Government unveils Local Content strategy for three economic sectors

By Alois Vinga

THE government has unveiled Local Content Thresholds for the Fertilizer, Pharmaceutical and Packaging sectors which stipulate clear growth targets going into the future.

The document envisions transforming the country’s Fertiliser, Pharmaceutical and packaging sectors in the short to long term tenure with a view to make sure that the amount of locally sourced raw material resources in such products increases.

The approach is aimed at promoting the utilization of domestic resources as inputs along value chains, thereby achieving the objectives of increasing average local content levels, capacity utilisation, and manufactured exports in prioritised sectors.

With support from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the establishment of these thresholds aims to boost investment, value chain development, value addition and beneficiation in line with the National Development Strategy 1.

Speaking on the strategy, the Industry and Commerce Ministry’s permanent secretary, Doctor Mavis Sibanda said significant strides will be made on a brick-by-brick approach.

“In the Fertiliser value chain, the Labour threshold will be revamped from the current utilization rate of 85 to 100 in the long term. We envisage the supply of intermediate goods in this sector to move from the current 35 to a high of 80 in the long term.

“Knowledge and technology are expected to move from the current 40 to 95 in the long term,” she said.

The guiding principles for the Local Content Strategy (LCS) are anchored on local resource use and service provision.

It is also anchored on beneficiation and value addition of local resources, import substitution and the sustainable consumption of local products.

“The benefits to be realized include increased competitiveness in light of the Africa free Continental Trade Area (AfCFTA) Southern Africa Development Community, Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and beyond.

“This is over and above job creation and developments of the right skills on the back of increased innovation and transfer of technology, close collaboration with innovation hubs and foreign currency generation,” added  Sibanda.

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