Innocent Ruwende Grand reporter
Zimbabwe will soon design and manufacture its own model car which it plans to export to other African countries and has since hired an Italian company to lead the project.
A memorandum of understanding was signed yesterday in Harare between the government and the Italian company El Badaoui Group on cooperation to propose the car model.
El Badaoui Group President Georges El Badaoui, who is also Zimbabwe’s Honorary Consulate General in Milan, has since visited Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries to assess the infrastructure in place.
The design and manufacture of the car model is in line with the government’s position on value addition and upgrading, which is expected to make the country a regional giant in the export of finished products.
President Mugabe has been at the forefront of calls for value addition and enrichment, especially minerals, and has since sold the idea to the African continent as president of the African Union.
During his tenure as president of Sadc between August 2014 and August this year, the president turned the region’s attention to adding value and valuing, which has become part of the theme of the last two summits. of the regional body.
Addressing a press conference after the signing of the MoU, Industry and Trade Minister Mike Bimha said his ministry was submitting the MoU through the relevant processes.
“One of the areas of cooperation with Mr. El Badaoui’s company is the creation of an entity to lead the design and manufacture of a Zimbabwean-made car with export potential throughout Africa,” did he declare.
“Mr. El Badaoui visited Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries to assess the infrastructure currently in place. We are still working on the logistics of the location of the plant and the institutions that will be involved. Our objective was first of all to propose a framework, a process that we have already done.
“This will get the ball rolling. We are looking for which institutions will be involved in the creation of this prototype. The implementation of the MoU is expected to help rejuvenate the manufacturing sector as well as expand the range of products exported to the region and beyond.
Minister Bimha said other areas of cooperation with the El Badaoui group included establishing an innovation company to undertake research and analysis on the country’s natural resources.
The resources would be transformed into final products ready to be exported.
Plans are also underway to establish a food store to prepare food for the exhibition at Expo Milan.
Zimbabwe crocodile meat, zebra burger and baobab juice burgers attracted a lot of attention at the just concluded Milan Expo, where people lined up to buy them. .
Minister Bimha said that the establishment of the innovation company will improve the analysis of the country’s raw materials with the aim of adding value and enrichment.
He said higher education institutions will spearhead the creation of the entities and their operations.
“These three areas discussed represented a little less than one percent of the opportunities to be realized in future cooperation according to Mr. El Badaoui”, declared Minister Bimha.
“Zimbabwe successfully participated in the recently concluded Expo Milan 2015 with a number of positive results, including the production of innovative value-added products.
The raw materials brought to Milan, including herbs like makoni, zumbani, and resurrection, were made into high-quality alcoholic beverages.
Mr. El Badaoui said Zimbabwe is endowed with natural resources which can be exploited at low cost.
When asked how much his company is going to invest in Zimbabwe, El Badaoui said he was more interested in innovation than in numbers.
“We are going to make a huge investment, but first we have to focus on innovation,” he said. “We must first see what we can do before talking about numbers. Of course, we will be channeling funds into the country.
“Zimbabwe is endowed with many natural resources. What is needed is the right idea to treat them at low cost.