BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
COVID-19 effects have revealed the need to industrialise the economy because the disruption in international trade has resulted in a decline in the manufacturing sector’s growth performance to -4.6 percent in the second quarter of 2020.
The disruption in international trade due to Covid-19 resulted in a decline in the manufacturing sector’s growth performance, in a decline in the manufacturing sector’s growth performance to -4.6 percent in the second quarter of 2020 from 4.6 percent in the same period of 2019.
This is according to the Zambia Association of Manufactures (ZAM) Proudly Zambian Campaign Manager, Lewis Chimfwembe.
Mr Chimfwembe said the effects of the pandemic had therefore not only exposed how import dependent Zambia was but also revealed the need to industrialise the economy.
He said promoting local content could be a key starting point while industrialising a country could be complex and entailed a mix of measures geared towards supporting value addition. Mr Chimfwembe said this in his write-up on Industrialisation through Local Content Policies.
“In 2018, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry launched the Local Content Strategy for Zambia,” he said.
“In the same year, Zambia put in a place a deliberate campaign to promote the utilisation of locally produced goods and services officially called the Proudly Zambian Campaign,” he said.
Mr Chimfwembe explained that both the Strategy and Campaign had the same objective of promoting local content utilisation in Zambia.
He said for the purposes of the strategy and the campaign, local content entails consumption of at least 35 percent of raw materials, local resources (including labour) in the provision of goods and services.
This, he said, was meant to strengthen domestic linkages in the economy and ultimately reduce import dependence.
“Overall, local content policies have a long history of delivering structural transformation and development outcomes.
“Zambia can use a combination of local content measures ranging from legal to more voluntary ones such as ‘buy local’ campaigns to achieve industrialisation,” he said.