The Sunday Mail
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has said the country’s vision of achieving an upper middle income economy by 2030 is on course and the private sector should continue to complement Government efforts to revive the economy.
Since he came into power in 2017, the President has been on a mission to rebuild the economy in line with Vision 2030. Various projects, most funded locally and backed by sound policies, have taken shape, showing the commitment by the Second Republic to improve the lives of the people.
Capacity utilisation in industries is set to reach an impressive 61 percent this year, highlighting the successes being achieved in the crucial manufacturing sector.
Speaking after touring United Refineries Limited (URL) in Bulawayo yesterday, President Mnangagwa encouraged the private sector to take advantage of the various incentives put in place by Government to recapitalise and increase their production capacity.
“Already, the sector has shown an admirable capacity to grow, as reflected by increased industrial capacity utilisation and the number of locally produced goods on our shelves. The joint 2021 Manufacturing Survey by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries projects 61 percent industrial capacity utilisation in 2021, up from 47 percent in 2020. The task before us today, tomorrow and years to come is to consolidate the gains made to date as we boldly journey to become an empowered, prosperous, upper middle-income society by 2030 and it is achievable,” said the President.
He said going forward, the private sector must continue deepening its collective resolve towards the modernisation, industrialisation, growth and prosperity of the country. President Mnangagwa said as part of moves to propel a private sector led economic development, the Government has instituted measures to increase production and exports, as shown by recent announcements of different incentives for exports and investment.
“Increased exports will earn the country more foreign currency, create quality and productive jobs, thus improving the standards of living for our people. In light of disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, my Government remains committed and determined to work with the various economic players across all sectors to grow our economy,” he said.
Turning to URL, President Mnangagwa said the company should mainstream research and development through collaborating and partnering with institutions of higher learning.
“The aggregated capacity utilisation potential in stock feed production, vegetable oil refining and storage capacities, among others, are pointers to the extent to which this company can contribute to growing the province’s GDP and that of the nation at large.
“I am happy to say that Bulawayo has the second highest GDP at US$3 000 per capita and it just needs a bit of push to reach US$3 500 per capita. I therefore exhort URL to take advantage of the various incentives my Government has put in place to capitalise, retool as well as adopt new technologies, innovations and inventions,” he said.
Speaking at the same occasion, URL chief executive officer, Mr Busisa Moyo, expressed gratitude to the President revealing that this was the first time in 32 years that they had hosted a Head of State.
“Thank you for being a listening President leading a listening Government,” said Mr Moyo.
Earlier on, the President had toured clothing firm, Archer Paramount, where he commended the company for contributing immensely to the country’s foreign currency requirements after learning that the firm is exporting 60 percent of its products. He said the fact that the company did not close during the Covid-19 induced lockdown showed its commitment to reviving the economy.
“This is my first time to visit this factory and I have heard about it for many years but I didn’t know the volumes, the number of people they employ. In two factories here in Bulawayo and Harare they have an average of 2 000 workers which means it is one of the biggest employers in the country. Secondly, 60 percent of their production is exported which means they contribute immensely to our foreign currency earnings which we then use for other purposes like acquisition of machinery and modernisation of our economy,” said President Mnangagwa.
The President said he had the opportunity to get a first-hand appreciation of challenges faced by both companies and had immediately instructed the responsible offices to assist. Accompanying the President were Cabinet Ministers: Dr Sekai Nzenza (Industry and Commerce), Professor Mthuli Ncube (Finance and Economic Development), Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri (Defence and War Veterans Affairs), Dr Sithembiso Nyoni (Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises), Dr Anxious Masuka (Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement), Owen Ncube (Minister of State for National Security) as well as Dr Nzenza’s deputy Raj Modi.
On Friday when President Mnangagwa toured Treger Group of Companies, he commended the entity for being a shining example of the city’s quest to reclaim Bulawayo’s manufacturing glory.
“This is contributing to enhancing the ambience, aesthetic value and visual impression of human settlements in both rural and urban areas. The company’s active participation in the green economy initiative, through recycling scrap plastics into usable products and the manufacturing of solar geysers, is also commendable.”
President Mnangagwa on Friday also officially opened the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) Orthopaedic Centre and the Covid-19 Isolation and Treatment Centre.