Government, UN in 20 million euro industrialisation programme


Industry and Commerce deputy minister, Chiratidzo Mabuwa

THE United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has launched a 20 million euro programme for capacity building to help rebuild the country’s ailing industry.

The project, which is being undertaken in collaboration with the Government of Zimbabwe and running between 2016 and 2019, would include providing capacity to upgrade at least 30 small to medium scale enterprises (SMEs) and building capacity to help a number of pharmaceutical firms return to production.

It would also support the development of green industries and improve fund strategies to make industries energy efficiency. The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency would also be capacitated through the UNIDO project.

UNIDO said it would scout for funding partners to work with on the project, described by Industry and Commerce deputy minister, Chiratidzo Mabuwa, as one of the best developments for the country.

“As a former international civil servant myself, I know that this is a privilege because only a few countries are chosen for this programme,” Mabuwa told the media at the launch on Monday.

UNIDO is a specialised agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalisation and environmental sustainability.

“We have our priority areas that we will look at in line with Zim-Asset. There has already been indications from agencies who are ready to fund the programme,” she said.

Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector is comatose due to critical shortage of liquidity, power outages, smuggling, increased foreign competition and low consumer demand.

Most pharmaceutical companies have also collapsed leading to the country relying mainly on importing medical drugs from India.

Zimbabwe’s medical drugs bill from that country rose from US$14 million in 2008 to more than US$50 million in 2013.

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