‘Seize industrial   park opportunities’ The multimillion-dollar steel plant, which is being constructed by Dinson Group, a unit of Chinese steel manufacturing giant, Tsingshan, in Manhize, Chivhu, is now 50 percent complete. The mega steel project will created an estimated 20 000 jobs in various upstream, midstream and downstream value chains. (See story on Page 6)

Business Reporter

WITH African countries pursuing the ambitious industrialisation agenda through the establishment of Common Agro-Industrial Parks (CAIPs), the private sector should ride on the “goodwill and strategic intentions” already shown by some Governments, Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza said last week.

The signing of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was an important milestone toward the industrialisation of African agriculture and it was resolved to adopt the CAIPs as a programme contributing to the implementation of the AfCFTA.

Zimbabwe and Zambia are jointly exploring various value chain possibilities through the establishment of a CAAPs, focusing on cotton, maize, wheat, rice, soya beans, sugar, livestock, leather as well as dairy.

With support from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the sub-regional office for southern Africa, milestones achieved to date include the development of a detailed roadmap and action plan, a pre-feasibility study on the proposed CAIPs between the two countries and a study on the regulatory and policy framework.

The programme is expected to harness comparative advantages in both countries, anchored on agriculture-based industrial development to create synergies in resource utilisation and enhance the competitive advantage of the AfCFTA.

Speaking during the investors’ roundtable for the implementation of CAIPs last Friday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Dr Nzenza said it was imperative for the private sector to come on board.

“Indeed, Common Agro (Industrial) Parks have become vehicles for attracting private sector investments in establishing mega industrial hubs on the continent,” said Dr Nzenza. “The starting point for this dialogue on Common Agro-Industrial parks is in the pursuit of Africa we want through AU Agenda 2063.

This recognises two key things; intentional strategic collaboration in pursuit of regional and continental trade and mobilisation of funding around the development of interlinking value chains.”

Given the common history between Zimbabwe and Zambia and bilateral cooperation that dates back to the colonial period, the two countries have created a shared opportunity around the future of industrialisation following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in March 2021, Dr Nzenza said.

“In implementing the MoU, the nations have selected the establishment and management of a Common Agro-Industrial Park (CAIPs) based on comparative advantages in the agricultural sector as a starting point for strengthening cooperation.

“The CAIPs will utilize the agricultural potential and expertise in both countries to create employment, anchor investment, and economic growth across the borders as well as foster linkages with other economic sectors in the member states,” she said.

Implementing the CAIPs will likely help Africa to take over the African food import market of over US$50 billion annually, currently imported outside the continent.

Dr Nzenza collaboration within the development of value chains was key to the development of regional and continental trade.

“If Africa is to trade with itself, Africa must be prepared to produce high-value products on a collaborative basis,” she said.

“It is on this premise that both the “moving up the value chains agenda” and re-engagement policy by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe is based.

“It is the same way the Joint Industrial Park with Zambia was born. The joint industrial park represents the agricultural potential and expertise in both countries to create employment, anchor investment, and economic growth across the borders.”


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