Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
A ZIMBABWEAN entrepreneur with business interests across Africa has created a platform for potential investors to exchange business ideas within the continent.
Mr Chad Chawanda, who has business interests in South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Zimbabwe, has established an intra-Africa trade platform through one of his subsidiaries, Size Chunk Import and Export (SCIX).
SCIX runs a podcast where Mr Chawanda carries out interviews with some of the most decorated and successful business people and leaders on the continent.
To date Mr Chawanda has interviewed notable business people like Big Cold chief executive officer and Zimbabwean-born Newton Matope, top businessman Adam Molai and DHL Africa director, Mr Jeff Rhodes.
Speaking from his Rwanda base, Mr Chawanda said the idea was born out of his discussion with Rwandan President, Paul Kagame.
“In July 2019 I attended the 25th Liberation Anniversary in Rwanda where I had a chance to meet with the President Paul Kagame. He said powerful words to me and invited me to invest in that country as a Zimbabwean entrepreneur.
“I then realised there was a need for us as Africans to support each other and share ideas. That is how the company SCIX was born, which runs the podcast,” he told Business Chronicle.
Mr Chawanda said the company, which is into gas imports and exports, runs the podcast and looks to share information among Africans ahead of the looming Africa Continental Free Trade Area, which is scheduled to start in January 2021.
“I decided to set up in Rwanda because that is where the journey of Intra-Africa Trade was made a reality in 2018 when African heads of states signed the agreement to open the ratification of the Africa Continental free trade area (AFCTA),” he said.
“I have, however, seen that as Zimbabweans we have a lot of knowledge to share especially given that most successful finance institutions in Africa have Zimbabweans working there,” said Mr Chawanda.
He said Zimbabwe also boasts of some of the busiest ports of entry on the continent such as Beitbridge Border Post, as well as the one-stop-border post at Chirundu.
“There is need across Africa to speed up the movement of goods and people.
“Also remember Zimbabwe is in the top five countries that have high intra-Africa trade potential,” said Mr Chawanda.
He said the platform, which is not limited to Zimbabweans is set to assure Africans that they can invest in their own continent rather than wait for people from other continents.
Mr Chawanda has interest in gas trading and distribution in Zimbabwe where he also operates a fast-food outlet.
He also has helped in the setting up of a coal gasification company in Hwange.