be supported by scaling up of innovation hubs and industrial parks.

The overarching goal of the NDS1 is to ensure high, accelerated, inclusive and sustainable economic growth as well as socio-economic transformation and development as the country moves towards an upper middle-income society by 2030.

NDS1 is underpinned by the Integrated Results Based Management system, which inculcates a culture of high performance, quality service delivery, measurement, goal clarity, continuous improvement and accountability across the public sector.

HERALD