MANICALAND is on a rebound as some of the companies that have been struggling over the years are now performing very well and contributing towards the growth of the provincial Gross Domestic Product, the Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Nokuthula Matsikenyere has said.
She made the remarks during President Mnangagwa’s recent tour of Wattle Company, Willowton and Mega Market in Nyakamete Industrial Area, Mutare.
“These three companies are contributing immensely to the growth of the provincial GDP. Manicaland has its own share of decade long challenges that affected optimum performance of industry and commerce.
“Over the years, the province witnessed as some of its major industrial players closed shop due to a number of challenges including foreign currency shortages, inadequate working capital, liquidity constraints and competition from cheap imports, among others.
“Some of the major companies that closed shop over the years include Karina Textiles, Mutare Board and Paper Mills, Buffalo Soap and PG Safety Glass.”
She added: “Some of the companies have invested in retooling exercises, including Cairns Foods, Associated Foods and Mutare Bottling Company, among others.
“The province is privileged to receive millions of dollars in new investment from companies like Willowton, Mirror Image and Mega Market. The setting up of the milling plant by Mega Market has gone a long way to show that the province is a good investment destination,” she said.
Minister Matsikenyere also invited more investors to come and invest in Manicaland.
“Investments are creating the much-needed employment. Companies are bringing in new and efficient industrial technology in line with the ongoing industrial revolution. We are also grateful for the skills transfer brought about by these companies.
“As a province, our shoulders are on the wheel and we are speaking with one voice on development and more development,” said Minister Matsikenyere.
Speaking at the same occasion, Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said Government’s development agenda prioritises infrastructure development as it is the cornerstone of economic development.
“President Mnangagwa is championing the revamping of infrastructure and other developmental projects countrywide. Through the agricultural recovery plan, in particular the Pfumvudza programme, the country is expecting a bumper harvest and we expect to see more development taking place across the country.
“What we have witnessed during the tour today is manufacturing innovation technology being put to maximum use. A sleeping giant is now awakening and Mutare will never be the same again. Progressive and positive polices are now beginning to bear fruits,” said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri.
Industry and Commerce Minister, Dr Sekesai Nzenza said the country seeks to accelerate economic growth through embracing innovation and technology.
“We have witnessed the construction of a US$25 million maize and wheat milling plant here in Manicaland. This is timely because we are expecting a bumper harvest.
“The increase in productivity through strategic investments in Mutare therefore corresponds to the increase in the production of local production. This is speaking to the increased capacity utilisation which we are already beginning to witness despite the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Dr Nzenza.
“The agro-processing value chain is speaking of growth, production, employment creation, retooling and access to locally made goods,” she said.