Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
FOREX Trading School Africa will next month launch a nationwide competition to inculcate online foreign currency trading culture in the country and uplift the living standards of the citizens.
The institution’s chief trading officer Mr Kuda Manzanga told Business Chronicle that the upcoming competition, which will run for four months will be launched at this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.
This year’s ZITF would be held in Bulawayo from April 23 to 27.
“We are launching a nationwide trading competition at this year’s trade fair. The competition, which will run over a four-month period will see the winner walking away with a car while the runner up will win an all-expenses paid for a three-day holiday to Victoria Falls.
“The competition is designed to foster a trading culture in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Online currency trading is the world’s largest market generating over $7 trillion a day while in London alone, over $2,7 trillion is exchanged through the virtual platform.
The school, which recently partnered local universities and other tertiary institutions in setting up trading clubs has trained over 4 000 people in Zimbabwe since its establishment in 2017.
“The competition will see all those whom we have trained fighting for the top prize. Traders will be required to fund their trading accounts and the winner will be judged based on the highest percentage account growth achieved over the four month period.
“We will also expect the candidate to place a certain amount of trades every month and to maintain a detailed trading plan and journal,” said Mr Manzanga, adding that maintaining such records was key to developing and becoming a professional trader.
Forex Trading School Africa has also engaged local universities and other tertiary institutions in setting up trading clubs.
“For instance, we will be training, in partnership with the University of Zimbabwe’s elite Economic Think Tanks Association in April and we have other training sessions planned having already completed training recently at MSU (Midlands States University). We also train the public as well,” he said.
As part of their economic empowerment, Mr Manzanga said after the competition, top 10 traders would also receive an undisclosed amount of funding to trade with.
In January, the school launched a $50 000 mentorship programme aimed at empowering potential entrepreneurs across the country with online foreign currency trading skills.
The institution was also working closely with leading international brokerage and investment firms to give the top traders capital to trade with.
“It’s not difficult for an elite trader to be given US$50 million dollars to manage by a hedge fund if they can show a proven technique. Hedge funds manage billions of dollars and they are always looking for people with specialised skill sets to manage small tranches of capital,” he said.
This, Mr Manzanga said was in line with the setting up of the trading Special Economic Zone in Bulawayo, which will be the first of its kind in the country.
It is hoped that the trading SEZs will not only allow people to trade and earn currency for themselves but for the country at large.
“We want to train 10 000 people by end of this year and our dream is to see 30 percent of them become consistently profitable traders.
“If we can have 3 000 traders making $1 000 a month each, that will work out to US$36 million per annum and it is not difficult to imagine trading being a bigger forex earner than tobacco within five years,” he said.
Mr Manzanga noted that Zimbabwe has the potential of becoming regional financial centre in Africa taking advantage of the Continental Free Trade Area presently being drafted.
“To achieve this, there must be a culture shift in Zimbabwe. We need to encourage trading. In other countries trading is as common as keeping chickens in your backyard to earn extra income.
“We have seen other African countries adopt trading as we have been travelling throughout Sadc training people. We do feel forex trading is something Zimbabweans in particular should adopt.
“We understand what causes currencies to strengthen and weaken, we adopted a basket of currencies almost 10 years ago, we understand exchange rates and perhaps without realising it, these collective experiences give us a unique advantage in the trading world.
“We want to see these experiences put to productive use in our country to address unemployment and help meet the nation’s goals of becoming a middle class economy by 2030. To achieve this, we need to develop deeper capital markets.
“We need more instruments and asset classes to our Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. Ultimately we need people who understand and appreciate trading in order to grow the industry,” he said.