Promote local goods, govt told

HARARE - Buy Zimbabwe says government should give first preference to locally produced products when buying to promote the fledging local industry.

Gabriel Choga, the Buy Zimbabwe marketing manager told a Youth Forum employment conference in Harare that if government was sincere about creating employment for youths, there was need to ensure that the local industry was performing to maximum capacity.

“Government is the biggest buyer of everything from cars to food and if they were to do their procurements locally, that would significantly help the growth of the local industries and create employment in the process,” he said.

Choga called on all government departments including the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, prisons and the police to procure supplies including vehicles and food from local manufacturers.

He bemoaned the fact that government purchased top of the range vehicles for Cabinet ministers and parliamentarians from external suppliers while overlooking the ailing Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries.

He said local vehicle assembly firms such Quest Motors needed to be prioritised ahead of importing cars into Zimbabwe.

“If Croco Motors can afford to import cars, why don’t they import kits and assemble them locally, this will create employment for the youths of our country”, said Choga.

Speaking at the same occasion economist Prosper Chitambara said 84 percent of the total labour force in Zimbabwe is either under employed or unemployed with youths making up 65 percent of that.

Chitambara said youth and graduate unemployment in the country is as a result of a multiplicity of factors which include weak economic patterns characterised by “jobless growth”.

He also said unemployment is also a result of high population growth and also a mismatch between the skills of the young people and the skills required in the industry.

“Unemployment can be curbed by promoting job rich growth dynamics by identifying sectors that are highly labour intensive particularly in the  clothing and textile industry and also by integrating formal and informal segments,” he added.

Zimstats figures on the country’s imports against exports between January and May 2014 show that $2,5 billion was spent on imports while $990 million was spent on exports a deficit of $1,5 billion, a situation Choga described as unsustainable.

Buy Zimbabwe is an organisation advocating for the consumption of local goods and services.

The organisation’s partners  are local companies; Econet, Turnall Holdings Limited, OK Zimbabwe Limited and British American Tobacco Zimbabwe.

Buy Zimbabwe works in conjunction with Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNNCC), Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) and the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI).

Comments (1)

I really wonder where people like Mr.Choga are living because it looks to me that they are not in Zimbabwe. He refers to buy local, maybe he can explain why. Local goods cost more then the imported goods and the quality has gone by the wayside. Customers have no rights anymore as the attitude here is take it or leave it. I strongly recommend they get out into the streets and speak to the people. We are forced to pay bills and get nothing in return and this should not be the case. These people all need a wake up call.

Zims - 6 July 2014

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