Zimbabwe is abundantly blessed with a wide range of resources that can see her build and capacitate her own supply chain in various industries. This might as well lead her to having exporting footprints in the region and beyond. Zimbabwe’s exporting efforts are all being overshadowed by the importation of raw materials, machinery and pharmaceutical which she is capable of producing or manufacturing if the right thing is done. Building and capacitating a local supply chain also comes with entrepreneurial opportunities which local people should benefit from, let’s talk about building and capacitating a local supply chain.
Zimbabwe’s 2019 top 3 importing partners are South Africa US$1.85Billion (39%), Singapore US$1.21Billion (26%) and China US$411.77Million (8.7%). From these and other importing partners, main imports in the year 2019 were:
- Pharmaceutical Products US206.67M
- Fertilizers US197.74M
- Plastics US184.04M
- Miscellaneous chemical products US147.60M
- Cereals US137.39M
- Articles of iron or steel US121.82M
- Animal, vegetable fats and oils, cleavage products US92.51M
- Rubbers US78.55M
- Inorganic chemicals, precious metal compound, isotope US61.80M
- Organic chemicals US29.06M
- Aluminum US14.34M
- Dairy products, eggs, honey edible products US12.04M
- Copper US9.33M
Through building and capacitating a local supply chain, Zimbabwe can see products like fertilizers, plastics, cereals, articles of iron or steel, animal, vegetable fats and oils, cleavage products, Rubbers, Aluminum, Dairy products, eggs, honey edible products and Copper completely disappearing from her importation bill. These are all opportunities local entrepreneurs can harness from and build a self-sustaining Zimbabwe.
The Damage Brought By relying on a foreign supply chain
Zimbabwe earns a lot from the exportation of minerals like gold, platinum, nickel and steel, only to mention a few, but so does she lose through importation of machines, chemicals and other consumables.
High bread prices are also reported to be due to shortage of flour, which this can be curbed by building and capacitating a local supply chain.
Not relying on a local supply chain has resulted to deindustrialization, high importation bill, high rates of unemployment and a poor economy.
What needs to be done?
- Producers needs to be empowered by both the government and distributors.
From the government, they is need for crafting and implementation of policies that promote re-industrialization, and this time seeing more local players. These policies should at least create a balanced playing field between the local and global producers or leave local producers at an advantage.
- Cooperation between producers and or manufacturers with distributors or consumers.
Cooperation is something that is lacking between the producers and distributors or consumers. One is up to benefiting at the expense of the other part involved. Distributors and Consumers should share information, hold strategic meetings and have a long-term partnership with their suppliers. They should also be sharing of information and distributors investing or offering loans to their suppliers so as to capacitate them.
- Need for more local producers
There is also need for more local players that can substitute major imports
- Produce quality products that can compete in the region.
Benefits of Building and Capacitating a local Supply Chain
Building a local supply chain comes with national pride, a lot of job opportunities as well as empowering the producers which are mainly found in the rural areas. This will also contribute to exportation of some products and reduction of the importation bill.
Entrepreneurs should take part in building and capacitating a local supply chain.