The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
WITH indications showing that locally manufactured products occupy 65 percent of domestic retail supermarket shelf space, the Buy Zimbabwe Week Promotion set to run from 22 to 26 November is aimed at raising market awareness and preference for local goods, increase competitiveness and sales volumes of Zimbabwean products.
Zimbabwe’s manufacturing industry capacity utilisation is anticipated to grow to 61 percent by end of 2021, an improvement from 54 percent in the second quarter of 2021, demonstrating growth trajectory in the local industry’s capacity utilisation.
In an interview, Buy Zimbabwe Campaign chairperson Mr Munyaradzi Hwengwere said with the campaign they anticipate manufacturing industry capacity utilisation to rise.
“We anticipate the Buy Zimbabwe Week Promotion is set to promote the need to buy locally produced quality goods, this will in turn necessitate the need for capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector to rise to 100 percent. If the manufacturing sector capacity utilisation can move from 60 to about 100 percent capacity, the majority of Zimbabweans can benefit,” said Mr Hwengwere.
He said it would ensure that any Zimbabwean who needs a job should be able to get it as more companies work on locally manufacturing products and services.
Mr Hwengwere said during the week there will be roadshows and engagements with the private sector that looks at how more public sector buying can be directed to producers of Zimbabwean made goods and services.
“There will be instant prices for Zimbabweans across the country, simply for doing the things that are good for themselves. They will be rewarded for being good citizens who prefer locally produced goods.
“We recognise as Buy Zimbabwe that the campaign is more associated support of bigger companies so we will be intensifying our Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) awareness programme to say you can be in Mabvuku or Pumula South but as long as you are promoting local products and services, we support that so that the majority of Zimbabweans can benefit.
“We are hoping that in this current budget the Minister of Finance and Economic Development will begin to incentivise companies with higher local content.”
Mr Hwengwere said after the Buy Zimbabwe Week Promotion there will be the first Made in Zimbabwe Expo which will run concurrently with the Buy Zimbabwe annual conference on 8 December with Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga officiating at the opening.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) national president Mr Kurai Matsheza said as CZI they always believe in producing local, buying local and consuming local.
“The Buy Zimbabwe is a well-supported initiative. CZI thrives to have local shelves filled with local products. We’re always geared to play that role.”
“Recent power issues militate against our members’ drive to produce and stock for the festive period.
“While the capacity utilisation trend was on an upward trajectory, the last quarter of 2021 may see those levels slowing down.
“Zimbabwe’s food manufacturing sector procures over 70 percent of its raw materials from outside the country, making it one of the heaviest consumers of scarce foreign currency in the country,” said Mr Matsheza.