Econet set to create fintech giant

Darlington Mandivenga

TELECOMMUNICATIONS giant, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe is set to spin off a new company called Cassava as part of its unbundling of its different brands that currently contribute 40% of its turnover.


Darlington Mandivenga

The business units include EcoCash, EcoSure, EcoFarmer, Ruzivo, Steward Bank, TPS and EduTech training services.

Senior Econet group executive in charge of Cassava, Darlington Mandivenga, said Cassava is set to emerge as a stand-alone financial technology company.

Although Cassava is a treasure trove of valuable products and convenient services, perhaps less well known are its forays into e-commerce, where it operates the Ownai brand — a platform, or virtual marketplace, for buying and selling goods and services on the Internet.

Cassava is also the home of ‘Technites’ which provides jobs to thousands of young people who carry out technical work such as installations of set top boxes (STBs) as well as laying fibre optic cabling, according to Mandivenga.

He said plans were underway for Cassava to aggregate all the artisans in the country so that one can reach them using a mobile application.

“Zimbabwe is just one of our markets for Cassava. The business here is big, but we are also present in 20 other countries. The Zimbabwe business is only confined here in Zimbabwe. It is wholly owned by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, but we support it from outside,” he said.

“We are not just about mobile money. We do a lot of smart things using mobile technology and digital platforms, and we are already a well-established business that has grown inside Econet for 20 years.”