Industrialist Dr Manzungu shines at COMESA Business Council


ZAMBIA-Zimbabwe construction mogul, Dr Tinashe Manzungu has hoisted the Zimbabwean flag high as he assumed his new role on the board of directors at the COMESA Business Council (CBC) Finance Risk and Audit Committee.

Dr. Manzungu, who serves as a shareholder and board chair at Zimbuild and Clientsure Group, was also appointed as the chairperson of the finance committee.

The Gweru based flamboyant entrepreneur was elected during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Zambia on April 30, 2024, alongside the new president of CBC, James Mwanza, from Malawi.

The first and second vice presidents were selected from Kenya and Egypt respectively.

Manzungu will be representing the SADC region in a nine board member committee.

Speaking in an interview with The Midweek Watch, Dr Manzungu expressed the CBC’s unwavering commitment to driving industrialization and promoting the development of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the COMESA-ESA region and beyond.

He emphasized that the CBC aims to foster collaboration and share best practices that contribute towards  “Africa’s economic transformation and sustainable development”.

Dr Manzungu, who is also the vice president for Zimbabwe Building Contractors Association, highlighted that the AGM in Zambia addressed various topics, including socio-economic development and the liberalization of trade among the 21 member states of COMESA.

“Part of the discussions were on the liberalization of trade in COMESA through involvement of an inclusive digital system that aims at promoting inter-Africa trade through a digital payment platform that we are launching in November.

“They were centered on critical aspects that will shape the platform’s functionality, including forex providers, settlement models, technical specifications, and governance frameworks,” he explained.

As the CBC finance chair, Zimbabwe will be responsible for managing the finances for all activities and ensuring that all member states benefit equally, added Manzungu.

The CBC is also implementing a Digital Financial Inclusion (DFI) program, which supports the development and deployment of an integrated regional digital retail payment scheme.

This low-cost, interoperable, and fraud-resistant scheme primarily serves Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in the COMESA region, with a particular focus on women and youth.

The program aims to move from a regulatory focus to an operational and technical establishment, with clearly defined components.

“We are actively implementing the DFI program, and our priority is to ensure transparency and compliance. This will provide reassurance to our funders and donors, as well as fulfill the requirements of the COMESA Treaty,” stressed Dr. Manzungu.

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