7 steps Mnangagwa intends to take to industrialise Zimbabwe


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President Emmerson Mnangagwa says Zimbabwe must industrialise its rural areas using agriculture as the base and has outlined seven steps to do so.

Writing in his weekly column in the Sunday Mail Mnangagwa says Rhodesia did so.

“Their politics were predicated on the farmer. Through a proposition called the Farmers’ Cooperative — now Farm and City — countryside capital formation and retailing efforts by white farmers found expression into towns and cities.

“Initially, that countryside capital went towards factories in which farm implements were fabricated.

“Capital from farming was harnessed to generate technology solutions which upgraded agriculture. With time, farm capital diversified into the manufacturing of basics for white Rhodesia, even breaking into the frontier of exports.

“In the end, the Rhodesian farmer supplied raw materials to industrial propositions in which he was a shareholder, owner or both.

“The farmer became the key beneficiary all the way through the agricultural value chain. That way, the structure of the economy transformed to agro-industry we talk about today.

“We are not Rhodesians; we are Zimbabweans. Yet models have no totems or patents,” he said.

Full article below:

The latest sector survey by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) notes that capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector jumped to 56.52 % in 2021, up from 47% recorded the year before, in 2020.

Currently, it stands at 66.6%. Industry is growing. The same survey goes further: firms invested US$147 million towards new capacity, creating a capacity gain of 25.6%.

Because of this sterling investment activity, 57% of manufacturing firms registered an increase in sales, with the whole sector realising a 5.5% increase in exports, that is, from US$383 million in 2020, to US$404 million in 2021.

A key detail struck me from the CZI survey: much of the US$147 million invested in new capacity came from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s foreign currency auction system!

This is salutary, given negative comments we often get on the foreign exchange auction system.

We created that system to help industry retool, and to increase its access to affordable raw materials through better access to foreign exchange.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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