STAKEHOLDERS COME TOGETHER FOR A STIMULATING WORKSHOP PROMOTING ZIMBABWE’S
CBCA PROGRAMME AND TRADE FACILITATION IN AFRICA
Jul. 31 2023
Bureau Veritas, a leading global inspection, certification, and testing company, recently hosted a workshop with 170 stakeholders from the trading value chain was held to promote the CBCA programme being implemented by Bureau Veritas on behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe and other trade facilitation programmes covered by the same in Africa and the Middle East. Notably, the event was graced by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the Ambassador of South Africa to Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, Consumer Council of Zimbabwe and all major business associations such as Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, Shipping and Forwarding Agents' Association of Zimbabwe to mention but a few.
The workshop was conducted to promote standards compliance in intra-Africa trade which is on the rise and will be further catapulted by the incoming Africa Free Trade Area initiative. The Zimbabwe CBCA programme is a pioneering trade facilitation solution for Bureau Veritas as it has been in existence for the past 8 years and has seen evolution over the years. It is a case study that is used across Africa to share ideas, notes and experience within the company.
Informative presentations were delivered by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Consumer Council of Zimbabwe in support of this auspicious event. Mr John Mapani the Deputy Executive Director of CCZ indicated: “Consumer protection is of paramount importance hence the gazetting of the Zimbabwe Consumer Protection Act and the existence of the CBCA programme bolsters their effort as Bureau Veritas fights for protection of Zimbabwe consumers outside the borders of Zimbabwe before goods are imported.”
Bureau Veritas Zimbabwe in conjunction with a high-powered Southern Africa regional management delegation delivered a robust presentation covering an overview of the BV group, the Zimbabwe CBCA programme and over 30 trade facilitation programmes being implemented across Africa and the Middle East. Tendai Malunga the Bureau Veritas Zimbabwe and Botswana Contracts Manager articulated that:
“The Zimbabwe CBCA programme success is attributed to the fact that industry saw it necessary for the programme to be in place to protect the local industry and ultimately consumers. In partnership with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce a robust change management programme was deployed to spread the awareness and appreciation of the associated benefits of the programme as there was resistance when it was initially launched. Zimra was commended for the stellar job they are doing as the enforcement agent.”
In the spirit of Bureau Veritas continuous improvement endeavor a highly interactive question and answer segment was conducted which gave stakeholders in the audience the opportunity to provide feedback, specifically on the Zimbabwe CBCA programme and the other presentations that were delivered. Valuable insights and solutions around streamlining the CBCA process were shared with the stakeholders including all the innovative technological tools at the disposal of importers and exporters. The event was a huge success and a first of its kind in Zimbabwe as the Bureau Veritas technical coordinators had the opportunity for in-person interactions and networking with the clients they serve daily.
In conclusion Mr Mervin Karmotie the Government Services Southern Africa regional Director commended Zimbabwe on the success of the CBCA programme and alluded that: “Countries from the Southern Africa region including South Africa and Zambia need to emulate Zimbabwe’s success as it is leading in protecting its citizens and currently on the verge of implementing a Single Window programme which will exceptionally improve the ease of doing business for the trading value chain as is the case in Democratic Republic of Congo where Bureau Veritas implemented a state-of-the-art solution recognized by the world bank.”