Bridgette Moyo and Courtney Matende Midlands Reporters
DeutschConnect an organisation that seeks to link Southern African Start Ups and Young Entrepreneurs with German business ecosystem has appointed Midlands based young champion farmer Mr John Muchenje as its Agricultural Ambassador.

Speaking from his German base, the founder of DeutschConnect Mr Kumbirai Chipadza said they were looking to working with Zimbabwe’s young people who already have established businesses and helping them to grow.

“The world over, the Start Up scene is worth billions and as a Zimbabwean based in Germany which is the Centre of Start Ups in Europe, we have access to the Network of funders and Venture Capitalists as well as ongoing projects by African Development Bank meant for African Start Ups and Young Entrepreneurs,” said Mr Chipadza.

“DeutschConnect has appointed Mr John Muchenje as Agricultural Ambassador because of his hard work and success in farming and that we should be able to have such young farmers exporting their produce.”

Mr Chipadza said Mr Muchenje’s role would be to co-ordinate with Zimbabwean farmers and later Southern African farmers, in coming up with programmes whereby the farmers will be mentored and match marked with German farmers and given access to market, funds and partnerships.

He said it was unfortunate that due to lack of information the majority of Zimbabwean youths are being left out in terms of opportunities meant for them for the socio-economic development of the country adding that most of the funding and access to European market was going to West and East Africa.

“Firstly, West Africans are united and we want that for our youths. They help each other and do not have our pull him down syndrome,” said Mr Chipadza. “We must get together and form economic clusters to negotiate for contracts or funding as groups.

“Secondly, as Zimbabweans we concentrate too much on England yet there are more opportunities in mainland Europe. We need a paradigm shift.

“Our country needs investments and access to foreign markets. This has a direct access to German business market and European network. It also provides European opportunities for Young Entrepreneurs.

‘‘As a young farmer/Entrepreneur I regard it as an opportunity for growth through facilitated exchange programmes and marketing.  Opening of exports markets will be ideal since we need foreign currency in the country.”

Mr Muchenje said the Zimbabwe Youths in agriculture will benefit through exchange programmes (mentorship, learning and share ideas), access to European network and business market and opportunities for start-ups.

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