By Sydney Kawadza
The African continent and Zimbabwe in particular should start taking advantage of its vast resources while using the latest digital innovations that would boost economic development, said Zimbabwe-born pan-African entrepreneur Langton Chirinda.
The Australian was among the 10 semi-finalists for the African Continental Free Trade Area Caravan Prize, which also had five other Zimbabweans in the final.
Zimbabweans Piwai Nigel Chikasha of Alley Capital Group, Tapuwa Ndongwe (Wecol Limited), Mildreight Muzendu (Africa Free Trade Area), Chirinda (Gundi Consulting) and Rukudzo Chikonye of Agora, were among the 19 African businessmen chosen from among 1,500 applications.
In an interview, Chirinda expressed her deep concern that Africa is the richest and youngest population and yet it is the poorest.
“Why has it taken us so many years to realize that we should stop relying on simply exporting our precious mineral resources in raw form and manufacture the end products locally and create jobs and exports for our economies?
“Why should Africa import cars, computers, agricultural equipment and defense equipment, among others, instead of manufacturing them locally using 3D additive manufacturing? These are the questions that led me to participate in the AfCFTA Caravan, ”he said.
He said the AfCFTA would be a game-changer for Africa if implemented successfully across the continent.
“Africa must address global markets with one voice and strengthen its competitiveness on the global playing field. ZLECAf is the answer! Africa must change its image as a continent associated with hunger and lack of opportunities to become a leading continent on the world table.
“The brain drain must stop and a better Africa through AfCFTA is the answer. Our collaborative efforts through AfCFTA will transform Africa’s history into a reputable brand that all of us across the continent and in Zimbabwe will be proud to be associated with.
Chirinda said her wish was for Zimbabwe to be a pioneer in adopting, training and implementing 3D additive manufacturing to solve its pressing dilemma over unemployment and foreign exchange.
“Africa and Zimbabwe must not pay the price for a delay in adopting, training and implementing 3D additive manufacturing in the future.
“It’s my biggest worry for AfCFTA and my home country Zimbabwe is being too slow when we’re supposed to fly with it. Europe, Asia, Latin America and North America are already flying with this and yet Africa has not even started.
“Africa has the greatest strategic advantage because it has the vast mineral resources used in 3D manufacturing – we have to move fast like Zimbabwe and the AfCFTA,” he said.
The ardent supporter of AfCFTA said he had always wanted to be part of the engines of this important change for our continent.
“I was therefore very happy to be recognized through the AfCFTA Caravan because it is the best platform to see my dream of industrializing Africa come true.
“I want to be at the center of the creation of the African century and make Africa the best place to be and avoid the brain drain that the continent is suffering from right now.
“We have the best leader in the secretary general of AfCFTA and I am happy to be one of his colleagues to move Africa forward through this caravan of AfCFTA,” he said.
Chirinda, who was born in Zimbabwe and moved to Australia in 2009, said growth for individuals or companies should be driven by innovation, adding that entrepreneurship should be nurtured as a family and societal culture because it brings value through job creation and exports.
“I believe growth is a mindset that realizes that value is not static and that we must always look for areas to transform value and challenge the best thought products of other companies. “, did he declare.
Chirinda had business entities in Zimbabwe and Zambia before her move to Down Under.
“I came to Australia, not to live there for good, but to learn more about what drives Australian industries and society, and then bring that mindset back to Zimbabwe and Africa to change our narrative,” he said. he declared.
He studied for an MBA with a focus on international affairs at Edith Cowan University in Australia before studying for a Juris Doctor (Law) focusing on start-up law and international contracts at the University. Bond in Australia.
“My desire has always been to know how I can use these skills to develop Zimbabwe and Africa and transform our history,” he said.
Gundi Consulting Africa Pty Ltd of Chirinda is registered in Kigali, Rwanda.
She specializes in consulting services to promote the rapid adoption, training and implementation of 3D additive manufacturing across Africa.
“Africa is endowed with vast mineral resources which are used in the manufacture of end products such as assembly kits for automobiles, agricultural equipment, computer equipment, aerospace equipment, defense equipment and many more. Yet the continent is too dependent on the export of raw mineral resources while obtaining very little value for these minerals.
Our company wants Africa to take advantage of raw materials to transform them into valuable parts, components and tools and create new manufacturing industries across the continent.
Gundi Consulting Pty Ltd provides an end-to-end service for 3D manufacturing so that it can be industrialized across the continent.
“We provide services to transform raw mineral resources into energy or 3D wire. We provide the equipment to process the minerals as well as the printers used to manufacture the final products, as well as world-class 3D training to equip the young continent with 3D AM skills.
“We are also building 3D additive manufacturing centers of excellence for governments and the private sector where people would come and be trained on how the entire 3D additive manufacturing system works.”
The AfCFTA Caravan Award celebrates Africa’s SMEs, start-ups, social enterprises and innovative entities willing to harness the benefits that will be created by the AfCFTA to grow on a continental scale and scale. flourish at the base.
Stemming from the previous Competitive Vision grant programs of AfCFTA and Caravan Africa, the award also seeks to uncover transformative ideas to accelerate implementation of AfCFTA.
The AfCFTA is a flagship project of Agenda 2063 and was approved by the 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2012, which adopted the decision to establish a continental free trade area.
It aims to accelerate intra-African trade and strengthen Africa’s trade position in the global market by strengthening Africa’s common voice and political space in global trade negotiations.
The AfCFTA Agreement was signed on March 21, 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda and entered into force on May 30 of the following year.
The scope of the AfCFTA Agreement includes the Protocol on Trade in Goods, the Protocol on Trade in Services and the Protocol on Dispute Settlement Rules and Procedures, the Protocol on Investment, Protocol on Intellectual Property Rights, the Competition Protocol. , the Digital Commerce Protocol and the Women and Youth in Commerce Protocol.