Zimbabwe must stop 'sidelining' local suppliers

Adam Leach is a freelance business journalist
31 May 2013

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Zimbabwe should follow countries such as South Africa and Australia and implement local procurement quotas to support domestic job creation and growth, a government minister has said.

In a speech at the Buy Zimbabwe conference this week, Saviour Kasukuwere, minister of youth development, indigenisation and empowerment, told delegates the time had come for government and industry to put its weight behind domestic businesses. He proposed that rather than build up an $8.2 billion bill for imports, the country should focus on spending more at home and suggested procurement quotas would be used to ensure it.

Kasukuwere, said: “In an age where relatively more sophisticated economies like South Africa and Australia have mandatory local procurement quotas, our country must come to the realisation that it can not continue sidelining its local business persons whilst channeling scarce financial resources towards the creation of employment in other countries”.

The minister went on to criticise the public tender system as having “periodically favoured foreign companies” at the expense of local businesses. He highlighted manufacturing as a sector that had been hit particularly hard as a result of both government and consumers choosing foreign products.

He called for “deliberate policies that support and protect our local industry” to address the issue and that he personally would look to implement such policies in Zimbabwe’s Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act.

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