The one thing that Africa and the world can not take away from us as Zimbabweans is our resilience
By Addlyne Hencil
As I sat in my car this week and watched our Superlink truck loading grocery goods outside at a well known South African warehouse in downtown Joburg, I couldn’t help but wonder how Zimbabwean are we.
What percentage of the products on the shelf are actually Zimbabwean – made, grown, packaged and Proudly Zimbabwean?
Over and over I’ve heard my very own brothers and sisters saying they will not invest in our country because of the economic situation.
The one thing that Africa and the world can not take away from us as Zimbabweans is our resilience, though we seem quite reluctant to supporting our own local brands and local small business.
We have to change that narrative that import is best and challenge our local entities to improve on their quality standards.
I was excited when I walked into the Apple Tree (a South African Fresh Fruit & Vegetables Supermarket) and right in front of me was Lobels biscuits and Crystal Sweets.
I jumped with joy to see the brand I grew up enjoying, although the quality is not what I knew and despite this, Lobels is managed to get there product onto the shelves of many South African supermarkets.
An absolute well done to Lobels.
While hard and soft commodities are governed by Commodity Exchange Markets, government needs to negotiate with South African Corporates into supporting local companies to revive local production lines.
Bulk imports and finished product packaging (washing powder, bath soap, creamers, cooking oil, beauty products etc) in Zimbabwe – it’s a start don’t you think?
We got to start some where as we are importing tons and tons of these basic products week in and week out.
Basic commodities are a huge growing market being fuelled by the “tuckshop” system into Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi.
What are we as a country doing to harness this job creation opportunity and start getting South Africa Corporates to think differently – an Africa for all to work with local companies in these countries, to improve infrastructure, create employment, skills development / skills transfer programmes and most importantly manufacturing of a local product in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi.
Its time for us as Africa to stand up and fight for an African Eco System that encourages African development.
Addlyne Hencil is with Jit-Tv & The Media Box, Mud Hut Consulting, Tinavo Holdings, and Healthcare Infusion Solutions. This column is published in partnership with The Sunday Express. Follow her on social media. Her new programme Ndinotaura Zvandinoda is loading.
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