Zimbabwe busting sanctions through industrialisation

President Mnangagwa

INDUSTRALISATION, which is being championed by President Mnangagwa, is easing the economic sanctions pain notably in rural communities where industries are shaping up, creating employment and sources of income for the inhabitants.

This comes as modernisation and industrialisation, which is the thrust of President Mnangagwa’s administration towards Vision 2030 to be an upper-middle-class economy, is taking place in formerly marginalised areas like Binga, Tsholotsho, Kanyemba, and Mwenezi.

The Second Republic is also placing emphasis on value addition and beneficiation of natural resources for optimum profits and benefit of local communities, notwithstanding the negative effects of illegal economic sanctions.

File photo: Bulawayo residents carrying placards denouncing the embargo for hurting Zimbabweans during the anti-sanctions march in Bulawayo. (Pictures by Maita Zizhou)

The masawu fruit, which is abundant in the Zambezi Valley, is a classic example of the beneficiation of natural resources as industries are shaping up in Mashonaland Central for mass production and ultimate exports.

Last week, Bindura University of Science Education said it will soon be exporting masawu by-products into the Sadc region with hotels and airlines also interested in the uniquely Zimbabwean products.

Villagers in Mwenezi and surrounding areas are also pocketing at least US$5 million annually from selling the indigenous mapfura/marula fruit for production at a local Mwenezi Marula/Mapfura Processing and Value Addition Plant.

Addressing delegates at the National Research, Science, Technology and Innovation Conference in Harare on Tuesday, President Mnangagwa called on stakeholders to adopt strategies and models which build greater national research self-reliance and autonomy.

“We must remain Zimbabwean and African in our thoughts and deeds. This is a key ingredient for economic growth, modernisation, industrialisation and overall global competitiveness.

“Through research and innovation efforts, Zimbabwe must realise industrialisation in Tsholotsho, Binga, Muzarabani, Chipinge, Kanyemba, among other areas,” he said.

Analysts said industrialisation that is being championed by President Mnangagwa is possible.

Under the Second Republic, analysts said, the sky is the limit as President Mnangagwa has underscored his administration’s commitment to providing funding to start-ups, students and other sectors to drive the industrialisation process.

An analyst, Dr Augustine Tirivangana, said the President is spot-on on the subject of leveraging on local resources for export.

“This is a clear extrapolation of the heritage theme which underpins the Education 5.0 strategy. It is a revolutionary call to look inwards and begin to transform our economy through processing all our heritage including taming and domesticating our flora and fauna for competitive exports.

“It is a rallying call for creating all sorts of business using every part of our “acres of diamonds” by stretching our creative imaginations,” he said.

An analyst Dr Prolific Mataruse said necessary industrial projects should be secured to patent the innovations and more research should be carried out to facilitate economies of scale and out-of-season production.

“More Government funding needs to be secured to grow and take to the next level the various innovations coming as a result of Education 5.0 before international venture capitalists come to snatch the various un-fully developed but financially potent ideas and personnel,” he said.

Another analyst Dr Hamadziripi Dube said Zimbabwe should empower those who bring in ideas on how to exploit the country’s natural resources for the benefit of all, regardless of geographic location.

“Setting up of manufacturing industries in Zimbabwe which uses our local produce is the way to go especially in food industries so that we reduce food imports.

“This helps and can as well assist in bringing in foreign currency through revenue collection from the exported goods. Our country needs to focus on local produce and exploitation of our natural resources,” he said.

Dr Dube said the Ministry of Industry and Commerce should identify new projects through the newly launched innovative hubs in all State universities that in the long run will grow the economy without putting an eye on foreign investment.

Hordes of small-scale farmers in Mutoko and surrounding areas are also benefitting from a fruit and vegetable processing plant commissioned by President Mnangagwa expected to contribute to crop value addition in line with Vision 2030 supported by the National Development Strategy 1.

Another analyst Dr Tongai Dana said President Mnangagwa’s position on utilising abundant natural resources to drive industrialisation in once marginalised places is in line with the potential for economic development and inclusive growth.

“By focusing on these areas, the Government can address historical inequalities and create opportunities for job creation, infrastructure development, and improved living standards. Exploiting natural resources can serve as a catalyst for industrialisation, as it provides the necessary raw materials for various industries.

“This can lead to the establishment of manufacturing plants, processing facilities, and value-added industries that utilise and transform these resources into finished goods or products with higher value. On this basis, President Mnangagwa is positioning the country for serious economic development,” he said.

Dr Dana added that utilisation of local resources by local people results in industrialisation in marginalised places which contributes to development by reducing regional disparities and promoting balanced economic growth across the country.

“It can attract investment, generate employment, and stimulate local economies thus improving the livelihoods of communities in these areas. President Mnangangwa is walking the talk with regards to inclusive development of leaving no one and no place behind,” he said.

Next week on October 25, Zimbabwe will commemorate the Sadc Anti-Sanctions Day, which will be held under the theme, ‘Harnessing the Youth for Accelerated Socio-Economic Development in the Fight Against Sanctions’.

The theme recognises the youth’s resilience, courage, fortitude, and unflinching determination in the face of illegal sanctions.


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