The Sunday News
Dumisani Nsingo and Chrispen Gumunyu, Business Reporters
THE Government is on the verge of completing provincial developmental strategies contained in the Zimbabwe National Development Policy (ZNIDP) 2019-2023 as it forges ahead to grow the country’s manufacturing sector.
In an interview with Sunday News Business on the sidelines of the Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe 37th annual congress and general meeting held in Bulawayo last week, Industry and Commerce Minister Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu said the ministry had stepped up efforts of ensuring that ZNIDP attains its objectives, which include facilitating sustainable growth of industry, development of new industries and the transformation and diversification of the local industry.
“We are almost completing the provincial developmental strategies that are derived from the ZNIDP. So each province will be implementing the policy and at best we will try to have quarterly assessments published so that people will be able to see whether we are making good progress and also for us to closely monitor our progress,” he said.
The ZNIDP was launched in July and seeks to turn the manufacturing sector into a technologically advanced, competitive and diversified industry by 2030.
“I’m quite excited that it was a widely consulted document respective of aspirations of all people who are critical in the implementation of the policy. The fact that we have a policy that has been cascaded to provinces its quite telling and we hope that this will create greater national buy-in because it is an industrial policy that is also reflective of provincial capacities, resources and aspirations. I’m quite optimistic that we will certainly reach our target,” he said.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries vice-president Mr Joseph Gunda praised the new industrial policy but hinted that there was a need for wider consultations before its enactment.
“It’s a sound policy if implemented. We have looked at its pillars and we have discussed with our members but we feel there was a need for full consultation before it was made to be a policy because I have noticed that a lot of members are not fully aware of it. There are two key issues, which need to be addressed, the ease of doing business and policy consistency. Everything falls into place once those two are addressed objectively and genuinely,” he said.
Mr Gunda said the ZNIDP whose thrust was to promote Information and Communications Technology (ICT)-led industrialisation was of paramount importance taking into consideration that most manufacturing firms in the country are using archaic machinery and equipment.
“The policy itself, its objectives and pillars are in good order because we are moving towards fourth industrial revolution and we think those (policy) pillars direct us towards that, so that we are not lagging behind because our equipment is old. We need to move faster and ICT comes handy as we will be able to employ new technologies in managing our factories,” he said.