The inaugural Ideas Festival hosted by media mogul Trevor Ncube in Nyanga last week provided a galaxy of ideas on how Zimbabwe could be transformed. NewsDay Business speaks to business leaders on their views about the festival.
Kenias Mafukidze — Alpha Media Holdings CEO
The national vision is the attainment of an upper-middle-income economy by 2030. This demands double digit growth.
This trajectory of growth requires innovative ideas to boost development and hence raise standards of living.
The inaugural Ideas Festival was an exciting platform for diverse individuals to come together, share their unique perspectives, and engage in thought-provoking discussions about initiatives that can raise economic performance.
The Nyanga event availed young entrepreneurs an opportunity to gain new insights, spark creativity and foster collaboration across different fields.
By bringing together innovators, thought leaders and enthusiasts, the Ideas Festival inspired attendees to think critically, challenge the status quo, and explore new possibilities.
Young entrepreneurs got an opportunity to pitch commercial ideas and raise funding in areas of agriculture, artificial intelligence and health.
- Addressing unfair trade key to transforming African food systems
- Urgent economic structural transformation necessary
- Residents finger ZETDC employees in cables theft
- New perspectives: Building capacity of agricultural players in Zim
Healthy collaborations were also established in the areas of health and digital.
Exevia Maoneke — Chivi Central MP
The Ideas Festival gave us an opportunity to mix with industry experts and intellectually-talented people.
Through exchange of ideas, I appreciated the importance of innovation in business as it came out as having the power to improve production, efficiency as well as enabling businesses to cut costs.
Another idea that came out is that innovation enables business to create additional income streams.
I also learnt the importance of building business synergies and appreciating other players in the value chain.
Additionally, the Ideas Festival stressed the importance of self-belief.
One is capable of achieving a lot as long they believe in themselves.
Also, I was fascinated by the concept of continuous learning because people should continue to learn as the environment is always changing, rendering past knowledge irrelevant.
I liked the way the panellists went about their business especially time management and punctuality.
The discussion forum environment was very conducive, away from disturbances and obstructions.
I also got to see new products, for example, Kumusha Wine produced by a Zimbabwean entrepreneur.
Simon Bere — environmental and economic development metastrategist
There were several take-aways from the Ideas Festival 2023:
- There were young aspiring entrepreneurs aiming for businesses that can transform the economy.
- In spite of the tough environment, some companies are making great transformational progress in their spheres, for example, Cimas has revolutionised access to health in Zimbabwe.
- Artificial intelligence and its potential for economic transformation in Zimbabwe.
- We had interactions with Zimbabweans who are doing great things including Tinashe Nyamudoka, founder of Kumusha Wines, and Sunu Gonera in the film industry.
- Stories of successful Zimbabweans who are ploughing back into their communities such as Dr Solomon Guramatunhu.
The spirit of sharing and helping each other that was being promoted by the convener as well as networking.
If Zimbabweans can close ranks, believe in each other, work together and support each other, this economy will blossom fast.
Goodhope Ruswa — Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung international project co-ordinator
The Ideas Festival was a great platform and the following ideas fascinated me.
- I enjoyed the masterclasses on the Kumusha Wine and hemp — great innovations.
- The pitches by start-ups were great, there could, however, be better mobilisation for funding.
- The panel on youth quota was great
- In future, more arts could be showcased, for instance getting artists from the In Conversation with Trevor to come and share their experiences.
- Prof Arthur Mutambara as always was fascinating (presented on artificial intelligence — opportunities and risks)
Cuthbert Nduwure — Cimas marketing officer
For me, the excitement came during Bishop Never Muparutsa’s talk show. He touched on corruption, particularly when he said if the pain of corruption increases, that is when we will be able to fight it.