How to Democratize the Stock Market in Zimbabwe

C-Trade is the first service in Africa to offer combined desktop, mobile app and text message stock trading. Accessible to anyone with a Zimbabwe-based bank account who wants to swap shares in the 56 active listed companies on the country’s stock exchange, C-Trade has seen an average of $300,000 in trades each month since its launch last July.  The innovation forged by Collen Tapfumaneyi, who has created numerous finance platforms such as the Financial Securities Exchange (Finsec), Corpserve Registrars — Zimbabwe’s first independent share-registry company — to help companies launch IPOs, manage shares and pay dividends. This evolved into the Escrow Group, which now commands a 42 percent market share in Zimbabwe with offices in Kenya and Zambia. The market cap for Finsec, which democratizes trading of a wide variety of securities by bringing them to a central online marketplace, is $320 million. By global standards, the amount is minuscule, but Tapfumaneyi is thinking far beyond his 17 million-strong homeland. He’s establishing himself as one of the continent’s innovators, with a goal of facilitating a stock market revolution: do-it-yourself public stock offerings.


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