Africa Moyo Deputy News Editor
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce has been directed to focus on productivity, job creation and innovation, as efforts to achieve economic growth as enunciated by the 2020 national Budget and the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) gather pace.
A strategic review workshop for the ministry was held in Nyanga recently, where Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza laid out the plan.
She told The Herald last week that the three-day strategic review focused on realigning the ministry with the new Industrial Development Policy biased towards “the initiatives stated in the Budget for 2020”.
The ministry’s new thrust is anchored on sustainable job creation, productivity, sustainable pricing regime, integrated competitive value chains, preparedness and adoption of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and innovation, and clean green production, among others.
The thrust will be complemented by institutional reforms.
Central to the strategic plan is the resuscitation of ailing companies and industry development. Three companies, which formulate a comprehensive value chain, will be identified for resuscitation.
Through the Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe (IDCZ), the Ministry of Industry will facilitate, promote, guide and assist in the financing of new industries and better institutional operations.
Support will also be rendered for the development of small to medium industries.
Said Dr Nzenza: “Industry represents a key, significant ministry in Government and our key success factor is determined by collaboration with the private sector and line ministries.
“We have to embrace the 4.0 Industrial Revolution to increase productivity as well as develop local capacity, which will be are key enablers to the delivery of objectives.”
President Mnangagwa and Finance Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube have said austerity was over and that the economy was now geared for growth.
The 2020 National Budget presented on November 14 under the theme, “Gearing for higher productivity, Growth and Job creation”, has several measures aimed at boosting production and enhancing employment creation including the Youth Employment Incentive Tax (YETI).
Dr Nzenza said her ministry was going to be more responsible and accountable, and will collaborate and consult key stakeholders and develop key performance indicators to measure performance to achieve the plan.
“We will not wait another year to measure progress. We shall focus more on integrated results-based management (IRBM) work, within timeframes to produce results,” said Dr Nzenza.
The Department of Research, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs has been mandated with developing, reviewing and implementing consumer protection policies and strategies.
It will also develop and implement pricing policies and models for essential products.
This will entail monitoring developments in the domestic trade sector and the availability of basic commodities.
The Quality Assurance department will promote the development and implementation of quality policies and strategies.
Next year, the department will collaborate with the Standards Association of Zimbabwe in creating a regulatory framework for mandatory standards.
The private sector will be consulted.
The Economic Empowerment department is tasked with monitoring and coordinating the indigenisation legislation.
In 2020, the department will facilitate the reactivation and capacitation of Community Share Ownership Trusts as part of the Rural Industrialisation Strategy.
Further, it will accelerate the repeal of the existing legislation and oversee the promulgation of the Economic Empowerment Act.
The National Competitiveness Commission (NCC) will develop, coordinate and implement key income and pricing policies.
It will also monitor evolving sector specific subjects and strategies for enhancing Zimbabwe’s global competitiveness.
In the year 2020, the NCC will review all existing and new business regulations to ascertain their impact on the cost of doing business and recommend amendments or repeals where appropriate, to enhance competitiveness.
It will also monitor the cost drivers in the business and economic environment, and advise on measures to be taken to enhance productivity and address current and emerging costs challenges.
The strategic meeting was attended by representatives from captains of industry, IDCZ, line ministries such as Finance, Agriculture, Environment, SMEs, Youth, Foreign Affairs, and Mining, and other stakeholders.