The Chamber hosted a breakfast meeting during the 2018 Agricultural show under the theme “Enterprise Development, Corporate Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Growth.”
The breakfast meeting constituted a panel discussion on the topic “The Continental Free Trade Area – Prospects for the Field to Industry value chain,” in a bid to interrogate the Agriculture opportunities for enhanced trade in the agro-processing value chain following the signing of the AfCFTA agreement by the Heads of State on 21 March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. The breakfast meeting was meant:-
- To identify key trade and development prospects for Agriculture in the CFTA
- To identify gaps in agriculture value chain linkages in order to come up with a position for input in policy formulation
From the event the major highlights were that:-
- Every day we all play a role in the industry value chains, usually at the end of the chain, as consumers. The reality being that industry value chains have become a dominant feature of world trade. They create a high level of interconnectedness and interdependency, making it very complex to steer changes in the direction we desire, towards a more sustainable world.
- Agriculture remains the backbone of this country’s economy, however, there is need to increase productivity in the sector while unlocking more downstream opportunities.
- Government and private sector need to complement each other in the Command programs to ensure value chains
- Private sector players need to read more on the Free Trade Area environment (SADC, Tripartite, COMESA and AfCFTA) in order to avoid losing out on the much needed information and become competitive as well
Finance and quality are very key elements for value chains
As part of its business advocacy and lobbying mandates the ZNCC on the 30th of August held a meeting with ZIMRA to discuss tax and fiscal issues affecting businesses. Some of the key challenges that were highlighted are:-
- ASYCUDA is not reliable or timeous as it is always down thereby affecting the lead time of imports.
- E-filing is difficult to access sometimes and will also get congested on the due dates forcing submission of manual returns which still have to be re-submitted if you need a tax clearance.
- Taxation levels too high be it Customs Duty , PAYE , Corporate Tax that this is affecting many sectors who are closing down due to high taxes.
- Withholding VAT Certificates are taking long to come resulting in business not being able to claim withheld VAT, shipments being delayed at boarder and businesses paying demurrage charges.
- Departments/Sections should coordinate their assignments/audits to avoid asking for the same information from clients
- Quality control and standardisation of work is poor, what ZIMRA Bulawayo does is different from Harare
ZIMRA acknowledged all the raised challenges and responded by saying:-
- They have adopted a new approach i.e. to promote voluntary compliance than forcing
- ASYCUDA system has not been performing up to expectations from Dec 2017 – Jan 2018. As a result, steps has been taken to ensure such problems will not recur by upgrading and acquiring new hardware. A single window has also been introduced to eliminate the unnecessary stakeholders
- Have establish a facility for pre-clearance i.e. it can clear goods before they reach the boarder to avoid congestion and delays
- They are on a mission to tackle corruption by rotating staff members although the process comes with costs of educating certain individuals
- They have introduced an Authorised Economic Operators (AEOs) concept – a promotional facility for exporters and importers that have good records of compliance and have encouraged business to take advantage of it.
ZNCC further suggested to host a business breakfast meeting with ZIMRA, to allow the business community meet up with the new Commissioner General as well as have the essential questions answered directly by the ZIMRA personnel.
The ZNCC team recently met up with Vice President K. Mohadi and his team where the ZNCC shared with the V.P the structure of the Chamber, how it operates, composition of membership and what role ZNCC plays in the business sector. The Chamber guaranteed support to the government on the mission to turn around the economy. They also highlighted the challenges business is facing, the major ones being of forex shortages and high taxation charges. In return V.P Mohadi assured support to the ZNCC and business community and promised to act on the presented challenges with immediate effect.
Opening Remarks by Pres
Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to give welcome remarks and to welcome you all to this year’s edition of the ZNCC 2018 Agri-Business Breakfast Meeting.
Before I dwell much into my remarks I would like to pose a few questions to each one of you here present. Did you decide to put on clothes that are free of child labour? And while drinking your cup of coffee in the lounge just now did you think: 'I wonder if the coffee farmer at the other end of the industry value chain got a fair price for his beans.'
Every day we all play a role in the industry value chains, usually at the end of the chain, as consumers. But for most of us the link between the fair price of trade and our daily breakfast is not an obvious one. Let alone feeling responsible for it. The reality is that industry value chains have become a dominant feature of world trade. They create a high level of interconnectedness and interdependency, making it very complex to steer changes in the direction we desire, towards a more sustainable world.
This year’s Agri-Business Breakfast meeting is running under the theme “Enterprise Development, Entrepreneurship, and Sustainable Growth” given that the Chamber is on the drive to equip business with development opportunities, to help create sustainable businesses which grow and lead to job creation, in turn contributing to sustainable economic growth which is a priority to result in the provision of opportunities for local entrepreneurs (women and youth included).
Ladies and Gentlemen let me highlight that this breakfast meeting’s panel discussion topic is being held under the co-themes of ZNCC and Zimbabwe Agricultural Society (ZAS) to which the ZAS theme reads, “Field to Industry, Produce; Connect; Develop.” It is commendable to note that commercial exhibition space taken up at this whole juncture has increased by approximately 7.5% from 79 730 square metres in 2017 to 85 730 in 2018 with at least 8 countries participating at this year’s edition. This makes it one of the biggest fairs in Zimbabwe that is slowly moving from being a provincial event to national level. In following the news recently, we read that ZAS received a council approval to construct a $100 million five-star hotel and conventional center and is currently constructing a $20 million state of the art shopping mall here at the exhibition grounds. As the business community we appreciate such an initiative to boost retailing and promotion of value chains through selling of inputs and finished products.
The Chamber would like to acknowledge the efforts being made by the Government in the formulation of a new Zimbabwe National Industrialisation Policy (2018-2022) that is centered on developing and facilitating industrial linkages across all sectors of the economy. Also we would like to applaud our line ministry, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development for their key role in strengthening of this policy and all the private players who have been contributing immensely towards this policy and strengthening of value chains.
Dear colleagues, as most of you know, on 21 March 2018, 44 African Union member states signed the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in Kigali, Rwanda with the goal of creating a single market followed by free movement and a single currency union. What does this mean? This signifies a single continental legal regime for all relevant trade disciplines; including lower tariffs, simplified rules of origin and customs procedures, regulations for trade in services and remedies available to affected private parties. This is a bold vision but vital for advancing Africa’s economic development and capacity also to integrate more effectively into the 21st century global economy. In all this aspect how then does Zimbabwe benefit? Through increased Value Chains!!
Ladies and Gentlemen, agriculture remains the backbone of this country’s economy, however, there is need to increase productivity in the sector while unlocking more downstream opportunities. Having strong value chains will establish opportunities for processing, value addition and beneficiation for the local industry following a vital quantity supply of raw materials. Following the command agriculture initiatives the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe reported milling capacity to have risen from below 50% to 87% for mealie-meal and 93% for wheat last season which is what we hope to achieve in all sectors of field to industry processes.
There is need for us to continuously invest into digital technologies inorder to transform the way we produce our food, manage our land, the way we eat and consume our food and even the way we do research if we are going to strengthen our competitive advantages as a nation. We also need to invest in business digital hubs which help connect farm businesses with technology providers, scientists and those able to finance innovation. The free trade area we have entered into is a war zone, not of bullets but of commercial interests, therefore we need to equip well to avoid being the dumping zone.
During the ZNCC annual congress resolutions were made that:
- ZNCC must engage Government on the proposal for the country to host the CFTA Secretariat because this comes with incremental benefits. To this a letter was submitted to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development requesting the Ministry to assist in expediting the process of Expressions of Interest to host the Secretariat through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; and CEO has made communications with the Zimbabwean Ambassador to Ethiopia regarding this issue. Now we hope for a positive outcome towards this initiative.
- ZNCC should host the 2020 Intra Africa Trade Fair - A meeting was held with Afrexim bank, who are the sponsors of the Intra Africa Trade Fair. The meeting discussed ZNCC’s intention to participate at the 2018 intra Africa Trade Fair to be held in Egypt and to express interest to host the 2020 Intra Africa Trade Fair.
Ladies and gentlemen, I will not be verbose and prolix since we have little time. Again welcome and let us have a great breakfast meeting.
Zimbabwe’s annual rate of inflation for June gained 0.20 percentage points to 2.91 from 2.71 percent in May, latest figures from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStats) show. According to the ZimStats figures, changes in prices of food and alcoholic beverages drove the increase in inflation rate. Month on month, the inflation rate in June 2018 was shed 0.08 percentage points to close the month at -0.05 percent from May 2018 rate of 0.03 percent. (Herald)
Allocate land to small miners, govt urged – SMALL-SCALE miners have called on the government to parcel out land to artisanal and small-scale miners to increase the gold output, as they produced 2,8 tonnes of gold in the first quarter. This is up from the comparative quarter in 2017 where the small-scale gold miners contributed between 1.6 and 1.9 tonnes of gold. Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation (ZMF) president Henrieta Rushwaya said government should engage conglomerates who have been holding onto land and claims to surrender them to small-scale miners. (Newsday)
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers has blamed the growth of the black market for foreign currency for fuelling the current wave of increases in prices of basic commodities. Over the past few days, prices of most consumables have been sky-rocketing, leaving consumers in a lurch. The shortage of foreign currencies in the formal banking channels is forcing most retailers and manufacturers to source from the black market at a premium in order to continue importing goods. Government should promote use domesticate raw materials building the capacity of local source suppliers like agriculture as over reliance on imports is dangerous to an economy. (Herald)
Woman Owned Brand Label (WOB) is a national campaign addressing the market gap for women owned products by providing a certified label to all standard certified members. Also creating sustainable markets for Women Owned Enterprises through the Supplier Diversity and Inclusion (SDI) Program.
Categories of Woman Owned Brands
Stationary and IT services
Quality Assurance Consulting
Gardening and Cleaning services
Travel and Medical Tour Agents
Consulting Services (Accounting and HR)
Agribusiness (Horticulture and Animal husbandry)
Baking and Confectionary
Manufacturing (i.e beverages, chemicals)
Hospitality Services (Accommodation, Catering, Events Management)
What is the Woman Owned Brand?
The Women Owned Brand Campaign aims to empower women entrepreneurs, support their access to markets and facilitate opportunities for growth and scaling so that they can play a stronger role in the Zimbabwean economy.
The programme has three main steps:
- To certify businesses that are 51% owned, controlled and managed by a woman/women as Women Business Enterprises (WBE).
- To conduct a consumer awareness campaign to persuade the public to support women in business (SDI Program)
- To facilitate the growth and development of women-owned companies by building their capacity so that they can play a key role in the value chain and access more and better business opportunities in corporate supply chains.
Supplier Diversity and Inclusion program is an initiative that connects women entrepreneurs with markets particularly corporate supply chains by having an SDI Partner commit a certain percentage of their procurement budget to tap be accessed by ZNCC-WD certified WBEs.
What does being a part of the WoB mean?
Women Owned Businesses (WBEs) to become certified as a woman owned brand, businesses must show:
- Clear and documented evidence that at least 51% or more is women-owned, managed, and controlled.
- The business must be open for at least one year.
- The business owner must be a Zimbabwean citizen or legal resident alien.
Evidence must indicate that:
- The contribution of capital and/or expertise by the woman business owner is real and substantial and in proportion to the interest owned.
- The woman business owner must direct or cause the direction of management, policy, fiscal, and operational matters.
- The woman business owner shall have the ability to perform in the area of specialty or expertise without reliance on either the finances or resources of a firm that is not owned by a woman.
Certification is done at the ZNCC regional or national offices. The ZNCC-WD does charge a non-refundable application fee. Certification must be renewed each year along with payment of annual fee if company gets business from SDI partners. Certification application forms can be obtained from ZNCC offices.
Look, Learn and Share Business Visits (LLS) is a program targeting Women Owned Enterprises which aims to foster relations between women in business through proven experience from other successful enterprises.
Company Visits Done
Mothertouch Group of Schools
What is the Purpose of LLS?
The purpose for ZNCC Women’s desk to facilitate this program for women entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe is to help women entrepreneurs and business leaders build their businesses to the next level, and also help raise their company profiles through a hands-on entrepreneurial experience.
The WD LLS program came about after, realizing the need for women entrepreneurs to participate in a business exchange program were budding entrepreneurs are given a chance to learn from successful women in business with proven experience.
Business exchange programs are one of the most important tools and relations for building a sustainable business and to improve business relations among women participating in the program. It is a win-win program where the host organizations can take advantage of the role women play across the corporate value chain i.e. as suppliers, customers and members of communities in which companies work. The visitors meet like-minded business people, and through the visits there is transfer of knowledge, a fresh eye on business ventures and it also opens up new markets and business opportunities.
How does it work?
To create sustainable company visits that in the long run can become traditional events on the chamber calendar. The model is run by ZNCC- WD. The visits will be done once in three months, with the host company being run or owned by a woman. The ZNCC WD will administer the program through information sharing and coordinating the event’s logistics and follow up activities. The visits will be done nationwide subject to the coordinating ZNCC office. The targeted participants are women entrepreneurs and each trip will target 20-25 participants. The WD will also make an effort to have financiers/development agencies take part in the visit to raise awareness on women run companies and also to interact with other women entrepreneurs.
Interested in Hosting a Site Visit?
What is it?
Through the program, ZNCC brings a small group of women entrepreneurs to visit your location, and allows you to highlight and market unique aspects of your organization.
How would the day go?
The agenda for the day (often 2-3 hours total) is rather flexible, and we can work with you to create an outline that suits your preferences. Companies have typically used this as a chance to describe their organizations and discuss various business opportunities. Some have offered tours, delivered a talk that highlights innovation or topics of interest in their industry, or coordinated a staff panel to share their own backgrounds and advice. Some offer opportunities for women entrepreneurs to mingle and network with staff before or after the session.
How many women should we expect?
Participation is typically limited to 20-25 entrepreneurs.
How does this benefit my company?
This is a great opportunity to develop brand recognition among women, market your business, develop contacts, and discover potential cooperation opportunities, acquire knowledge about different businesses owned by women
Mentorship in Practice (MiP) is a 12 months program designed to strengthen the leadership skills of mentors and mentees participating. The program recognizes the connection between aspiring women entrepreneurs and prominent business leaders as the missing piece to having more women on the business map.
Congratulations to our Class of 2016!
Zorodzai Chenhidza, OLSPS Zimbabwe
Sonia Dzapasi, Sonia’s Events
Thelma Chirenje, Indulge Cakes
Rumbidzai Ndoro, Progifts Promotions
Maiwepi Jiti, Yardford Farm Pvt Ltd
Charlene Chekenya, Brandspan Corporate Communications
What is Mentorship in Practice?
The Mentorship in Practice program is an exclusive opportunity for aspiring women in business to learn and get skills in business leadership with top women business leaders. Starting and running an enterprise can be an all-consuming endeavour for an entrepreneur, leaving little time to build relationships in the business community. This can pose particular challenges for entrepreneurs who have narrower networks or less access to the capital, expertise and connections needed to succeed and scale up.
MiP aims to help bring small women in business from all walks of life to the mainstream BMO and help them grow as leaders in the business and also become mentors to the next generation.
What does being a part of MiP mean?
During the 12 months program, more than 15 aspiring or small business owners who are selected through a vetting process will be paired with a prominent woman in business to develop a deeper understanding of what is needed to either start or grow a business. They'll also attend exclusive networking forums as a group to share issues and challenges facing their own businesses and who they are faring in the program.
How does it work?
To qualify, applicants must be a female with majority ownership of a business that has been running for at least 6 months.
This opportunity is open to all women in business nationwide. Participation fee for members is discounted.
- Call for application announced every May
- Class begins July
- Class Graduates in July the next year