Diaspora Matters

Diaspora Matters

Greetings from Beautiful Namibia


So we found ourselves making one of our longest trips to Windhoek a week before 2018 Christmas, how did it go? Awesome -learnt a lot from the trip and we believe our 2019 book edition on opportunities will be richer.

Traffic between Zimbabwe and Namibia
Traffic is lower than Zambia-Zimbabwe, Mozambique-Zimbabwe and SA-Zimbabwe but higher  than Bots-Zim.
Traffic is mostly for Zimbos travelling to Namibia for holiday and business purposes.
Traffic from Namibia made up of Namibians going for holiday to Vic Falls, Namibians attending church seminars, Namibians going to college in Gweru and Bulawayo. Religion tourism tops the list with PHD and a pastor called Ndlovu with a leading branch network in Namibia.

Zimbos in Namibia
Mostly professionals who emigrated in the last decade working in government departments and the private sector. Of late the number of Zimbos heading to Namibia has been on a low side due to  recession in the country-no new work permit renewals for foreigners.


 Most street vendors in Namibia are from Zimbabwe. They work hard to bring products to  Namibia for sale. Some from SA, Zambia, China, Turkey and Dubai. There is an interesting trend of  Zimbos who source goods from Namibia and load them onto buses and resell them in Angola! We witnessed this in Lesotho…Zimbos buying goods from SA and selling them in Maseru, Mafeteng and other places in Lesotho. This is a special breed of cross borders…beautiful model that protects /hedges one from currency volatilities.

Our entrepreneurship skills on the good side are helping to empower locals to also venture into cross border business especially imports from China and Middle East. On a bad side…we are littering foreign streets. Credit goes to our comrades from Namibia, they have created room for Zimbos to thrive …one wonders what the situation would have been if thousands of Zimbos had not been given space to operate and thrive on foreign soil?

Namibia Economy
The Namibian Dollar is pegged 1:1 to the SA Rand and during the week we were there we witnessed a strike by  pharmacy assistants who graduated in 2017 and 2018 have not secured jobs. Student leaders were threatening strike action after a 5% across the board tuition fee increment. There is pressure for government to reduce the wage bill for the 100 000 strong civil service.

Its costs on average US$100 to travel to Namibia and you can get buses from Roadport, Intercape. Buses available on Tuesday evening and Thursday evening. Other kombis are also available near Roadport. You can also choose AirNamibia with return tickets ranging from $260-$300. Interestingly AirNamibia posted losses …looks like the air industry is a difficult field for AirZim,Air Namibia and SAA.

The cost of accommodation ranges from US$30 to US$150 per night. Monthly rentals N$4.000 to N$10.000.

Namibia can be termed a mini South Africa due to many SA companies with a presence there. It however ranks higher than SA as it is more peaceful, clean and friendly.

Business Opportunities
: Thinking of returning back after retirement? Namibia is a stable country for investment. The weather is great, low crime rates, stable economy and easy access to the region.

Arts and Crafts: Tourism is booming across the region and Namibia is not spared. Our arts and crafts already enjoy a good brand and dominates the landscape. Think in terms of buying and selling in bulk and also setting up schools and colleges for teaching.

Level 11 Cross Borders: Study imports into Namibia and then find how you can also participate in the importation. Do not forget cross borders who buy from China and Middle Est and bring the products for sale in Namibia. Study Zimbos and Namibians who buy goods from Nambia and export them to new markets.

What can you buy for resale? Prices similar to RSA although distance can be a deterrent. Witnessed building materials such as paint being purchased. Business opportunities for vehicle transportation especially vehicle imports from UK and USA.

Our business
Connecting SADC entrepreneurs; We have achieved our objective of connecting SADC entrepreneurs from Lesotho, South Africa, Malawi, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Our country is highly regarded in business circles due to hard work, integrity and innovation .Our objective of connecting regional entrepreneurs well on course. We trained them, inspired them, heard their stories and shared our experiences.

We are helping to set up various start-ups with entrepreneurs connected through e-platforms and sharing opportunity stories. We have done exceptionally well…been well received and we will start to profile stories of our successful graduates and members. The future is bright if Africans learn to work together and sharing information on opportunities.

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Diaspora Matters

Sponsoring the couple of the year


Social Media in Zimbabwe is buzzing with a story of a young man who proposed marriage to his fiancee at an unusual place, Chicken Inn. The initial reaction has been to berate the young man for proposing at a place considered cheap.

The story ends with many people coming out in full support of the couple with many sponsorship deals for the couple. Our forum would also like to join the scramble for sponsorship of this couple and we are offering the following to them:

  1. Free 2019 ZBIN membership to ZBIN that allows them access to well researched articles, business plans and discounted trainings.
  2. Free 2019 Business Opportunities Book for Zimbabweans that carries a lot of entrepreneurship resources and includes a chapter for young people.The book is valued at $30.
  3. Free 2019 Business Opportunities Book for South Africans which has tonnes of resources on entrepreneurship resources and markets in South Africa and the region.The book is valued at $30.
  4. Free Digital Marketing Book for Zimbabweans plus a free Digital Marketing Training.
  5. Free Hat making course worth US$100 for the young lady.

If you know this couple kindly app our admin on +263774081808

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Diaspora Matters

Top Business Opportunities for Malawians in 2019


The year is coming to an end and for most Malawians, business has been good.Malawi is slowly rising with new opportunities emerging in the Warm Heart of Africa. We have conducted several entrepreneurship trainings in Lilongwe and Blantyre giving us an opportunity to discuss business opportunities and below we list the top 10 opportunities to look forward in 2019.

  1. Agro-processing
  2. Real Estate
  3. Auto-parts
  4. Kilombero Regional Markets
  5. ICT
  6. Tourism
  7. Sourcing goods from China
  8. Alternative Energy
  9. Hat making
  10. Network Marketing opportunities

Agro-processing: Perhaps the biggest opportunity for Malawians. The country is expected to experience another great farming season but there are few people involved in processing raw agricultural products in order to produce processed oil, soap, cool drinks, fruit juices and icecream on a smaller scale. We encourage Malawian Nationals to visit Zim and assess our small scale agro-processing industry especially the machines available.

Real Estate: There is a real estate boom in Malawi. A lot of new suburbs are coming up with most of the opportunities grabbed by a few. We witnessed areas in Lilongwe which have developed in record speed. A lot of new commercial buildings coming up. Some peri-urban areas are being incorporated into urban areas.

Auto-parts: Have you witnessed the massive influx in Ex Japanese cars? Who is servicing these cars? Who is providing service kits? The number of cars is expected to continue to rise and creating opportunities for car service providers.

Kilombero Rice: There is a huge appetite for Malawi Rice across the region! Massive potential for innovative entrepreneurs who can push volumes beyond Malawi. Unbelievable interest in Zimbabwe and South Africa-sadly Malawians can only push less than 1% of the volumes required.

The ICT field is fast growing in the beautiful country creating opportunities for young entrepreneurs interested in selling ICT gadgets and services. The source of products is RSA and China.

Tourism has been on an upward trajectory over the past years. There is massive potential on tour packages, accomodation and other support services. Have you seen the number of new lodges being set up along Lake Malawi Shores? You need to carefully study the new developments along the lake and join too.

It looks promising in 2019 for Malawi and do not be left out of new opportunities. Our organisation has also been shaping the entrepreneurial landscape with a number of trainings on carpets and hat making. We return in 2019 with more trainings and researches.

A good number of entrepreneurs are visiting China in order to buy custom made goods and the book by Siku Nkhoma has helped many in the sourcing of goods online from China. The energy deficit is supposed to increase due to urbanisation and growth in the economy-so great opportunity for entrepreneurs interested in providing solar products and invertors.

So look around you, check trends, visit other countries, read entrepreneurship books and take advantage of opportunities in your country and beyond.

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Diaspora Matters

Ten Best Service Providers from Zimbabwe

best wena

Despite the difficult operating environment, a number of service providers are providing excellent client service in Zimbabwe. Our forum conducted a survey of the 10 Best Service Providers in the country and the following companies came out top.

  1. Nyaradzo Funeral Services.
  2. ZOL
  3. Telecel
  4. TelOne.
  5. Steward Bank
  6. City of Bulawayo
  7. ZESA
  8. FBC Whatsapp platform
  9. Nyamapanda Border Post
  10. Safeguard Security

We would like to congratulate the above companies for a job well done in 2018. The following companies have room for improvement in 2019.

  1. Econet customer call centre
  2. VID
  3. Multichoice
  4. Passport Office
  5. City of Harare
  6. Air Zimbabwe
  7. POSB
  8. Chicken Inn
  9. Barclays Bank
  10. Ok Mbuya Nehanda branch

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Diaspora Matters

November 2018 Entrepreneurship Newsletter


Here is our latest newsletter for the month of November 2018 for your reading pleasure. It covers some of the topical issues our forum has been discussing, our latest projects and general business advice from our members. The newsletter is for SADC countries such as Namibia, Malawi, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, South Africa,Zambia and Zimbabwe

Happy Holidays

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Diaspora Matters

Top 10 Official Richest Zimbabweans


Which business sectors have provided the top richest Zimbabweans? ICT, Mining, FMCG, Agriculture, Real Estate and Manufacturing. Which sector provided the fastest billionaire? It is the ICT through Strive Masiyiwa and this sector is likely to add more millionaires and billionaires-this is a global trend!

Below we feature the top 10 as compiled by Forbes.

Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the South African continent. The country is known for its diverse wildlife, national parks, forest reserves, safari, dramatic landscape, waterfall etc. Its capital is Harare which is the most populous and largest city of the country.

Zimbabwe has 16 official languages. The country has experienced the worst political and monetary crisis in the world history. But it is gradually recovering with recently having the $28 billion GDP. The economy of the country majorly depends on mining, agriculture and tourism sector. The country has the most lucrative mining sector as it has the world’s largest platinum reserves. The Marange field is the largest diamond producing field in the world. Zimbabwe is a country which is not only rich with natural resources but also has many billionaires. Here, let’s look at a few 10 richest people in Zimbabwe in 2018.

10. Charles Davy:

He was born in 1952. He owns around 1300 square miles of land by starting the business of hunting safaris. He did lot of hard work to earn the position in the world. His hunting business made him the wealthy man by the late 1990’s. His business provided employment to around 600 black families of an economically ruined country. Hi estimated worth is $540 million.

9. Ian Saunders:
He is currently the chairman of Falcon Gold Ltd. He is also the CEO of New Dawn Mining Corporation since 2008. He was born in 1968. He has more than 20 years of experience in the field of mining business. He has been among the board members of five major companies- New Dawn Mining being the most influential and powerful. His total worth is approximately $590 million.

Richest People In Zimbabwe

8. Michael Fowler:

He is a Zimbabwean entrepreneur. He founded the Innscor Africa limited along with the partner Zed Koudounaris. The business was started as a chicken shop which later converted into a large manufacturing and sale of FMCG Company. The business was also expanded globally from Zimbabwe to all over the world. His fortune is estimated to be $645 million. Along with his partner, he was also involved in the controversy of transferring the funds into overseas accounts.

7. Sam Levy Family:

Richest People In Zimbabwe

He was a Zimbabwean property developer and businessman best remembered for his construction of shopping mall “SAM LEVY’S VILLAGE” in Harare. He was a self made man. He is and was one of the richest people in Zimbabwe at the time of his death. He was born on 9 October, 1929. In the year 1960, he founded the Macey’s Stores limited- a supermarket group. He was majorly into super market businesses. He died from cancer on 5 June, 2012. After his death, he was honoured with a lifetime achievement award as one of the most influential and successful Zimbabwean entrepreneur. His total worth was said to be $677 million. After his death his elder son took over the business.

6. Ken Sharpe:Richest People In Zimbabwe

His real name is Kenneth Raydon Sharpe. He was born in 1973. He is the founder and chairman of West Group of companies. He started his career in 1990 by starting a confectionery business which later on becomes the West Group. His total worth is approximately $690 million. A miraculous incident happened with him- He met with an accident while doing skiing where his brain got 60% cavity and he has only 3% survival rate still he miraculously survived and woke up from coma on his daughter’s birthday.

5. Zed Koudounaris:

Zed is a Zimbabwean entrepreneur who co-founded the Innscor Africa Limited with Michael Fowler. His total fortune is estimated to be $734 million (£603 million).

4. Billy Rautenbach:

Richest People In Zimbabwe

The mega rich mogul, tycoon and financier made around $75 million in three weeks through some shady deals facilitated by the government of Mugabe in the year 2014. It shows how wealthy he will be. His total treasure is worth around $740 million (£608 million). Billy is mainly into the business of trucks, mining, car manufacturing, agriculture etc.

3. Nicholas Van Hoogstraten:

Richest People In Zimbabwe

He was born in 1945 in England. His treasure is worth $750 million (£616 million). He started his career at the age of 11 with selling the stamps from his personal collections to noted collectors. At the age of 17 he joined merchant navy only for a year. Later he started the property business. By the age of 28 he became the youngest millionaire of Britain. He immigrated to Zimbabwe and owned several businesses and more than 1600 square miles of land. He is also the owner of mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo.



2. John Arnold Bredenkamp:

Richest People In Zimbabwe

A former Zimbabwean rugby player and businessmen was born on 11 August, 1940. He was orphaned in childhood; from there on he worked very hard and after graduation joined a tobacco company. After working there for several years he later founded the Casalee Group of companies in Belgium. It was a leaf tobacco marketing company also involved in general trading and barter deals. As per “The Guardian”- Bredenkamp has an estimated worth of $793 million (£700 million) which he has earned from tobacco trading, diamond mining, and sports marketing in 2016.

1. Strive Masiyiwa:

Richest People In Zimbabwe

Born on 29 January, 1961 is a London based Zimbabwean entrepreneur and businessman who tops the list of being the richest person of Zimbabwe with an estimated worth of $860 million. He is the founder of the organization “Econet Wireless”. The company is an international telecommunications group with operations in more than 20 countries. He has been rewarded and recognised globally for his philanthropic activities and is considered as the biggest humanitarian and philanthropist of Zimbabwe. Over the last 20 years, his organisation has helped more than 100,000 African students by providing them scholarships.


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Diaspora Matters

App Group for Shipping Containers Formed


One of the biggest costs you are likely to encounter when importing goods is shipping costs. With a lot of people importing goods from countries such as Turkey, China and Dubai, our forum realised that costs can be reduced drastically if importers pool their funds and import together.

Inorder to help local importers, we have created a community where people share import costs and monitor movement of their goods from abroad. There has been massive responses and interest from many small businesses and we believe this will go a long way in reducing costs and hurdles of importation of goods.

Interested? Then join our Facebook Page where you can find details on the group.


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Useful website for tracking Zim currency rates


Tired of asking people what the latest rates are on the streets? Then your answer lies on this website and today;s rates are as follows:

Last updated Mon 15 Oct 2018, 15:05





USD / Bond


Bond / RTGS




ZAR / Bond




Meanwhile our forum has recommended the setting up of Bureau De Changes for all forex dealing. This helps to formalise the informal sector and stabilise rates in addition to creation of formal employment and contribution to the fiscus through taxes.

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Riding the hyper inflationary wave


Its now a fact that we are in hyper inflationary season and this is a wave we have to ride and avoid sinking-its a sink or swim situation. So how do you protect your business?

1.Join groups where other entrepreneurs discuss latest events, the experiences they are facing and strategies they are using. Our forum provides various platforms for small businesses discussions

2.Some businesses have closed shop on a temporary basis. This allows them to take stock of their financial and operational affairs. They are waiting for the wave to subside and restrategise when the coast is clear. You can make huge sales but at a loss or increase prices and lose your loyal customers…its safer to close shop and then monitor developments.

3.Keep in contact with your suppliers,how much are they charging? What are their next plans?

4.Everyone is waiting for the next government policy measure to address the crisis, will there be price controls? Will there be dollarisation? The recent monetary policy is a reference document…keep informed of the next steps to be taken and assess their likely impact on your business operations and models

5.Your clients should also be informed of the steps you are taking, challenges you are facing….keep them informed of your business closure and opening…clients hate surprises!

6.Monitor your competition activities…are they closed too or open? Have they found an alternative supplier?

7. Foreign markets…take this period to look at opportunities in the region, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho and RSA. Focusing your operations locally increases risks, are there gaps in the region you can exploit?

8. Keep a positive mindset…allow time to panic, to be angry, to predict doom….but after this phase its time to innovate, find out how you survived in 2008, look for references from South America for countries that have experienced the same situation like us. Your research skills will be crucial  in finding out how others are doing it…Innovate, get your best brains on the table and come up with scenarios of operations. If dollarisation comes…how does it impact you? If keep prices keep rising…what is the end game? Crucially when is it going to stop?

9. Dont forget risk management…keep your operations safe-your inventory, premises, hard cash if you have any-risk is extremely high in inflationary periods.

10. Manage the stress…stress from clients, suppliers, employees. Everyone is experiencing stress and therefore be careful of stress related strategies. Stress stops you from clear thinking or thought processes, stress sometimes lead to unnecessary panic.

11. Are you surprised with the turn of events? If you were totally caught unaware this means there were gaps in your business strategy, you did not do enough scenario planning in your strategy because you should simply have activated Plan B or C. Do not be caught unawares next time, your business strategy should be water tight next time and closely follow macro-economic events in the region and in the country.

12. It will be well (hopefully)…This is a phase-perhaps necessary to normalise the economy in the long run. We have gone through this before and survived…Of course it will leave a lot of scars but if you go through the points we noted above you can find ways to lessen the stress.

All the best


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