THE manufacturing sector is envisaged to register at least two percent and three percent growth rate per annum and sector investment respectively by 2030 on top of increased manufactured exports of 10 per annum, the new Zimbabwe National Industrial Development that is set to play a vital role in Zimbabwe’s pursuit of economic prosperity by 2030 shows.
Added to that the sector is projected to increase employment by up 20 percent.
The new policy set to run from 2024-2030 focuses on facilitating the growth of industry, productivity improvement and transformation and competitiveness through accelerating investment in the country’s industrial sector.
It replaces the ZNIDP (2019-2023), the current policy which expires in December and it outlines initiatives to restore the manufacturing sector and set it on a growth path enabling it to play a catalytic and transformative role in the economy.
Under the current blueprint, the manufacturing sector showed positive resilience through innovation and diversification leading to increased production of local products in line with the Local Content Strategy and as a result, shelf occupancy of locally produced products registered an increase to 85 percent in 2022.
Over the past five years, the sector exhibited positive growth, contributing about 12,44 percent to the gross domestic product last year and in the same period capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector also rose from 47 percent in 2020 to 56,1 percent last year.
In addition, the manufactured export goods grew by 5,5 percent, registering an increase from US$383 million to US$404 million in 2022 and total investments in the manufacturing sector amounted to US$101 million last year.
The new policy will seek to ride on and consolidate milestones attained anchored on 10 pillars that include agro-Based Industrialisation, anchor Industries and Industrial Clusters, backward and forward linkages with SMEs, commercialisation of intellectual property, development and strengthening of value chains, emerging industries, and start-ups, export led industrialisation, Heritage/Natural Advantage based industrialisation, Industrial Parks and Special Economic Zones, and mineral beneficiation.
The draft policy is expected to come under the spotlight today in Bulawayo when Ministry of Industry and Commerce officials unpack the policy to Matabeleland industry players at a stakeholders meeting.
In reference to emerging industries and start-Ups, the document says in order for the country to leap frog from a commodity-based economy to an industrialised nation, there will be the need for the creation of emerging industries that adopt the latest technology, innovation and utilise the green industry concept.
“In addition, new focus areas in the areas of lithium value addition, solar energy, recycled waste, and enhanced value addition in the agro-processing area among others.
“The arts, crafts, and the African Fashion Industry will continue to play a pivotal role. The National Venture Capital Fund will assist in the establishment and development of emerging industries and start-ups.
On export-led industrialisation, it notes that there are vast opportunities to be unlocked under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as it offers investment opportunities to supply the wider market through enhanced cross border trade and financial integration.
“ The Economic diplomacy buttressed by the diaspora inflows will champion our export-led strategy. The Zimbabwe National Export Strategy harnesses clusters in the ten provinces and ensures that we export products that are available in the country.”
It adds that in implementing the policy, it recognises the private sector role in the industrialisation of the economy.
The successful implementation of the policy will depend on maximum cooperation from all stakeholders which include, Government, private sector, labour, academia and civil society.
“Implementation of the ZNIDP (2024-2030) will be spearheaded by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, in partnership with the private sector and other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) through the whole of Government approach.
“The ZNIDP which will be implemented over the next seven years and will be reviewed during its mid-term in 2027. Yearly reviews and evaluations will also be undertaken to assess the progress in the implementation of the policy. An Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation (IME) framework is attached to this policy,” reads part of the document.