FOREIGN Affairs deputy minister Christopher Mutsvangwa yesterday said exports were the only way that could lead to a comeback of the Zimbabwean dollar.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER
Addressing MPs at a workshop on ZimAsset in Harare, Mutsvangwa said Zimbabweans were educated, but it was time to translate ideologies into inventions and products for the export market.
“Exports are very important for the competitiveness of the country and if Zimbabwe wants its currency to have a comeback and become strong, we must export,” Mutsvangwa said.
“The only way is to manufacture and have Made in Zimbabwe products — and that is not difficult to achieve as we have an educated resource base, but the challenge is to produce goods for exports.”
Mutsvangwa said there were three to four world-class mineral resources in the Great Dyke, adding that if the Chinese or Indians could use their natural resources for the benefit of their own countries, Zimbabweans were able to do it.
“I have misgivings about the University of Zimbabwe business school in that it has not produced a businessman of note like the Harvard University in America which produced Bill Gates. Maybe there is need to re-look at their syllabus,” he said.
“All over the world there is a huge market for lithium which is a resource found in Zimbabwe and Bolivia and Zimbabwe should be major suppliers of batteries in the world.
“We need to harness resources because all new cars in the world will be using lithium for their batteries.”
Mutsvangwa said contracts negotiation was very poor, adding that Zimbabwe must demand those companies coming to invest should first build power stations before they start mining.
“As Parliament we should know these are the things that make a country competitive. We should be able to realise our potential. We are like someone who has inherited a sack of gold, but does not open it,” he said.
Secretary for Mines and Mining Development Francis Gudyanga said Zimbabwe produced 40 900 tonnes of lithium in 2013, realising $559 million.
He said tantalite was also extracted in most rural areas like Bikita, Kamativi, Mberengwa, Mutoko, Odzi, Karoi and Bindura by women and it was used for cellular phones, laptops, iPods and army artillery and had a value of $100 per kilogramme.