The Zimbabwe National Industrial Development Policy (ZNIDP) (2019-2023) is a blueprint for industrialisation which derives from Vision 2030, and is tailored to assist the economy to achieve the above objectives.
The policy is premised upon the deliberate decision taken by the Government to open the country for business, modernise, industrialise and promote investment, with the ultimate goal attaining broad based economic empowerment, inclusive economic growth and employment creation.
Notably, Zimbabwe already possesses the expertise and history of what it takes to build vibrant productive sectors, as one of sub-Sahara’s (outside South Africa) most industrialised economy post-independence from Britain in 1980.
Zimbabwe’s captains of industries are well aware of the need to develop domestic supply capacity, which the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) highlighted in its trade dimensions of Covid-19 on Zimbabwe Industry, released in May last year.
“The economy needs to achieve some measure of self-reliance in view of covid19 and its restrictions to trade and movement. Moreover, raw materials that can be produced locally should be produced in the country to improve competitiveness of local products on the international market,” CZI said.
CZI said this calls for aggressive resuscitation of local value chains and heightened value addition and beneficiation initiatives.
“These initiatives will ensure that jobs are not exported and value added products will fetch more value on the export market,” CZI noted.
Worryingly, exporters also highlighted that inability to access raw material from source countries affected their ability to sustain export demand, leading to significant loss of export revenue and potential loss of market share for exports.
For instance, the report produced by CZI highlighted that 80 percent of Zimbabwean firms in the agriculture and horticultural sectors relied on South Africa for 73 percent of the raw materials they require.
For the horticultural industry, one of the country’s major export earners, CZI said imported raw materials included agro chemicals, stock feed, breeder parents, incubators, parts, vaccines, seeds and plant material.
Raw materials imported by the drink, tobacco and beverages sector span across PET packaging, beverage bases, maize and wrapping material, with South Africa being the exclusive source market.
For the chemical and the petroleum industry, 73 percent of the raw materials are imported, including titanium dioxide, chemicals, group two base oils, soap noodles, packaging tubes and bottles, potash and agro-chemicals.
The foot and clothing sector imports 63 percent of its raw materials covering polymers and plastic based, dye stuffs and auxiliaries chemicals are sourced from Turkey, polyester, Cloth material, buttons, elastic, zips, thread, wool, PVC, polypropylene and HDPE (High Density Polyethylene).