The 7th buy local and investment summit ended with industry and government endorsing the formulation of a sound local content policy that seeks to stimulate local sourcing and increase participation by local companies .
Both the private and public sector are convinced that the policy which is set to complement statutory instrument (SI) 64 will result in job creation and realisation of the industrialisation agenda.
But what exactly in local content? How does it differ from SI 64? What benefits will it bring? What form will it take? These are some of the questions delegates to the just ended 7th buy local content summit sought to tackle during the three day symposium.
Industry and Commerce Minister, Dr Mike Bimha said the envisaged local content policy can best be described as a tool to stimulate local sourcing and is complementary to the procurement act and the indigenisation legislation.
According to the cabinet minister, local content is not a successor to SI 64 but is rather complementary as both frameworks seeks to achieve similar goals of promoting local production and stimulating domestic value.
The adoption of a local content policy will mean that Zimbabwe will follow the route more African countries have followed including South Africa whose mining charter incorporates the local content stance as it stipulates that there shall be 40 percent local procurement for capital goods.
Buy Zimbabwe chairman, Mr Oswel Bimha said local content policy is what Zimbabwe requires to create jobs and is in sync with the World Trade Organisation protocols.
Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe chief executive officer, Mr Isaac Kwesu said as the mining industry expands there is need for local manufacturers to increase capacity to meet the supplies gap.
Apart from stimulating local production the policy also seeks to set out minimum standards for hiring of local labour and encourages local firms to embrace technology.
It is estimated that the local mining sector is spending close to a US$1 billion on supplies imports.