Zimbabwe evolving into global industrial hub

07 Oct, 2022 - 00:10 0 Views
Zimbabwe evolving into global industrial hub In this file picture, President Mnangagwa unveils a plaque at the Dinson Iron and Steel Company groundbreaking ceremony while Vice President Constantino Chiwenga and other senior Government officials look on in Manhize, Chirumhanzu. — Picture: Justin Mutenda

The Herald

Fungi Kwaramba in MANHIZE, Chirumhanzu

THE fruits of the bold decisions taken by President Mnangagwa to open the country up for investment, notwithstanding the baneful sanctions, were on display yesterday as Zimbabwe entered the world of giant steel makers.

Through the Dinson Iron and Steel company’s multibillion dollar steel plant in Manhize, a land rich in iron that straddles the provinces of Mashonaland East, the Midlands and Mashonaland West provinces, Zimbabwe is inching even closer towards achieving a US$12 billion economy by 2023 and its broader Vision to become an upper-middle-class economy by 2030.

The project — that encompasses the establishment of a Smart City — will see the beneficiation and value addition of steel production which will accelerate and drive the economy high up the value chain.

Like most metals, steel as a raw material and intermediate product, is critical in the development of any nation. The production, usage and consumption of steel products is regarded widely as an indicator of economic progress and overall sustainable socio-economic development.

The project is expected to go full throttle next year and will make Zimbabwe an exporter of carbon iron that is essential in assembling vehicles and also widely used in the construction sector.

Dinson Iron and Steel is expected to produce more than 600 000 tonnes of steel per annum, earning the country millions of dollars in foreign currency.

Apart from benefiting the country as a whole, the project has already begun to transform the lives of the village folk through construction of surfaced roads, dams, new houses for those in the path of the ongoing works, and also boreholes.

This will hasten the country’s industrialisation and modernisation drive which is anchored on President Mnangagwa’s thrust of development that leaves no one and no place behind.

Soon after conducting a ground-breaking ceremony where the US$3 billion plant’s first phase will be established — with deposits projected to last for more than 100 years — President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe is on an upward trajectory.

“This signature project is a culmination of the Second Republic’s bold decision to harness the mutually beneficial, comprehensive and strategic relations between Zimbabwe and the People’s Republic of China”, he said.

As opposed to some countries that have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe, China has adopted the “win-win” Beijing Consensus, Reform and Opening of the Economy Policy, which has seen Harare benefiting from a wide range of Chinese investments across all sectors of the economy.

“The ground-breaking ceremony is occurring against a backdrop of an array of new investments and exploration projects, while the resuscitation of old mines is gathering momentum. The iron and steel manufacturing plant being established here is a paradigm shifting milestone in our country’s journey towards modernisation and industrialisation.

“The project constitutes a critical building block towards the realisation of the US$12 billion mining economy and our national Vision 2030,” President Mnangagwa said.

“Through this investment, our country will now host one of the largest iron and steel manufacturing plants on the continent. It is expected to produce about 600 000 tonnes of steel per annum, over and above other related products.”

Through the plant, Zimbabwe is set to be an integral player in the world manufacturing industry, coming as it does when the country is opening new and bountiful mines that have in-demand lithium and chrome.

With Zimbabwe set to become energy-sufficient in the next few years thanks to multi-million dollar investments in the sector, the country will soon become a major global player in the manufacturing sector.

“It is envisaged to leap-frog us to emerge as a dynamic industrial hub, churning out a broad range of value added, ‘Made in Zimbabwe’ iron and steel products, for both local and international markets,” President Mnangagwa said.

He commended Dinson Iron and Steel Company for its confidence in Zimbabwe and urged Government workers to step up to the plate and ensure investors are accorded all the assistance they need.

The Dinson Iron and Steel Company plant is one of the Forbes 500 listed Tsingshan Group’s flagship projects which also include chrome smelting and coke production in Mashonaland West and Matabeleland North provinces, respectively.

These projects provide both ferrochrome and coke, which are a requisite throughput for a competitive and efficient iron and steel value chain.

President Mnangagwa said the initial US$1 billion capital investment for the first phase of the project is already having unprecedented spin-offs through employment and empowerment opportunities and will go a long way in improving the quality of life of Zimbabweans, especially women and youths.

“Over and above the upstream and downstream linkages, the project is transforming the social services and infrastructure outlook of the surrounding part of our country. In this regard, the construction of other enabling infrastructure is being prioritised and includes the construction of a dam, roads, railway track, power line, bridges, schools, health facilities and accommodation.

“A new smart city is envisaged to be developed and is anchored by this strategic national project. Going forward and guided by the work ethic of the Second Republic, Government ministries, departments and agencies are directed to accelerate the finalisation of the master plan of the proposed smart city.”

The President, who was accompanied by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava, Zanu PF Politburo member Ambassador Chris Mutsvangwa and senior Government officials, said the project resonates well with the Second Republic’s infrastructure development drive that seeks to revamp and modernise the country’s national infrastructure for development that leaves no one and no place behind.

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