CZI gets US$2,5m Swedish boost

Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe his excellency Per Lingard and CZI Chief Executive Sekai Kuvarika at the official signing ceremony of CZI strategy 2024-2028 from Institutional Transformation to Industrial Transformation.

THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) will get US$2,5 million (SEK25 million) from the Swedish government to support its efforts to transform the local industry.

CZI has been implementing a strategy to strengthen the institution and deliver services to its members, who represent the largest manufacturing bloc in Zimbabwe.

The support comes at a time when manufacturers are in desperate need of foreign currency as official channels continue to prove difficult in supplying adequate amounts.

To generate foreign currency, these manufacturers need to upscale production to increase exports.

“Today, we are witnessing the effort that has been going on for a very long time. We have been working behind the scenes with Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) and this has culminated in what we are going to witness as co-operation in terms of what we can do for the next 100 years,” CZI president Kurai Matsheza said, at the official launch of this partnership on Wednesday in Harare.

“We are going to drive our membership and support them so that there is manufacturing excellence to drive the economic activity of our beloved country.”

Matsheza added that this was a grant to CZI for institutional capacity development which would assist the confederation in being able to carry out its work.

“We are an advocacy, a lobby group so we assist all companies, predominantly those who are our members. We encourage those who are not our members to become our members so that we work with them, and we see them develop over the period.”

He said companies that engage CZI will get assistance.

“We identify the needs because what we want is the economy to grow and to see small guys coming from nowhere and become a company in five years, in 10 years and so on,” Matsheza added.

Sweden ambassador to Zimbabwe Per Lindgarde said that his government was happy to be working with CZI as it would foster an increased business presence by establishing trade between the two countries.

“We see a lot of scope and opportunities for cooperation in the energy, mining, green economy, manufacturing, agri-business subsectors and are ready to explore other possibilities for our mutual benefit.”

The agreement between Sida and CZI is under the latter’s strategy, From Institutional Transformation to Industrial Transformation, which will last for three years.

The strategy’s focus is to reposition CZI for relevance, legitimacy, credibility, effectiveness and leadership as the anchors to its mantra of enterprise — leadership — service.

Industry and Commerce permanent secretary Thomas Utete Wushe said the government was ready to assist CZI if the business member organisation approaches its offices.

“I think this intervention is coming at the right time. And we are keen to support it, as a government. I’ll just say we are here to sell and facilitate. So service is what you will get from us,” he said.

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