By Tichaona Kurewa
THE country’s trade promotion body, ZimTrade is on a drive to promote the export of arts and craft products as part of efforts to fulfill the devolution agenda where each province is required to identify its own export drivers.
According to the dictates of the National Development Strategy One (NDSI), each province is expected to contribute to the economic development of the country through local resources and products.
Matabeleland North Province has therefore identified arts and craft as some of the products that can contribute to the provincial gross domestic product alongside wildlife, natural gas, gold and coal.
“Zimtrade as part as part of its part of mandate to energise exports growth is different from to province through identifying potential products for exports, right now we have a team in Matabeleland North identifying players in the arts and craft sector that can be nurtured into exporters of the various products that they produce in that region. We expect a lot of capacity building will be developed to assist these identified groups to tap into the export market for arts and craft products,” said Jacqueline Nyathi, Zimtrade Southern Region Manager.
Players in the arts and craft sector commended Zimtrade for the noble initiative.
“We welcome the idea the initiative Zimtrade is taking especially for Matabeleland North province, this is going to increase our sales. We were affected by COVID-19, we could not get tourists to come down to purchase our products, so with Zimtrade coming through, this means that they will have us on the platform and increase our visibility in a number countries and that means we will no longer wait for tourists to come down to Victoria Falls, we can now even send our products to whichever country because the platform that would have been created,” said one player.
According to the Trade Map, Zimbabwe’s exports for arts and crafts were valued at around US$10.5 million in 2019, with products weighing around 10,612 tonnes exported mainly to South Africa, Europe and America.