Buy Zimbabwe Advances Push for Local Goods in Public Procurement

Initiative Seeks to Strengthen Local Production in Zimbabwe's Public Sector Procurement

by Adenike Adeodun

Buy Zimbabwe, an advocate for local goods and services, is currently in discussions with the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Praz) to give preference to domestically produced products in public procurement. This move aims to bolster the nation’s local manufacturing and service industries, as revealed to NewsDay Business.

Praz, which oversees procurement processes among government and state enterprises, is a crucial player in this initiative. Munyaradzi Hwengwere, CEO of Buy Zimbabwe, detailed their strategy in an interview. “Our goal is to ensure public procurement significantly favors local goods and services. We’re working with Praz to refine policies to close loopholes and truly benefit local producers,” he explained.

These talks are especially pertinent considering the public sector is a major purchaser in Zimbabwe. For instance, from January to September this year, over ZWL$4.45 trillion was spent on goods and services, representing a substantial market for local manufacturers and service providers.

Hwengwere shared that the Buy Zimbabwe campaign has already impacted import figures. “Recent trade data shows a noticeable decrease in imports, signifying the campaign’s effectiveness. However, there’s still a need to focus on adding value to our exports,” he noted.

According to a report by Newsday, the CEO also highlighted Zimbabwe’s over-reliance on imported goods, like petroleum products, and the growing preference for Zimbabwean products in the food sectors. He underscored the importance of private-sector collaboration and the development of a national database to better integrate local products into the market.

Addressing misconceptions, Hwengwere clarified, “It’s a myth that Zimbabweans universally prefer imports. It’s more about specific categories, like electronics and high-end products. While we recognize the comparative advantages of other countries, our focus is on strengthening local industries.”

Buy Zimbabwe’s efforts target areas within the campaign that need reinforcement to support locally manufactured goods effectively, aligning with the broader goal of not isolating Zimbabwe but enhancing its trade capabilities.

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