Use local content policy to develop economy: Diplomat

The ambassador of Caribbean Islands of Antigua & Barbuda to Nigeria, Wallace Williams, has called on Zimbabwe to enact local content laws that can promote the economic development of the country.

Speaking at the inaugural International Business and Investment Forum in Gweru last Saturday, Williams said it was disheartening that some foreign investors brought their own labour at the expense of creating jobs for the locals.

“When we talk of local content, what are we talking about? We talk of employment (of locals),” he said.

“We talk of foreign direct investment, but these people mostly bring their own labour. How about the locals?”

The Caribbean top diplomat said Zimbabwe needed to come up with strategies as well as policy, contract and legislative frameworks that advance the economy for the benefit of the locals.
“What sort of contracts have government signed if Zimbabwe does not have a Local Content Act; you need to have one,” he said.

Williams said, while it was important to have foreign direct investment, there was need for Zimbabwe, and Africa in general, to craft policies that protect locals by stopping leakages in critical sectors of the economy.

Gweru-based River Valley Holdings organised the one-day business summit aimed at unlocking investment capital and encouraging locals to form synergies with captains of industry from other parts of the world.

River Valley chairman Mncedisi Dube said business synergies and networking were important if the country is to achieve an upper middle economy status by 2030.

The business indaba ran under the theme Exploring Business Opportunities through Global Networking.

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