Zimbabwean professional marketers have a huge role to play in accelerating local companies’ penetration into the regional markets ahead of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) set to start in January 2021, Industry and Commerce Minister, Sekai Nzenza has said.
The AfCFTA will be the world’s largest free-trading bloc with a market reach of 1.2 billion people and a combined Gross Domestic Product of US$3 trillion.
Addressing marketers at the Annual Marketers Convention in Nyanga organized by the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe (MAZ), Nzenza urged marketers to push for local industry penetration into regional markets.
“Government this year acceded to the AfCFTA and with it comes competitiveness. I would like to encourage the Association in its endeavours to strategize towards global penetration of Zimbabwean Industry and Enterprise by deploying the tools Marketing 5.0 has to offer,” she said.
This year’s Convention is running under the theme, Marketing 5.0: Reconfiguring Business in the New Normal, which speaks to the changing digital trends not only in marketing, but in the manner of conducting business as a whole.
“Every marketer here knows that the success of any organization is anchored on your ability to manage your consumer relationships. I therefore encourage all sectors here present across all value chains to embace Marketing 5.0 as a strategic device to grow enterprise,” she added.
The AfCFTA was initially scheduled to start on July 1 this year but due to disruptions from the Covid-19 response by regional governments it was moved to January next year.
Market watchers have underscored the need for a vibrant marketing strategy not only at company level but also at a national level to change the external negative perception of the country if Zimbabwe is to realize tangible gains from the free-trade agreement.
However, Zimbabwean companies still have a big task at hand before they are able to compete.
Issues around efficiency, affordability and quality of local products remain the major challenges in competing against much efficient economies in the region