Verify Engineering has been invited by the Mozambican government to install oxygen tanks at selected hospitals after the neighbouring country was impressed by the gas plant in Mutare.
This came out after visiting Mozambican Minister of Health Dr Armindo Tiago paid a courtesy call on Acting President Constantino Chiwenga at his Munhumutapa offices in Harare yesterday.
The Mutare plant has a production capacity of 50 tonnes of medical oxygen per day, and Zimbabwe requires 150 tonnes per month. Acting President Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health, also announced a donation of 150 tonnes of oxygen to Mozambique.
He stressed the importance of strengthening medical tourism for both republics saying it was better for Mozambique to import what Zimbabwe could produce or vice-versa.
This was in line with Africa’s goal for inclusive and sustainable development, entailed in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Emphasising the need to strengthen local solutions, Acting President Chiwenga said: “There is no need for us to go to other countries. We should be able to develop our medical infrastructure so that we are able to specialise in a number of areas.”
He said the two countries had capacity to develop themselves and called for promoting of trade between the two sister countries.
The Acting President talked of strengthening the AfCFTA whose role was to reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers amongst African countries by providing a single market for goods and services. “Already we have signed free trade for Africa but also as neighbours, we need to trade amongst ourselves. This is the only way we can develop. We are the ones who are going to develop our countries.”
Acting President Chiwenga added: “It is important to leverage on human capital skills and competencies to gain competitive advantage in the region and beyond. We have that capacity.
“The development will no doubt create a sound business case for Zimbabwe and Mozambique in the pharmaceutical sector,” he said.
Talking about the oxygen plant which impressed the visitors the Acting President said it was built using local resources and expertise from universities.
Acting President Chiwenga also announced the donation of PCR machines to Mozambique by Zimbabwe’s private sector valued at US$149 000. After his three-day working, Dr Tiago said he was exposed to the country’s health system and Mozambique was interested in collaborating with both the Zimbabwean Government and the local private sector.
He also toured Varichem pharmaceutical manufacturing company and was impressed by the firm’s ability to use local expertise in their production cycle. “What we have seen is huge investment in terms of equipment and technology,” said the visiting Minister.
We have seen local expertise where the majority of technicians are Zimbabweans. That is what we want for Africa; we do not want to be importing technology and expertise all the time.
Developing human resources is one of the things we saw here. So with that in mind maybe we have to work with the Government and the private sector and start looking at technology transfer from Zimbabwe to Mozambique.
The two republics enjoy excellent bilateral relations dating back to the liberation struggle against colonial rule.
By Mukudzei Chingwere