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Meridian Fellows Going Back Home to Fully Develop Businesses

  • Tatenda Gumbo

Meridian Fellows (from left to right): Tafadzwa Makura, Moreblessing Sigauke, Tawanda Chikosi, and Gerald Mangena

Meridian Fellows (from left to right): Tafadzwa Makura, Moreblessing Sigauke, Tawanda Chikosi, and Gerald Mangena

Zimbabwean participants of the 2014 Meridian Professional Fellows program are expecting to return to Zimbabwe to implement the firsthand experience learnt working alongside their American counterparts.

The six Zimbabwean participants were joined by six other Zambian colleagues, who for five weeks, were learning more about business entrepreneurship.

The fellows represented various sectors of the economy, including tourism, technology, agribusiness and brand management.

Fellow Tawanda Chikosi, chief operating officer of Chikosi Technology Corporation, a company which aims to be a pioneer of innovative technologies in Zimbabwe and Africa, said his stay in America was an eye-opener.

“We have learnt a lot of business technics and methodologies that are just being adopted here in the US which have not been adopted back in Zimbabwe,” said Chikosi.

Chikosi, who hopes to return to Zimbabwe to incorporate technology in Zimbabwe’s education sector, said the fellows have specifically learnt the importance of mentorship and networking and moving their businesses forward.

Hosted by the Meridian International Center, the 2014 Meridian Professional Fellow Program, focused on economic empowerment, placing participants with American businesses and community-based organizations.

Tafadzwa Makura, founder of Open Book Project aiming to increase the opportunity for authors in Africa to publish their work electronically at low costs, said after getting the necessary skills he is interested in assisting other young entrepreneurs to boost their businesses.

“That’s one thing that I will take back home and share as much as possible, is before you call yourself an entrepreneur it’s what are you doing, what are you calling a business, what is a business and where is your value,” said Makura.

Moreblessing Sigauke, who is the managing director of Sanning Travel, a travel and tourism company, said the American system showed her what the potential Zimbabwe has in regards to reviving and expanding its tourism sector.

Commenting on Zimbabwe, which recently received two tourism awards, Sigauke said the country can maximize its potential by providing technological means to market itself to international visitors.

Gerald Mangena, executive chairman of Great Mountains, an agriculture company focusing on processing and production of sustainable high-crop development, said his he had a wonderful experience.

Mangena said what he learnt while on the program is that it’s important for him and the other participants to seek continuous improvement of their systems and businesses.

Other Zimbabwe participants include Rinesh Desai, company director for Computer Troubleshooters Zimbabwe, a franchise dedicated to delivering IT services and Nonto Masuku, executive partner at Aurafactor, a public relations and brand management firm.