By Albert Nangara
Following independence, The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) was taken over by significant Zimbabwean businesses, with the general populace being generally excluded from stock ownership. Trading on the stock exchange was predominantly a specialized activity designated for investment experts prior to its automation. Traders on the floor shouted over each other while the exchange functioned manually. When the exchange switched to an internet trading platform in 2015, everything changed.
Nonetheless, individual Zimbabweans contributed very little to the regional capital market, according to information from the ZSE published in 2020. Among the challenges cited are a lack of comprehension of the investment process and the idea that it is the domain and preservation of the privileged in society.
One of the leading commercial banks in Zimbabwe, Nedbank has partnered with Escrow Group to form C-Trade Fantasy in a bid to impact knowledge on investment in securities and create a culture of saving and investing in the citizenry, particularly adults and the youth. It further aims to enhance financial management and entrepreneurial skills among the Zimbabwean youth and create a sense of ownership, loyalty, and association by reaching out to the youths and by creating a unifying factor.
Speaking to reporters at the launch in Harare, Mr. Collen Tapfumaneyi, Chief Executive Officer of Escrow Group, made reference to the problems plaguing the financial sector, including a lack of investor awareness and confidence as well as the absence of a saving and investing culture.
“A savings culture is critical to an investments culture which in turn is critical to the capital market and economic development. If more citizens choose to save through formal mechanisms more capital will be made available to increase the productive capacity of the economy,” Mr. Tapfumaneyi said.
“A capital market that is responsive to the needs of all the citizenry can play a critical role in lubricating the economy. It is against this understanding that Escrow Group supported by Nedbank and Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) is introducing C-Trade Fantasy. The C-TRADE Fantasy is an edutainment initiative targeting adult Zimbabweans and the youth who are in tertiary learning institutions. These include universities, technical institutes, and other postsecondary colleges in the country. This Fantasy is anchored on the C-Trade technology infrastructure,” he added.
Latifa Kassim, the Nedbank Head of Treasury said the platform creates an avenue for educating the youth on prudent processes of investment decision-making and risk management.
“Nedbank Zimbabwe Limited is proud to partner with the Escrow Group as a key sponsor, as they launch this very relevant program(C-Trade Fantasy- play, learn and invest) meant to support financial literacy and inclusion in Zimbabwe particularly the youth who are our future. C-Trade in simple terms is a trading platform for securities. A survey found that most people are not well versed with capital markets and securities trading – limiting their investment options and essentially their opportunities to have financial security. C Trade Fantasy program which will run for 6 months with Nedbank’s involvement ( and provide monthly prizes to successful participants) will help educate the youth on prudent practices around investment decision-making and risk management,” Kassim said.
She added that C-Trade Fantasy provides an exciting new program meant to allow adult Zimbabweans and youth the opportunity to gain greater insights around capital markets, investment decisions ( how they are made) and to participate in securities trading.
“Because C- Trade is a mobile and internet-based product, it allows easy access to investors across the board. Such innovation ties in neatly with the strides the banking sector in Zimbabwe and particularly Nedbank has made in providing innovative products and services that can be enjoyed from anywhere at any time and just at a click of a button. Essentially financial services through Nedbank are now accessible to everyone through the internet and mobile banking platforms.”
Some of the features of the C-Trade Fantasy according to spiked are:
- Enable eligible participants to register for the fantasy and at the same time create their live trading accounts
- Participants will each be allocated ZW$1,000,000 virtual cash for practice purposes
- The platform will have access to live market data to enable simulated securities trading
- It will also act as a demo platform for those requiring a practical feel of our markets without having to part with real money
- Trading will be as if one is trading on the real market but using virtual money
- Participants will be able to test their skills in analysing and picking the right stocks to build their virtual portfolios
- The platform will track the performance of the virtual portfolios for each participant and rank them according to performance
- The highest performers will various prizes monthly while the best performers at the end of each six-month season will be awarded the full value of their portfolio in real money for their investment in the live market
- Participants will also be able to create their own mini leagues among their friends and families to compare their portfolio performance
Participants in the C-Trade challenge will receive free training from professionals like Mr. Batanai Matsika, a well-known financial analyst in the nation.
Participants will receive ongoing coaching and have the chance to put new skills to use. The winners of the investment challenge, which starts on September 15, 2022, will be announced live on Heart and Soul TV every Thursday at 3 p.m.
Nedbank Limited, who will be supplying banking and settlement support and enabling participants to open real accounts for their investments, and Alpha Media Holdings, who will be playing a crucial role in information dissemination through their numerous communication channels, are two examples of the companies that will be essential to the process – HARARE