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Diaspora Matters

Weekly Update: Parallel Market Rates Nose Dive

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We start the week with a new president and hope to end the week with a new cabinet. We look forward to an A-Team that represents the best in talent that Zim possesses. Zim is not short on talent and His Excellency and team will have to cast their net wide and not only think of locals but diasporans too in search of a winning team that inspires confidence in the economy.

Confidence Boost and Parallel Market Rates.
We have already discussed about the need to create an enabling environment for business and job creation. We wrote a letter to the president where ZBIN members expressed their views on issues they would like the new government to tackle. Some of them were included in the inauguration speech by the new leader of the country. We thank our members for speaking their minds. We are doing it for the good of our nation. The best news of the week has to be small improvement in cash availability. Although coming in drips and drops-there are signs of cash is slowly coming back into circulation. Our members have noted hard cash disbursement at Cabs in Karoi where a clients were withdrawing up to US400, in Harare from banks such as Barclays Bank, Steward Bank and POSB amongst others.

All of this change is happening within a week, we applaud the efforts from relevant authorities and hope that the situation will improve significantly in the following weeks. Zimbabweans on the ground are not interested much in fancy policies….we have heard about them over the past decades…we want results. We want to see ATMs starting to dispense cash before christmas, we want to see increased circulation of money. W want to have confidence that if you leave your money in a bank-you can withdraw it any time. We want confidence in the system and the confidence witnessed during the previous week is encouraging. Parallel market rates seem to have plunged with rates of USD to Bond Note falling from a peak of 1.85 to 1.35. We look forward to parallel market rates dropping further and this will depend on the actions of the new administration-for this week, it looks promising, how about next week? Only time will tell….

One Year Anniversary for ZBIN Website.
The greatest news for the forum is that our website turns 1 year this week. A major milestone for the forum as we have provided our members and followers more than 460 free articles on business in Zimbabwe and beyond. We created a National Filing Cabinet of business articles and resources for the SME sector in Zimbabwe. A digital platform that enables people to access useful information on opportunities in Zimbabwe and how to run their businesses. At a clock of a button, one can access information on what is trending in terms of business in Zimbabwe and the region.

We had the Diaspora and remote areas in mind when we set up the website. A person in the diaspora may not be able to access information on business opportunities easily. There is no diaspora friendly digital platform that helps the diaspora community to make informed investment decisions in the country-so we became the forum of choice churning out more than an article per day. We feel humbled to have thousands of regular followers in Australia, Dubai, USA, UK, Canada, South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho and Zambia.

A record 300,000 people have accessed the forum in the past months and this is no mean achievement for a small business site. Whilst initially meant to assist Zimbabweans, we have expanded the focus of the forum and website to include all people across the world. We have covered Trinidad and Tobago, have a solid following in Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia and India. We have provided a gate way into investment and business into Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole.

We thank everyone for the support especially Farai our Deputy Board Chair, a finance professional based in USA. without him providing financial assistance to keep the website running there would be no website to talk of. This helps to show that the diaspora community is extremely key to the business sector in Zimbabwe. We would like to thank SKT Website design for freely providing website redesign services 4 months after the initial website had been put up.

As we enter year , we look forward to a redesigned website that makes it easy to access, download information and resources and providing a great platform for business discussions. We will also be adding more platforms that will help to showcase investment opportunities in Zimbabwe to all corners of the globe.

What Else….
1.We have not forgotten about the Mozambique trip to Beira, logistics are being put in place for the trip that will happen in December.
2. Festive Holiday Business Preps-We hope to do a Facebook Live Video on key preparations that entrepreneurs need to consider in preparing for the festive season business.

Wishing you a blessed and productive week.

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