HARARE, July 25 (The Source) – Zimbabwe on Monday launched a EUR20,6 million ($22,6 million) industrialisation programme in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to revive the country’s collapsed pharmaceutical and manufacturing sectors.
UNIDO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.
Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector is comatose due to critical shortage of liquidity, power outages, smuggling, increased foreign competition and low consumer demand.
Most of the pharmaceutical companies have also collapsed and the country mainly imports medical drugs from India.
Zimbabwe’s medical drugs bill from that country rose from $14 million in 2008 to more than $50 million in 2013.
In December last year, finance minister Patrick Chinamasa told Parliament that government had taken over CAPS Holdings, the country’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturer which collapsed over four years ago, in a bid to revive its operations.
At its peak, CAPS accounted for 75 percent of the local healthcare products market and was involved in the manufacture, wholesale distribution, and retail of pharmaceutical, consumer, and veterinary products.
Industry and Trade Minister Mike Bimha said the programme would provide some imperatives for industrialisation and avail an enabling policy environment.
“Components of the programme include industrial upgrading for SMEs and revival of the pharmaceutical sector,” he said.
Other elements of the programme, which will run up to 2019, include support for the development of green industries and improving industrial energy efficiency.
The national statistics agency, Zimstat, is also set to benefit under a programme to enhance capacity in providing industrial intelligence.
Zimbabwe becomes the 11th country in Africa to have a country specific industrialisation programme.