Founder and chairperson of the Bisila Bokoko African Literacy Project (BBALP), and former executive director of the Spain-US Chamber of Commerce in New York, Bisila Bokoko says she is considering investing in the country’s tourism industry as it has a lot of potential to prosper.
Speaking at the Institute of Directors Zimbabwe meeting on strategies to enter international markets this morning, Bokoko, who has been in the country for the past week said she has had successful meetings which she would like to follow up when she comes back to Zimbabwe.
“I think I am still exploring some areas but tourism would be a potential area that I would focus my interest and of course social work, I am happy working here with my philanthropic work. Through tourism you can get to have a lot of investment.
“I have been meeting with young entrepreneurs, designers and my impression of this country keeps improving. Zimbabweans actually don’t know how much potential they have. The level of professionalism and enthusiasm is high,” she said.
Besides the literacy foundation from which Zimbabwe has already benefited, Bokoko has interests in the wine making and shoe industry all over the world.
She said the problem with Zimbabwe is the lack of a clear marketing strategy to attract partners into the sectors that need funding.
“The problem is that Zimbabweans needs to be more out there, to market themselves so that people understand more what you have to offer and people will be more willing to really team up with you and do something. I believe that people don’t have knowledge about what Africa has to offer and Africa hasn’t marketed itself as a whole, it is not just a Zimbabwean problem but it’s an African problem. Africa knows what’s going on in Europe but we don’t know what’s going on in Africa,” she said.
She said money should not always be the limitation as a lot of the successful people started from scratch.
“The economy’s restraints should not stop you because you have your brains and sometimes you cannot do things alone. Most of the successful cases, we have someone who has the capital and someone with the mindset,” she added.
IODZ chairperson Eve Gadzikwa said Zimbabwe should learn from Bokmoko’s experience and formulate a new strategy for doing business.
“In Zimbabwe we have many SMEs and what they are just looking for is a market to sell their products. But we allow ourselves to be limited by the borders. We create these limitations for ourselves. Unless we market ourselves the partners will not come to us. So we need to create a good positive brand image, marketing our country positively to the rest of the world. For a long time Zimbabwe has been isolated but we need to reverse that and get our economy running,” she said.