Morris Mpala, MoB Capital (Pvt) Ltd
INITIALLY we were disturbed by the number of Zimbabweans resident outside the country but now we think it is a blessing.
It now makes our financial freedom crusade attainable with “Zimbos”, by “Zimbos” for “Zimbos”. That is financial democracy and financial territorial integrity.
If there was any point in time when the Diaspora and the locally based needed each other it is now. They do complete the Zimbabwean economic puzzle perfectly. This scenario is now playing to Zimbabwe’s advantage in a big and unprecedented manner.
Our initial curse is turning into a blessing that needs cultivating and nurturing for it to realise its maximum potential. Potential alone is nothing if it is not realised because it remains just that without tangible benefits.
What needs to be understood are vital roles that each of the two have to play in this crucial emancipation period.
Zimbabweans are all over and this now makes it easy to conquer the world as we are everywhere and thus we can be felt globally.
The network is there already, the world culture is now ours because we are universal like that.
Both parties have different roles to complete the picture in a complementary manner just each needs to understand their crucial role and play it to their full potential.
What does Zim Diaspora bring to the table?
There is acquired expertise from working abroad. Zimbabwe has just been introduced to the best practice way of doing business and no one understands that better than Zimbabwean Diaspora. The rich experience works well with the locals in cementing knowledge base for business to tap from.
They bring partnerships that could usher in capital. This is competitive long cost effective capital that most industries are crying for.
They bring in that trust between want to be investors and the local businesses due to years and years of being out there in the world.
They also bring with them a certain culture of doing business that we are still to grasp from our years and years of distorted economic fundamentals.
Assuming they are knowledgeable, we could tap into their take on business. Their savings are a source of capital. This becomes a source of competitive capital, which could be turned into cost effective debt/equity for businesses trying to come out of economic doldrums.
The Diaspora community understands the Zimbabwean way and the international way of doing business, thus bridging the knowledge gap. They now have that exposure to potential capital foreign markets to Zimbabwe, which aides in our exportation drive. They also intimately know these markets and their culture.
And these are our sons and daughters who can be trusted to bring us solutions not headaches. It’s easier to trust kith and kin than total strangers. It makes even signing of MoUs easier and user friendly than it would normally happen with international business deals.
Patriotic locals’ role
They have the industries, land that can be tapped into. These are ripe and ready for takeover through capital injection or equity injection. Suffice to say these are at a discount as at present. They understand the local landscape better and so are accustomed to local culture which is vital for effective productivity and service provision.
They need to be good, willing people and capable to embrace integration with what the Diaspora brings to table.
Locals provide a good and correct state of affairs of business on the Zimbabwean landscape with all the vital statistics for the other parties to make informed decisions.
They have minimal infrastructure ready for smart partnerships to flourish with the Diaspora.
Zim – Zim partnership seems to be based on integrity given it’s one people. Locals also know their way around in terms of business requirements to expedite the process of commencing business in Zimbabwe.
The role of government
All the government needs to do is create a very conducive environment for these two partnerships to thrive and bear fruits. The government has to bring down all the barriers to make this a success story. We have elaborated these before and we just need to move with one goal to sustain these two parties.
The government needs to understand bringing its own citizenry together is not an easy task due to complexes among family as it were. It has to try hard to convince both parties that it is committed to seeing these joint ventures succeed through carefully delicate cultivation of meeting the demands of these parties and meeting their business demands in full not just piecemeal mediocre solutions. Above all listen to both their concerns and address them as they arise.
These investments have to be protected to increase trust. The need to safeguard such investments assures more to follow once one or two are successfully implemented.
Create an environment that is user-friendly, cost effective, and efficient and simple to the business people and their businesses in line with international standards.
These three partners need to negotiate with integrity to bring about the necessary change to the Zimbabwe landscape. The need for trust for all parties can never be overemphasised.
Once these arrangements are done there is need for continual engagement to sustain these partnerships as at times it involves non Zimbabwean citizenry. The need appreciate that we do not operate in a vacuum as FDIs (whether Zim Diaspora or otherwise) are looking for a secure home for their capital whether financial or otherwise.
Proudly Zimbabwean and having a strategic mind on future generations should be the guiding principle as we ask the man in the mirror to bring this tri-partite rendezvous to fruitful progression.
God bless Zimbabwe !!
If you live in Bulawayo please conserve water
If you live in Zimbabwe please use electricity sparingly: SOS (switch off switches)
If you live on planet earth please preserve the environment
Morris Mpala is managing director MoB Capital (Pvt) Limited, a microfinance institution offering loans, micro-insurance and advisory services to small to medium enterprises as well as individuals.