Our experts work with businesses in a range of industries to answer their most pressing questions on usage, attitudes and behaviour, pricing, product adoption, satisfaction and engagement and brand equity.
Of research and gingerbread men: Building the baking industry in Zimbabwe
The National Bakers Association of Zimbabwe represents the baking industry and aims to promote the provision of quality and affordable bakery products to the market. AEDS partnered with Probe Market Research to carry out a comprehensive bakery sector analysis. The assessment was designed to deliver industry insights on impediments and opportunities for growth in the domestic baking industry.
‘The sector analysis was fantastic. As NBAZ, it helped us deliver evidence to players in the baking industry and build joint commitment on how to tap into the strengths and opportunities flagged in the research findings as well as how to manage the threats and weaknesses helping us craft a strategy to strengthen the baking sector in Zimbabwe.
Fourth Instalment Of The Zimbabwe National Competitiveness Report
The Zimbabwe National Competitiveness Report (ZNCR) is commission the National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF). The objective of the Zimbabwe National Competitiveness Report (ZNCR) is to contribute to achieving the Government of Zimbabwe's objective of high rates of economic growth. It has involved contributions from leaders in the public and private sector. It is expected to serve as a dashboard for the ongoing work on reforming he business environment. This Report also helps set the agenda for public-private dialogue in 2018/19.
The ZNCR provides information for benchmarking Zimbabwe’s products, services, operations and cost against comparator countries and over years. As such it can be used to measure future positive change. It will also build consensus behind key public policies and industry strategies that together can achieve the robust economic goal of 7% GDP growth which is key in helping the country to achieve the middle income status. The African Continental Free Trade Agreement has the potential to provide Zimbabwe with positive opportunities for trade throughout most of Africa while also raising the spectre of greater competition from other regional actors. For these reasons this report is very timely and relevant.
This Report will identify Zimbabwe's competitive advantages including its human resources, location and abundant natural resources. Zimbabwe has many comparative advantages. The quality of human resources is perhaps Zimbabwe's greatest comparative advantage with literacy rates above 92% and Zimbabweans are in high demand throughout the region, a result of the Government's deliberate policy focusing on universal education. Abundant natural resources include rich mineral deposits, arable tracks of land, flora and fauna, abundant sunlight and water are in evidence even to the casual observer. Zimbabwe's Economic diversity is another competitive advantage and this diversity includes agriculture, mining, manufacturing, tourism and many other service industries. Zimbabwe's excellent weather and strategic location make it an ideal venue for investment to serve regional markets. These competitive advantages, among others, explain the resilience of Zimbabwe's economy during many past challenges.
Constraints to Zimbabwe's competitiveness are nonetheless formidable. Despite Zimbabwe's tremendous competitive assets, many important challenges remain. It is the purpose of this report to identify these challenges and to foster public-private dialogue to implement solutions through specific initiatives. Cost drivers are one such constraint and are the focus of one of the chapters of this report. Analysis conducted in previous reports showed that many of the costs of production in Zimbabwe are higher than those of neighbouring countries with which Zimbabwe must compete for exports and investment. In some cases, domestic industries find it difficult to compete with cheaper imports.
By identifying and focusing on these cost drivers, Zimbabwe can enhance the prospects for future growth. The second constraint is related to education and training and how to build the next generation of knowledge and skills that will boost Zimbabwe's productivity. It is important to highlight here the recommendations contained in the Nziramasanga Commission of Inquiry on updating education to meet Zimbabwe's development challenges. A third constraint relates to infrastructure, especially electricity shortages but also transportation, water and communications. A fourth constraint is related to the business environment for mobilizing investment, generating employment and boosting productivity. There are many constraints to starting companies, hiring people, getting permits and conducting business operations. Access and cost of finance are another aspect of the business environment.
Wheat Bread Value Chain
AEDS undertook wheat – bread value chain which was commission by the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe. The study showcased fundamental challenges and opportunities within the value chain. GMAZ used this evidence to pragmatically engage the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture and other arms of Government.
Presentation of Papers at Companies’ Retreat
AEDS presented papers on environmental analysis for companies like Dairibord Holdings, Seedco, Zimpapers, Cell Insurance and Lafarge. These papers were used to inform corporate strategy. In the same vein, AEDS economic presented papers at annual general meetings for Business Membership Organisations such as the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce.
Consultancy on Syndicated Payment
AEDS developed a position paper for syndicated payment system for the Metbank. The paper sort to come up with strategies of paying farmers by involving key mobile companies in Zimbabwe using the infrastructure of Metbank. This paper, which was endorsed by the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services and Cyber Security, drew lessons from Kenya which have important implications for Zimbabwe.
The paper showed that:
- In Kenya, mobile phones operate at the intersection between rural clients and banks by providing cheap transaction services, electronic savings accounts and, in limited cases, even credit functions.
- The most prominent example is the service M-Pesa, provided by the mobile network operator Safaricom in Kenya, which has developed into one of the largest banks in eastern Africa.
- In Kenya, mobile payment systems has benefited farmers by allowing them to receive payments as electronic credit into their mobile phone-based account (or “m-wallets”) instead of waiting or having to travel to obtain cash payment. Farmers then have more flexibility and choice of when and how they use their credit.
- From the bank perspective, an additional benefit of providing such low-cost financial services is that smallholder farmers can gain a transaction history with a bank that could enable them to access loans, insurance, and savings products.
- Evidence has shown that in countries lacking the technical and commercial infrastructure for ATMs and point-of-service devices, mobile phone banking in particular can be a low-cost way to expand access to financial services in rural areas.
Position Paper on GMB Milling Activities
AEDS was contracted by GMAZ to investigate the impact of GMB milling activities on the milling industry and sustainability of Command Agriculture.