BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
Escrow Group CEO Collen Tapfumaneyi says there are huge opportunities to increase financial inclusion through the capital markets.
Speaking at the inaugural “Investor Day Conference” last week, Tapfumaneyi said that capital markets held immense potential to contribute to the economy.
“Zimbabwe in particular and Africa at large has huge potential. We are endowed with vast natural resources, a largely young population with enormous energy, and a strong base of human capital and market demand. Our entrepreneurial drive is very strong with over 3,4 million SMEs, accounting for over 50% of our employment,” he said.
“We have one of the highest mobile penetration rates in the world and adoption of financial services is extremely high with over 90 billion worth of transaction values in 2017. According to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, these were all transacted via digital platforms. In view of these statistics, the biggest question that confronts us when we convene like this is: Why do we only have 1% (of the population) in the financial markets, according to the statistics from the Finmark Trust?
“Why do we have only 20 000 active investor accounts in a country with a population of 15 million people? Ladies and gentlemen, therein lies huge opportunities for investors, capital markets and the economy at large.”
In that regard, he said, the conference could not have come at a better time.
“The idea of this conference came out of the realisation that the capital market is a key player with a very significant role in the sustainable development of any country. We found the idea of facilitating the convergence of investors, investees, intermediaries, regulators, and policy-makers too tempting to resist,” Tapfumaneyi said.
The Escrow Group is the holding company of Escrow Systems Limited, FINSEC and Corpserve Registrars.
The conference ran under the theme Fostering Financial Inclusion and Stimulating Financial Development through Exploitation on the Zimbabwe Capital Markets.