Zim mulls domestic processing industry

HARARE - Government should put an end to exports of raw materials as a first step in establishing domestic processing industries that will dramatically boost revenue from sales of finished products, hike tax receipts and benefit Zimbabweans, President Robert Mugabe said yesterday.

Officially opening the 104th Agricultural Show in Harare, Mugabe said the rate at which the country was exporting raw materials was unsustainable.

“We need to pay attention to and prioritise value addition,” he said.

“Put simply, we desperately need to industrialise, that is, have factories to add value to the things we produce here in Zimbabwe.

“Agriculture is our main focus. We cannot remain a country of predominantly raw material exportation because this is not sustainable now or in the long term.”

The impoverished southern African  country is one of the few in the world still allowing unprocessed goods to be exported, depriving itself of a chance to build up a processing industry that can add value to its vast natural resources.

Mugabe told the almost empty Andy Miller Hall that national food security was a priority for Zimbabwe under the economic blueprint, Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socioeconomic Transformation (ZimAsset).

According to a report compiled by the Bookings Institute, a private nonprofit organisation devoted to independent research and innovative policy solutions, Zimbabwe’s governance methods repelled Foreign Direct Investment.

“After using world governance indicators which cover six dimensions of governance: voice accountability, rule of law, government effectiveness, political stability, regulatory quality, and control of corruption, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are at the bottom with a respective score of -1.35 and -1.74, thereby making them unattractive investment destinations,” the report said.

Comments (3)

We will not be fooled into believing Mugabe 'said' that we need to cut down on the raw materials' exports and 'prioritise value addition' because that was just him reading a prepared speech. What we need are people who think along the lines of whoever wrote that speech. If he were to practice what he preaches, then we would not be where we are 34 years down the line. His policies are going in exactly the opposite direction to what he said in that prepared speech he read. The Chinese are contemplating to 'loan' us a paltry 4 billion dollars in exchange for our hard to put a value on minerals in the Great Dyke. Now tell me, what kind of value addition is that?

Dr Know - 26 August 2014

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