Anesu Tonde and Columbus Mabika
Businesses must take quality seriously and set standards to increase access to local, regional and global markets, a senior Government official has said.
Zimbabwe officially joined the African Continental Free Trade Area, an intra-Africa trade platform, on Monday last week which will give more access to continental markets, as long as the products are attractive in those markets.
In a speech read on her behalf by director for quality assurance in her ministry, Mrs Angelica Katuruza, during the Quality Forum in Harare last week, Permanent Secretary for Industry and Commerce Mrs Mavis Sibanda said the marketability of locally produced goods will increase if quality and standard matters were taken seriously.
“The central Government is taking seriously the devolution agenda and it is in this spirit that the Ministry of Industry and Commerce has moved a gear up to devolve quality and standards issues,” she said.
“Therefore, I would urge you all to take it seriously, as the issues of standards and quality are essential for local, regional and global market access.”
Mrs Sibanda said quality and standard issues were the centre stage of devolution, a process cascading powers and responsibilities to lower levels of governance by the central Government, which saw the creation of provincial councils that will become the authority in the running of affairs in the country’s regions.
She said quality and standards were the core values of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) initiated by President Mnangagwa in 2018.