Home » Industry » Buy Zimbabwe Voice Finally Heard

Speaking at a high profile panel on energy at the 2015 annual meeting for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Nigerian billionaire and philanthropist Tony Elumelu emphasised the key priority for 2015 for Africa as “policy, policy, policy”.

If you want to invest, the risks and the capital requirements are huge so first you have to survey the environment beyond economics policy, stability, enforceability of rules, the nature of the regulatory framework. If the right policies are in place, investors and financiers will be encouraged to invest. Investors are rational.

What Mr Elumelu indicated is key to the growth of the Zimbabwean economy. Zimbabwe is known to be a lucrative destination for investment. However, we have to match this with reliable policies. President Mugabe directed a procurement order that all vehicles for public institutions should be purchased locally to enable the motor industry to recover but this has not been enforced. Policy reversal is the worst that a government can do if it wishes to attract investment. It significantly impedes economic performance.

Latest figures from Zimstats indicate that our deficit has surpassed $16 billion cumulatively from 2011 to date. Even Economic liberal institutions such as the African Development bank have sounded alarm bells and aised government to take urgent steps to ensure that our dependence on imports is put on halt.

Buy Zimbabwe is glad as they realise that their efforts are not in vain as imports have dropped significantly from January 2013 up to December 2014 by $1,6 billion which is 22 percent decrease in imports. Since Buy Zimbabwe’s inception in 2011 Zimbabwe recorded the highest levels of imports of $8,5 billion that year and the least in 2014 of $6,3 billion. This indicates that the message has been heard by the citizens of Zimbabwe. The appetite for foreign is slowly declining.

South Africa is Zimbabwe’s major trading partner, exporting goods worth $14,4 billion to Zimbabwe since 2011 slightly below half the total imports with the rest of the world. United Kingdom, China and Singapore follow respectively .

In Africa after South Africa, we are trading with Zambia, Mozambique and Botswana. One would wonder how these countries have managed to gain their market share in Zimbabwe because they used to be other major export destinations .

Since 2011 Zimbabwe has imported $614 billion worth of maize. We are importing maize from Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa.

Maize production should be key to the growth of the agricultural sector. As Buy Zimbabwe we urge the Government through the ministry of Finance and Economic Development to priorities and support local maize production. In this line of production we have the opportunity for backward and forward linkages. These linkages can assist in taming the huge unemployment gap existing now in Zimbabwe.

The only way to achieve this is through a definite mindset change. The sooner we realise that the “foreign is better” mentality only hurts us, and that only we can change our destiny by supporting each other, the sooner we will realise phenomenal growth. We are a great nation and it is about time we stopped selling ourselves short.

Until next time, remember to Buy Zimbabwe.

Feedback: vandudzai@buyzimbabwe.org.zw,0773751878

Source : The Herald