Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
Buy Zimbabwe is running a promotion next week to sensitise the public on the importance of buying locally-produced products and services and its impact to the economy.
The “Buy Zimbabwe Week”, which will run from November 22 to November 26 precedes the first Buy Local Summit and the first Made in Zimbabwe Expo that will be held in December.
Buy Zimbabwe general manager, Mr Alois Burutsa said the campaign was a programme of amplification for the need to buy locally and the need to prefer Zimbabwe-produced quality goods and services.
“There will be activations in selected wholesale and retail outlets where Buy Zimbabwe brand ambassadors will encourage consumers to buy local products.
“We are going to have roadshows, engagements with the private sector that look at how we can enhance moneys that come into the public purse to be directed to producers of Zimbabwean made goods and services.
Mr Burutsa said there has been progress in the consumption of local products.
“In 2011, Zimbabwean content was less than 30 percent and now it is over 50 percent with shelves dominated by local products,” he said.
Buy Zimbabwe general manager Mr Munyaradzi Hwengwere said the Made in Zimbabwe expo will showcase quality Zimbabwean made products.
“Our hope is that in the next five years, 80 percent of shelf space is covered with local goods in five years’ time.
He said it was important that local goods were rated to see if it would have been manufactured by materials manufactured in Zimbabwe.
He said some products were branded Zimbabwe yet they were made from imported raw materials.
“We should not export jobs. We want to come out with ways of incentivising local production. We want to see the private sector buying from each other. Our budget should fund local production. We also want to look at the informal sector from the certification point of view. We are going to set up a small and medium enterprises and youth desk to look at how we can promote the informal sector,” he said.
Elevate Trust representative Ms Sandra Shoko said the SMEs-youth desk should collaborate with business so they can have access to markets.
“We believe the youth are the future and should be supported so they can produce locally and access markets,” she said.