Monday, 15 December 2014

Internet Of Things(IoT) To Take Centre Stage In 2015

The Internet of Things will not be stopped in 2015. The train has left the station and it is building up a head of steam and will wait for no-one.

The Internet of Things represents a vision in which the Internet extends into the real world embracing everyday objects. Physical items are no longer disconnected from the virtual world, but can be controlled remotely and can act as physical access points to Internet services. An Internet of Things makes computing truly ubiquitous – a concept initially put forward by Mark Weiser in the early 1990s.

Today 50 billion devices are connected to the Internet. Most of us are connected through at least one device, but more than often not, through a number of devices. Now smartphones are being used to control certain functions for us, for example remotely setting your house temperature, activating your alarm, security surveillance. This is just the beginning.

Imagine if connections could be made intelligently with us. Your air-con switched on half an hour before you got home, because it knows it has been a hot day, or the heat comes on because it is a cold day, the fridge tells you what is off... This is the Internet of Things. It is not about things at all, but about connections and this has huge implications for how we communicate.

According to a recent McKinsey Global Institute report, the Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to unleash as much as $6.2 trillion in new global economic value annually by 2025. The firm also projects that 80 to 100 percent of all manufacturers will be using IoT applications by then, leading to potential economic impact of as much as $2.3 trillion for the global manufacturing industry alone.

Technology innovations across computing and communication infrastructures , as well as the things themselves, have converged — after all, the Internet now connects the car, the home appliance, and the office building.

One of the criticisms being levelled against the Internet of Things is that it is being developed rapidly without appropriate consideration of the profound security challenges involved and the regulatory changes that might be necessary. In particular, as the Internet of Things spreads widely, cyber attacks are likely to become an increasingly physical (rather than simply virtual) threat.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Digital Economy in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe’s average local broadband speed has reached a new high of 6.5 Mbps in the month of May according to NetIndex. Before now, the highest average ever reached was 5.8Mbps. Local broadband speed, loosely explained, is the rate at which one can access internet content from a locally hosted website or app.
This new internet speed ranks Zimbabwe among the countries with the highest local broadband speed in Sub Saharan Africa with only Ghana, Kenya, Namibia and Madagascar ahead who have 7 Mbps, 7.2 Mbps, 10.4 Mbps and 13.2 Mbps respectively.

These developments are largely due to the heavy investments that companies like Liquid Telecom and others have done in laying fibre networks across the the country connecting with undersea cable routes. This has brought relatively fast internet and more areas are now set to be connected to the internet.

But what does these developments mean for the economy of Zimbabwe?

It means a digital economy is opening up in the country. A Digital Economy refers to an economy that is based on digital technologies.

The widespread adoption of handheld computers, mobile phones, digital cameras, satellite navigation, embedded sensors and a host of increasingly interconnected devices marks the beginning of a shift towards a world of ubiquitous computing that will ultimately see people served by many thousands of computers.

ICT is one of the fastest growing sectors in the economy of Zimbabwe and it is obvious that a greater  number of the population is employed in the ICT industry. If we aggregate the numbers of people employed by all the 3 mobile network operators( MNOs) and the downstream industry of retailing of airtime vouchers cards and other value added services like Ecocash  one can have an insight into the power of a digital economy in Zimbabwe and Africa.

However, if small economies like Zimbabwe are to benefit from this ICT revolution that is currently underway, we need to first appreciate the immense benefits that this sector has to our economy. The results are all there to see in the employment creation capabilities of the ICT industry. It is from this firm understanding that we can give this sector the attention and priority it deserves in policy making.

Having clearly ascertained the benefits in ICT for our economy, we need to ask ourselves one pertinent question that will drive us toward creating the capacity and preparedness to benefit from these revolution. Do we have the skills to tap into the developments happening around the globe with regards to ICT? Indeed, our people now have greater access to the internet. The statistics are encouraging. We now have internet penetration rates of over 50 %, one of the highest figures on the continent. The question we need to ask is, what are the places that Zimbabweans are visiting on the internet? Beyond social media platforms and accessing their emails, what activity do Zimbabweans do on the internet? With the power to access internet, also comes the power to stop at certain places, we are sites. With that ability as well, comes the power to create CONTENT! Beyond Facebook, Twitter, and other new sites that internet users visit, do we see any other meaningful activities from internet users? Zimbabweans will not benefit from ICT developments, if they do not have digital skills that can make them compete in this connected global village. Inasmuch as we laud the developments that have been taking place with regards to internet connectivity in Zimbabwe, these developments will not mean much to the ordinary young graduate who is coming out of college with diminishing prospects of being gainfully employed. However, the only way of giving people the power of the internet is to build skills and capacity that can make it possible for them to create content that can be monetised on the internet.

Indeed, we seem to have gotten it right with regards to connecting people to the internet. What we need to get right Now, is to build ability to be productive on the internet. Much of the content we are consuming on in the internet is not produced in Africa, it is produced elsewhere, notably, USA and other European countries.

How do we get our people to begin to do basic things like creating blogs and start blogging? How do we create mobile application developers in Zimbabweans with Android and IOS development skills? How about animators and filmmakers? Hardware makers? Young engineers who create internet hardware applications? Such is the kind of conversation that we need to begin to have in Zimbabweans in order to have a lot of people joining this bandwagon.

In 2014, we have seen the local technological ecosystem growing especially with coming on board of technology hubs like Muzinda Hub, HyperCube and others. Tech competitions like the ZOL StartUp Challenge are very commendable and we need to build on this backdrop in order to get more people equipped with ICT skills. Notably, Muzinda Hub is running a digital skills scholarship meant to impart digital skills to young people and working on job placements or finding an entrepreneurial opportunity for them. These initiatives need the support and backing of the government to give them the nationwide appeal and momentum to make significant impact in the economy.

Digital economy is here and it is growing and for young Zimbabweans to compete on the global stage they need relevant skills. Now is is the time to join this bandwagon and build digital skills for the 21st century.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013



Article written by: Ngonidzashe Muzondo.

A nation whose population is largely composed of young people is endowed with great potential for accelerated levels of idea generation, creativity, innovation and enthusiasm for developmental issues.

Youths are the heartbeat and lifeblood of a nation, they are the strength, the carriers of visions and dreams that represent a better tomorrow. Within them is a keen pulsating desire that usually defies odds of negativities and circumstances that are normally staked against them in the quest of their visions.

Young people have an enormous stake in the present and future state of Zimbabwe. Almost half of the human population is under the age of 25. If young people's resources of energy, time, and knowledge are misdirected towards violence,  and unsustainable consumption, civilization risks destabilization. Yet, there is a powerful opportunity for society if young people can participate positively in all aspects of sustainable and economic development. In order to do so, young people need education, political support, resources, skills, and mentorship.

Economic advantage no longer depends on natural resources, cheap raw materials, trade of goods and services or giant factories. Instead, creativity and innovation are now driving the new economy and re-invigorating the old economy. Creativity and innovation now drive the fastest growing economies in the world, and reshaping the global economy. Youths are the source of this creativity and innovation.

In order, to unleash this creativity that is resident in youths, there is need for governments and civil society to set up funds and training programs to establish a culture of youth entrepreneurship in Zimbabwe.  A critical element of the current global crisis is the struggle of young people to enter in the labour market. Young people are three times more likely than adults to be out of a job. For those with a job, the quality of the job is another issue. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates, of the total 200 million unemployed worldwide, 75 million or around 40% are young people.

Entrepreneurship represents an attractive route of solving youth unemployment and an avenue through which young people can unleash the great potentialities and creativity that is lying dormant within them.

Given the right combination of motivation, ideas and opportunities, youth are more than able to establish productive and creative businesses. Engaging in
entrepreneurship shifts young people from being “job seekers” to “job creators,” and also from social dependence to self-sufficiency. Many self-employed youth also contribute to the upkeep of their family, sometimes 
in a leading role in the absence of parents.

Despite these potential benefits, the majority of youth continue to look up to the state for employment rather than creating their own jobs and employing others. This failure of young people to engage in entrepreneurship has also been attributed to a range of factors:   sociocultural attitudes towards youth entrepreneurship,   lack of entrepreneurial training in the school curriculum,     incomplete market information,  absence of business support and  physical infrastructure,  regulatory framework conditions, and  in particular,  poor access to finance.

To improve access to credit in the formal market, a number of African governments and some private organizations (profit and non-profit) have established funds and micro-credit institutions to provide finance to young people. In Zimbabwe, the government partnered with Old Mutual Zimbabwe Limited to create a 10 million dollar youth fund facility and in Zambia,   the government set up a K40 billion Youth Empowerment Fund to provide venture capital to young people with sound business projects.   However, more public and private schemes are needed to increase opportunities for youth.

Providing capital alone to young potential entrepreneurs is only part of the solution. Studies have shown that what is more effective is the provision of capital together with training in managerial and entrepreneurial skills. In South Africa, for example, the Umsobomvu Youth Fund (UYF), a government-created development finance agency for skills development and employment creation for youth, has developed a number of initiatives such as micro loans for young entrepreneurs, the creation of a venture-capital fund underwritten by a mainstream bank with the UYF providing guarantees, and the development of a voucher programme to access business development services. 

The determination of young people for self-improvement and their commitment to improving the social, political and economic fabric of society through entrepreneurship is clearly viable and should be pursued vigorously as a policy alternative.

Friday, 14 June 2013



I want to share with you the little that I know concerning the subject of succeeding and triumphing in the business of life.

Success is a choice and a conscious decision that one makes, just like failing is. The choice lies in the pursuit and dedication of yourself to avenues that lead to the place that one wants himself/herself to be. Real success is not stumbled upon, it takes time coupled with a dose of determination and fanatic discipline to that which replicates the desired result. It does not matter what kind of environment that you grew up in, your financial status and other negativities surrounding your life. Where there is a will there is a way. Humans have the ability to mould their surroundings according to the whims of their minds.

We are all created by God to serve a higher and more meaningful purpose in life. Anything is achievable if we put our minds to it and are willing to put the time and effort to attain our deepest desires. There is no hopeless case, the first step is to understand that only you have the power to bring about change in your situation. If you are looked down upon by others it is really up to you to qualify it as a truth in your life or not. Self-esteem is one of the drugs that you should addict your mind to. No one can take your self-esteem away from you, it can not be taken away by force. If you let your dreams haunt you enough then you are on the right track, if you stumble and fall, pick yourself up again and continue. When you are seeing your dreams realizing themselves, and your ambitions coming through, do not lose your head and start looking downing on other people. 

Success is up to you. The paths to success and failure have been clearly marked, the paths that lead to either destination are widely known and acknowledged. What path are you taking? Are your steps bringing you closer to the realization of your dream? Take time and examine your life. If necessary change course, and be on the route to success.

Till next time, keep the inspiration . Have a progressive.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013



The challenges of life are a fact and many a time you can not choose or run away from them. If difficulties are sure to come, then a measure of preparedness is expected in order to deal with them successfully. You can not possibly predict difficult times, so you need to prepare obsessively ahead of time for meeting them in your quest to greatness. It is what you do before the storm hits - the decisions, disciplines and shock absorbers already in place that determines whether you will fall behind, pull ahead or falter when the storm hits.

One way of staying strong in the face of adversity is to choose to be resolute in difficult times. Resoluteness is the quality that allows you to keep focus and stay course when unplanned, unforeseen negative circumstances suddenly appears in your apparent clear course to your goals. Resoluteness is the ability to stay calm and keep your peace when adversity strikes. It is a quality that need to be nurtured and cultivated for it to be your guiding
 angel during times when the chips are down.

How do we cultivate this quality? Train your mind and your inner man to visualize how you will react when the most unpalatable and unplanned occurrence takes place. The extent to which you have familiarized yourself with adversity and you have trained yourself to react to such could be a game changer in your life. Whatever situation  you are familiarized with, you can handle it properly when it suddenly strikes. It is like a student preparing for an examination. How does one prepare and mitigate oneself from displaying ignorance in an examination? You prepare yourself through practicing a set of similar exam questions and by going through your content with a desire of mastering it. It is the same with preparing yourself for adversity. Imagine how you will handle it when that lady or gentleman whom you love so much suddenly walks out on you?  What are your likely possible reactions?

My message to you, Friend, this morning is that life is unpredictable. Adversity strikes and it is a fact. You can not do anything about it but you can do something about yourself. Prepare and decide to be resolute! Be stiff- necked and refuse to bow down to difficult times. Greater is He Who is in you, than he that is in the world. The Bible says that we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. You can never defeated, you can never be outrun by events and circumstances. 

Be resolute In Adversity!

Till next time, keep the inspiration!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013


The Power Of Ubuntu in Developing Viable Business Models In Africa.

South African Nobel Prize laureate Bishop Desmond Tutu has described the Zulu word Ubuntu as meaning " Iam because you are". It represents humanness, sharing, community or humanity toward others. According to the Zulu maxim" A person is a person through other persons"( Ubuntu ngumuntu ngabantu). 

Success in the African consumer markets comes from meeting basic human needs. It comes from recognizing and meeting the needs of African communities. Customers, employees, and business partners come from these communities.  Business only flourish and become relevant when they begin to meet and address real human needs, and nowhere is this more true than in Africa, where the needs are so so great. In an economic sense, businesses recognize that "I am because you are".

Viable business models are being built in Africa and the thrust of the profitability of these companies has been the meeting of basic human needs of the consumers in the African society. Africa's population is largely young and the need for quality educational facilities and resources has never been great than at this point. As the demand for education and books soars, African governments have not been able to keep pace with the rapid demand for the basic human need, hence entrepreneurs have been closing the gap through providing educational resources such as books and stationery to a market that would otherwise have been without this essential  requirement. 

These many successful ventures in Africa are demonstrating that the best hope for Africa is entrepreneurship and market development. Humanity is what makes Africa an attractive market. It is basic need for food, shelter, 
clothing, education and communication that are driving progress in Africa. It is the basic human desire for parents to provide the best for their children.

It is the indomitable spirit and creativity of entrepreneurs who are overcoming the challenges and drawing the African continent into one of the world's most important emerging markets.

Successful and profitable ventures are being built up from a simple standpoint in Africa, if you do not recognize what is happening in the community you can not meet the needs in that community.

Africa is a continent on the move! It is one of the world s most important emerging markets. The success of Africa hinges on balancing social development with sustainable economic progress.


Thursday, 9 May 2013


Decline can be avoided.

Decline can be detected.

Decline can be reversed.

Amidst the desolate landscape of fallen great companies, Jim Collins began to wonder: How do the mighty fall? Can decline be detected early and avoided? How far can a company fall before the path toward doom becomes inevitable and unshakable? How can companies reverse course?

In How the Mighty Fall, Collins confronts these questions, offering leaders the well-founded hope that they can learn how to stave off decline and, if they find themselves falling, reverse their course. Collins' research project-more than four years in duration-uncovered five step-wise stages of decline:

Stage 1: Hubris Born of Success

Stage 2: Undisciplined Pursuit of More

Stage 3: Denial of Risk and Peril

Stage 4: Grasping for Salvation

Stage 5: Capitulation to Irrelevance or Death

By understanding these stages of decline, leaders can substantially reduce their chances of falling all the way to the bottom.

Great companies can stumble, badly, and recover.

Every institution, no matter how great, is vulnerable to decline. There is no law of nature that the most powerful will inevitably remain at the top. Anyone can fall and most eventually do. But, as Collins' research emphasizes, some companies do indeed recover-in some cases, coming back even stronger-even after having crashed into the depths of Stage 4.

Decline, it turns out, is largely self-inflicted, and the path to recovery lies largely within our own hands. We are not imprisoned by our circumstances, our history, or even our staggering defeats along the way. As long as we never get entirely knocked out of the game, hope always remains. The mighty can fall, but they can often rise again.