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Friday, July 12, 2024

Councils to capitalise on SADC Industrialisation Week

Story by Yolanda Moyo

LOCAL authorities in Zimbabwe are gearing up to capitalise on the upcoming Southern African Development Community (SADC) Industrialisation Week, scheduled for later this month.

With Zimbabwe aiming for a regional industrial hub, the SADC Industrialisation Week offers an opportunity for local authorities to showcase their capabilities and attract investment that will drive economic growth and development.

Local councils are particularly excited about the potential to leverage this platform to promote the country’s Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

Zimbabwe established several SEZs across the country, offering a range of incentives to businesses, including tax breaks, streamlined regulatory procedures, and access to essential infrastructure. These zones are strategically positioned to cater for various industries, from manufacturing and processing to technology and logistics.

“We plan to leverage this event to highlight the investment-friendly environment we’ve created within our local authorities. Local authorities have an opportunity to tap on to that national development trajectory of industrialization and seek investment in our zones. Local authorities have a role to play to ensure that the industrialisation drive starts from the roots going up and as they already have legislation to support them we believe local authorities are the key and rise to the occasion and tap into the SADC industrialization week,” said Secretary-General of the Zimbabwe Local Government Association, Mr Livison Mutekede.

Emphasis has been placed on the need to showcase investment-ready projects with clear timelines and regulatory frameworks.

Director of Strategic Policy Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation in the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, Mrs Elina Karwi said, “This will be crucial in attracting serious interest from potential investors seeking to establish a foothold in the SADC market. By effectively showcasing their unique strengths and collaborating strategically, local authorities can leverage this event to secure a brighter economic future. We encourage local authorities to develop compelling presentations that highlight their unique investment propositions, focusing on areas such as infrastructure development, special economic zones, and ease of doing business.”

The SADC Industrialisation Week presents enormous opportunities for local authorities, particularly given the “Call to Action — No Compromise to Service Delivery” blueprint launched by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last year.

The week-long event, which will be held from the 28th of July to the 2nd of August, is expected to attract regional delegates, including government officials, industry representatives and potential investors with key focus on innovation towards an industrialised SADC.

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