ZIF’s indaba to champion import substitution and adoption of efficient technologies in SADC
By Ndanatsiwa Tagwireyi
The Zimbabwe Institute of Foundries (ZIF) is set to host the second edition of the Metal Casting Indaba from 10 to 11 November 2022 at the Zimbabwe School of Mines, amid indications that issues of import substitution and adopting efficient technologies in the metal casting sector will dominate proceedings of the event.
The indaba, which will run under the theme, “Enhanced Metal Castings through Efficient Technologies,” is coming after the launch of the Engineering, Iron and Steel Sector (EIS) strategy in May 2022. EIS strategy outlines the roadmap to the transformation of this key metals industry.
Prior to the upcoming second edition of the metal casting indaba, ZIF gave stakeholders a platform to deliberate on sound strategies that can turnround the fortunes of the metals sector through a summit held in partnership with the Harare Institute of Technology in March this year. ZIF Chief Operations Officer Dosman Mangisi holds that the upcoming indaba is critical towards making an impact in the metals sector judging from the developments that have taken place to date.
“With this year’s event, we are marking the second edition of the Metal Casting Indaba and we are taking stock of the growth witnessed so far, remember we did a summit which was the second major big event and also this year we are inspired with issues of technology and quality control,” Mangisi told the Mining Vision Magazine citing that: “These issues have been quite topical in the sector as we look forward to do import substitution, it is all about quality”
The ZIF metal casting indaba will be attended by local, regional, and international players as part of efforts to find ways that can curb the importation of metals from outside the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and promote the growth of the metals sector with the region.
“SADC is advocating for us to lock business for metal casting within SADC to cut the import bill and reduce metals imports, currently over $30 million is going out of SADC,” Mangisi said. “So, if we take that money and retool our industry and give trade to the regional foundries as we look forward to setting the Regional Foundry Association, we would have made great steps.”
It is on record that the foundry sector in many developing nations has over the years failed to keep pace with changes on the global market with respect to product design, product life cycles and changes in production and manufacturing technologies. Against this background, the upcoming indaba is expected to be graced by the Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Vijay Khanduja as part of efforts to strengthen engagements on technology aspects in the foundry sector.
“India has advanced technology in foundries in the world. It is one of the leading in metal casting, so we want to build a bridge of technology transfer and engagement,” Mangisi said.
According to Mangisi, efforts being made by metal casting industry players are having an impact in various aspects as evidenced by associations in support of the sector as well as young people who are constantly finding ways to penetrate the sector
“We now even have associations of Mine Managers, Metallurgists and Material Scientists in Zimbabwe in support of the sector. We have students who are keen, a lot is happening on the ground, we now have youths in Foundries who are moving around collecting scrap metal for their living,” he said.