The first ever “Clothing Indaba”, an initiative of the Zimbabwe Clothing Manufacturers Association (ZCMA) took place on the 16 – 17th November 2012 under the Theme “Made in Zimbabwe”. The inaugural event took place at Platinum Lifestyle Estate in Borrowdale Harare.
ZCMA is the founding employer body of the National Employment Council for the Clothing Industry (NECCI). It is now partnered with the Indigenous Clothing Manufacturers Association (ICMA), with both organizations representing the employers at the NECCI. There is no prerequisite for either association. Both have voluntary membership and work together very closely for the good of the industry.
The clothing industry has been identified as a priority sector for redevelopment by the government with various interventions detailed in the Industrial Development Policy and recent budgetary statements. These interventions are critical to the redevelopment, and they are the spring board upon which ZCMA intends to drive the sector back to its previous size of 35 000 employees within five years, from its current slumped level of 6 500. This ambitious plan is founded on numerous strategies which the Association is implementing.
ZCMA has set up several different committees to deal with the strategies. They have a Trade and investment Committee, Imports Compliance Committee, a Collective Bargaining Committee and other ad hoc committees for special events such as this Clothing Indaba to showcase locally made products and designers.
The Indaba took place over two days with the first day mainly focusing on plenary sessions where discussions on the importance of the clothing industry, foundation stones and competing in the global village were scheduled for the morning of the 16th November and defending own market, import compliance and “Realizing the Opportunity” for the afternoon. A speaker on attracting investment was invited to speak on day two, on which the Trade Fair and Fashion Shows were also a high-light.
ZCMA is working with COMESA and with the co-operation of the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises on a pilot project whereby a number of individual operators will be trained on all aspects of clothing manufacture and business administration such that they can operate as a cluster giving them the ability to start to supply the formal market rather than being dependant on the informal.
To help act as a conduit to the employment of young graduates in clothing and textile design and production, ZCMA is in the process of establishing MOU’s with three national institutions whereby it is hoped to be able to assist in guiding the planned courses and curriculum, as well as be able to provide opportunities for work once studies are complete
A fashion show on the afternoon of the 17th November showcased garments by young designers from tertiary institutions around the country culminating with a showcase by the two top designers from Zimbabwe Fashion Week 2012, Maita Marimo and Intisaar Mukadam and the winner of the Young Designers Competition at ZFW Kimberly Masimbe.
The association continues to grow and welcomes all clothing manufacturers, retailers and buyers to participate in this event and become part of the revival of the clothing industry, and therefore, the national economy. Anyone interested in more information should contact Thandie Chingonzo, the ZCMA Secretary, on firstname.lastname@example.org or (04) 770404-8.