ZimTrade engages Mashava arts and crafts sector

By Simbarashe Tasekwa 

Masvingo Province has a lot of drivers and opportunities that if exploited, could turn the province into an industrial hub with increased export earnings, in line with the devolution agenda.

The province is well known for sugarcane and livestock production which are the major sectors supporting economic growth. 

Besides sugar and livestock, ZimTrade is on a drive to promote the export of arts and craft products as part of efforts to fulfil the devolution agenda where each province is required to identify its own export drivers. 

According to the dictates of the National Development Strategy One (NDSI), each province is expected to contribute to the economic development of the country through local resources and products.

Together with Great Zimbabwe University, ZimTrade recently visited the Mashava Arts and Crafts Centre in Masvingo Province to discuss best options to grow operations of crafters and grow their exports. 

Mashava Arts and Crafts are manufactures and exporters of art and crafts and all curio related products. 

The organisation manufactures different types of artifacts according to customer specifications.

The association started operating in 2014 and was registered for export in 2019. 

Mashava Arts and Crafts Centre’s operations has 62 artists, and they also employ women for the cleaning of artefacts process. 

Currently their major market is Netherlands and seek to penetrate the regional and other European markets.

ZimTrade has identified the Centre and all artists around it as a potential cluster in Masvingo which can contribute to the provincial gross domestic product alongside sugar, livestock, and horticulture.

About the visit 

During the visit, ZimTrade and Great Zimbabwe University agreed develop a strategic business plan to guide the operations of the cluster to increase the exports of the association.

Talking to artists ZimTrade CEO, Allan Majuru, urged the arts and crafts players to fully embrace digital marketing to improve the visibility of their products on the international market. 

He encouraged the players to increase their visibility on online platforms in order to generate interest and awareness of their products. 

He added that, artists can write stories about their challenges, successes and their society on their blogs. 

“It is the stories that sell the art, so it is important to write blogs, so that when viewing the art, the buyers can easily connect to the meaning of a portrait,” said Majuru.

ZimTrade will also develop export capacities of the players. 

These training will focus on pricing, export marketing, trade negotiations, branding and financial management. 

Furthermore, artists will also have a chance to interact with experts from SES Germany who will help them in improving their product and educate them on various procedures that need to be followed to ensure they are able to export.

Germany SES provides technical assistance to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME in improving productivity, quality and ultimately impact economic performance.

The cluster currently finds it difficult to access export markets, especially international markets. 

ZimTrade will assist the cluster on identifying markets for the cluster as well as creating direct access to buyers in international markets such as Asia, Europe, and the Middle-East.

Speaking also during the visit, Director of University Enhancement, Rtd. Lt. Col Niya Mtombeni mentioned the University now has a revised mandate to industrial and assist communities and organisations around the University. 

Great Zimbabwe University’s traditional tripartite mission of teaching, research and community service has been revised to align to the urgent national ambition to attain middle income status by year 2030. 

It is now demanded of the nation’s higher and tertiary education sector to not only teach; research and community serve but innovate and industrialise Zimbabwe. 

Great Zimbabwe University has a museum at its Mashava compass and more than 500 pieces from the Mashava arts and crafts have been displayed. 

This will assist on improving visibility of the pieces.

Players in the arts and craft sector commended ZimTrade for the noble initiative, saying “We welcome the idea the initiative ZimTrade is taking especially for Masvingo province, this is going to increase our sales. 

“We were affected by COVID-19, we could not get tourists to come down to purchase our products, so with ZimTrade coming through, this means that we will increase our visibility in several countries”.



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E-mail: info@zimtrade.co.zw


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Tel: 263-9 66151, 62378, 263-8677000378

E-mail: info@zimtrade.co.zw

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