Kiyapili Sibanda, Business Reporter
A GROUP of Zimbabweans based in the United Kingdom have set up a Diaspora investment forum with the aim of harnessing funding to support the growth of local businesses.
One of the group founder members, Mr Taffi Nyawanza, a managing director at a UK firm, said their dream was to bring together Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to pool resources and invest back home.
He said their plan of action involves holding a series of road shows in countries such as South Africa and the United States of America (USA) where they will sensitise the Diaspora community on the need to form investment consortiums.
“As a consortium of Diasporans we’ll be pooling resources, investing in viable businesses in Zimbabwe and acting as a facilitator offering a match-making service or investment, matching those who are not in our group but who want to invest in viable businesses in Zimbabwe,” said Mr Nyawanza.
Another group founder member Mr Hillary Chindodo, who is founder and managing director of Commodity and General Trading Limited, a UK-based agriculture, metals and energy trader, said Zimbabwe has abundant natural resources and investment opportunities.
“What we’re doing as the Diaspora is to leverage opportunities and financial resources that we have come into contact with over the years and to be able to harness them,” he said.
“We want to go back home and transform natural resources into something that can benefit our country,” said Mr Chindodo.
He said their organisation will seek partnerships with emerging market investors, financial and developmental institutions that have direct interest in Sub-Saharan Africa and those that have interest in partnering with them.
The group believes investment by people in the Diaspora will help the country with much needed foreign currency, boost the economy’s viability and create employment opportunities.
Its members are mainly drawn from professionals who are based in the UK while some are running small businesses in that country.