Ina Opperman
Business Journalist
2 minute read
8 Jan 2021
3:33 pm

WATCH: App launched to address Zimbabwean food shortages

Ina Opperman

Zimbabwean nationals living in SA and abroad could now place an order for an assortment of foodstuffs and have the parcel ready for collection or delivery back home.

Photo for illustration. Picture: Pxhere.

Food shortages in African countries are worsening due to Covid-19 and the World Health Organisation has reported that over 800 million people have hunger and food shortages as their constant daily companion.

Zimbabweans often left their country to go and work elsewhere to earn money that they could send home to their families. Food insecurity was now more rife than ever in South Africa’s neighbouring country, but this could be a problem of the past with a new app that can help Zimbabweans in other countries buy groceries and essential items for their family in Zimbabwe, and have them collect it the same day.

Africans found themselves in dire straits with critical food insecurity and lack of access to cash made worse by social distancing practices maintained during the pandemic. Collecting the goods ordered by a relative or having it delivered at home helped maintain social distancing.

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The launch of in Zimbabwe and the extension of its collection network was part of the company’s efforts to enable people to ensure that their families were taken care of over the holidays, according to managing director of Hello Paisa, Sayjil Magan.

“The situation in our neighbouring countries is worsening dramatically. By providing our customers with solutions, such as, we intend to assist in alleviating food shortages, hunger and food insecurity. We have expanded our network to 18 collection points throughout Zimbabwe.”

Zimbabwean nationals living in South Africa and abroad could now place an order for an assortment of foodstuffs and essential products at the click of a button, pay with an electronic transfer (EFT) or at selected retailers and have the parcel ready for collection or delivery back home on the same day with the data-free Malaicha app.

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It was also important for African countries to do everything possible to alleviate the effects of food insecurity. Magan said the company has the necessary skills and resources to bring aid to people and those in neighbouring countries.

“Africans need to create uniquely African solutions tailored to resolve the continent’s problems. African businesses must collaborate to ultimately create a local, sustainable value chain by supporting local businesses such as farmers, manufacturers and food suppliers to improve businesses in Africa for Malaicha to purchase from these suppliers,” Magan said.

Video: Carlos Muchave

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