Diaspora Matters

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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The untold story of cross border bus accidents in South Africa


More than 20  people perished in 2 separate  cross border bus accidents near Polokwane in South Africa  last week. What could be possible  causes of the accidents? Our organisation conducts various entrepreneurship training programs across the region and last week we traveled to South Africa for trainings in South Africa and Botswana.

On the early hours of Monday, we witnessed a Zambian cross border bus accident that claimed the lives of 9 Zambians. We arrived 10 minutes after the accident had happened and witnessed most passengers still trapped inside the overturned bus. The apparent cause of the accident was a burst front tyre . A few days later another bus accident carrying Zimbabweans claimed a similar number of casualties although the cause of the accident is still unknown.

What could be the causes of the bus accidents? It could be mechanical failures such as tyre bursts, human errors such as fatigue or thugs throwing obstacles on the roads in order to cause accidents and steal from hapless accident victims. The latter point maybe true given the timing of accidents and also confirmation of several buses that are being stoned on the N1 road. So bus owners and passengers should be on the look out for deliberate accidents happening in the wee hours on the road. We witnessed several victims being assisted by passersby and there were suspicions of some victims losing possessions such as wallets to ‘helpers’.

So choose carefully the time of travel because travelling during the early morning on this stretch of the road makes you susceptible to possible attacks and accidents.

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SADC Women Entrepreneurs Newsletter


What are women entrepreneurs up to? What is trending? How is our organisation helping women in Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe? Get all the answers from our exciting newsletter covering some of our regional work in Southern Africa.

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Of Glenview 3 Clinic, Cholera Outbreak and Internal controls


Did spend the greater part of today at Glenview 3 Clinic one of the epicenters of the cholera outbreaks. The clinic is one of the 2 referral centres assisting patients with cases or suspected cases of cholera and typhoid . Had taken a relative who was critically ill but luckily he was attended to after 8 hours of treatment. Witnessed a lot of great work being done by the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, City Council Health Dept, Oxfam GB and MSF. Hundreds of patients were being attended to and treated efficiently.

Room for improvement

The area where patients queue for treatment is situated next to the road meaning that other clinic patients and visitors were mixing with cholera patients. One could witness a lot of mothers with newly born babies walking past the the centre thereby making them vulnerable to infections. The queues are sometimes long blocking the entrance to the clinic  therefore becoming susceptible to mixing and mingling with suspected cholera patients. This may result in more people getting infections especially patients and visitors to the clinic.

This can be rectified by creating a separate space for everyone queuing for cholera treatment especially to the immediate left of the entrance instead of cholera patients queuing parallel to the main entry . The health officials who designed the treatment centre should therefore review the internal controls so as to reduce unnecessary infections given that the diseases are highly contaminable.

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