South Africa based Zimbabwean businessman Frank Buyanga, plans to establish a fund to empower youths in the country and also help capitalise the sovereign wealth fund (SWF).
According to reports from South Africa yesterday, the entrepreneur said this was in response to calls by the new administration of President Mnangagwa, which desperately needs investment to revive its economy, which collapsed under long-time former President Mr Robert Mugabe.
The businessman, who resides in Johannesburg has offered to help capitalise the youth fund, which he said can assist start-ups and grow the economy.
Zimbabwe, which is heavily indebted and has a very high unemployment rate estimated at more than 80 percent, has been unable to fund youth business projects, much to the detriment of small-scale enterprises.
Mr Buyanga earlier this year wrote to the Zimbabwean government to offer his assistance in setting the wealth fund.
In the letter, Buyanga noted: “As Africa Medallion Group (AMG), we want to be part of the new Zimbabwe by helping our SWF reach its goals and also get the necessary financial ability to do so.”
He said the AMG balance sheet had exceeded R10 billion (about US$670 million) in a relatively short period of time and was storing gold purchased and related material at locally obtained secured vaults.
“As an entrepreneur, I am aware that at this moment, when the fiscus is stretched so thin and has nothing to spare, the practicality of SWF for Zimbabwe is then close to impossible,” Mr Buyanga said.
He added; “However, with our assistance together we can make it a reality.”
A SWF or sovereign investment fund is a state-owned investment fund that invests in real and financial assets such as stocks, bonds, real estate, precious metals, or in alternative investments such as private equity fund or hedge funds.
In June this year, the flamboyant businessman Mr Buyanga’s African Medallion Group (AMG) took control of South Africa-based, Pagliari Group, a subsidiary of Rand Refinery, which manufactures and supplies high quality minted products.
The AMG deal with Rand Refinery came on top of Mr Buyanga’s other investments in financial services, mining, and property.
The deal between AMG and Rand Refinery recently signed in Johannesburg, came as the former has hit the R3,5 billion mark with its gold reserves.
The Pagliari Group was founded in 1957 by Mauro Pagliari.
In a statement, AMG chairperson, Estee Maman, said the acquisition of Pagliari was part of her group’s growth strategy.
“This is an incredible deal, great news for AMG, this is how we are progressing forward.
“This is part of the growth strategy as we go forward. Pagliari was part of Rand Refinery and now it’s becoming part of AMG, we are taking it forward. We intend to grow bigger for the benefit of the rest of Africa.
“This shows the people how AMG is progressing, this is for the people, the more we able to grow the more the people benefit,” she said.
Maman said AMG has seen rapid growth since its formation and will focus on expansion within the continent through organic and through strategic acquisitions.
The developments also came after in February, AMG had announced that its gold reserves had surpassed the R3.5 billion mark, making it an attractive buy for gold investors.
The 14-month-old start-up’s accelerated growth has given it a boost as it planned to enter the highly unpredictable Zimbabwean market.