The Government of Zimbabwe, under the aegises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (MoFAIT) and Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement (MLARR) and FinComEco, the fully integrated Financial & Commodities Ecosystem (FinComEco) providing services, financing, capacity building and enablement solutions from supply to demand, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly develop a range of platforms, projects and initiatives in the agricultural commodity markets sector in Zimbabwe.
This is expected to be extended into a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) subject to approval under the new Joint Ventures Act which came into force in January 2018. FinComEco with local partners and MLARR will then establish a joint venture company to develop high impact initiatives to facilitate agricultural value chain efficiencies through provision of strategic value-added services including an electronic Warehouse Receipt System (eWRS), Exchanges, Trading Platforms, Commodities and Input Finance and Electronic Banking, training and capacity building including the establishment of a commodities exchange underpinned by Blockchain technology.
The mandate will also deliver marketing information and other value-added services, such as market access and policy change interventions, identifying project opportunities in high growth segments of the agricultural industry working together and with appropriate partners including International Development Agencies and Development Finance Institutions as well as the private sector. There will also be investment in existing and new warehouses with related infrastructure and logistics.
Based on estimates, the value-added by FinComEco to the agricultural sector in Zimbabwe will be in excess of US$1.5Bn over a 5 year period in terms of GDP growth resulting in considerable economic and social impact for the population with the GDP per capita of Zimbabwe estimated to increase by 1.5 times between 2018 to 2022 as a result of this and wider initiatives. This is expected to create 90,000 direct jobs in the agricultural sector. According to the Farmers Unions every job created in the farming sector creates 7 more jobs in other related sectors. The FinComEco ecosystem will, therefore, have additional benefits and spill-on effect on other sectors such as construction and creation of new direct and indirect jobs with the creation of additional indirect jobs across all related sectors estimated at 630,000 over a 5 year period.
The Rtd Hon Major-General (Rtd) Dr Sibusiso Moyo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade said, “This collaboration marks the beginning of Zimbabwe’s participation in international trade, which is the backbone of Zimbabwe's economy.”
The Rtd Hon. Perence Shiri, Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Zimbabwe commented, “This collaboration sets Zimbabwe on track to becoming the bread basket of Africa and beyond with access to international markets.” He added, “The FinComEco initiative will promote a viable sustainable agricultural and horticultural sector, by optimising productivity in addition to ensuring ongoing food security and job creation for our country.”
Hirander Misra, Co-Chairman of FinComEco and CEO of GMEX Group added, “We are delighted to be working with the Government of Zimbabwe to facilitate positive economic and social impact for farming communities and related sectors. The whole FinComEco ecosystem will be based on the set-up of the Zimbabwe Commodities Exchange, optimising agricultural inputs, facilitating access to finance and credit facilities, provision of warehousing and logistic facilities to enable GDP growth and job creation.”
FinComEco is enabled by scalable, centralised, de-centralised & Hybrid technology solutions delivered by its partner GMEX Group including the use of Blockchain technology.