• In terms of contribution to the GDP, MSMEs contributed US$8.6 billion to the country’s GDP
  • Notable in that announcement is that the importation of basic commodities will no longer be subject to import duties

Harare- During the 14th Post Cabinet Press Briefing, the government announced its efforts to ensure that consumers can access basic commodities at affordable prices while protecting them from unfair trade practices. To enhance the supply and availability of commodities at competitive prices, the importation of basic commodities will no longer be subject to import duties.

The government has played a significant role in the progress of the manufacturing sector, with capacity utilization currently at 66% (up from 36% before COVID-19) and shelf occupancy at 80% (up from 47% before COVID-19). To address the challenges cited in a recent update, the Quality Assurance and Trade Measures Department in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is conducting an enforcement blitz on the quality and measurements of basic commodities and issuing appropriate fines.

In 2021, around 3.4 million MSMEs were in operation, comprising 3,242,570 micro-enterprises, 114,591 small enterprises, and 1,545 medium enterprises. These MSMEs are engaged in 15 main economic activities, including wholesale and retail trade, motorcycle and motor vehicle repairing, agriculture, forestry, fishing, and manufacturing.

Cabinet received an update on the Cholera Outbreak Response, with Zimbabwe recording 868 cholera cases since 2021, with 777 recoveries, and 6 deaths, reflecting a Case Fatality Rate of 0.69%. The Water and Sanitation Hygiene sector is distributing non-food items such as aqua tabs, buckets, and soap as part of the first-line defense in cholera prevention.

Cabinet also approved the National Forestry Policy, which seeks to promote sustainable utilization of forest resources, community participation in forest management, and building resilience to the impacts of climate change by rehabilitating degraded areas and maintaining and increasing the country's forest cover. The Policy aims to ensure that forests contribute effectively to national development, environmental protection, climate change mitigation, sustainable forest management, and benefit sharing of proceeds from the forests.

The Carbon Credit Framework for Zimbabwe was also discussed, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mobilize climate change finance, and increase technology development and transfer from the compliance and voluntary carbon markets. The framework spells out the processes and institutions required to ensure that carbon credits assist the transformation needed to promote climate change mitigation and low carbon emissions in various sectors, including energy and forestry.

Lastly, The Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities, Honourable Daniel Garwe, briefed Cabinet on his participation at the 42nd Annual General Meeting of Shelter Afrique. Zimbabwe was applauded for being one of the countries whose financial sector had cleared loan obligations and is thus eligible to access new lines of credit. At the AGM, raising of housing bonds locally was demonstrated via a pilot project in Nigeria, where 1 trillion Naira was raised through local banks.

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