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U.S. to honor Zim corporates & students for social responsibilty

Harare, October 28, 2011: U.S. Ambassador Charles A. Ray and Fred Mutanda, Chairman of the American Business Association of Zimbabwe (ABAZ), today announced the winners of the second annual "Investing in Zimbabwe's Future € Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Awards: Zimplats Holdings Limited and Nyaradzo Funeral Services. The two companies, plus the Chinhoyi University Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team, will be honored at a ceremony in Harare Friday evening.

Nyaradzo Funeral Services was recognized for its active involvement in environmentally-focused CSR. The company provides trees to every family they work with to help replace those removed when clearing a burial site. The company also works with Friends of the Environment, an environmental NGO, and last year held a tree planting walkathon from Gweru to Harare, planting 6,000 trees. Another walkathon is planned this year from Harare to Mutare. Nyaradzo Funeral Services CEO Philip Mataranyika won this year's Businessman of the Year Award from Zim National Chamber of Commerce.

Zimplats invested approximately $1.3 million in 2011 in community, growth and economic empowerment projects in the areas where they work. Their projects included building a primary school, and funding a self-help poultry project and a brick-making project.

The Chinhoyi University of Technology Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team, Zimbabwe's representative at the 2011 SIFE World Cup held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, came second after Germany in the tightly contested competition involving 37 countries from across the globe. The Chinhoyi University of Technology team presented their projects in Chivi, Chivhu and Kenzamba.

The "Investing in Zimbabwe's Future € award winners are selected by a group of ABAZ board members and U.S. Embassy officials.   Criteria for selection include demonstrated commitment, including leadership and resources, to improving the lives of the future generation of Zimbabwe and concrete efforts to open education and job opportunities for young Zimbabweans.

The American Business Association of Zimbabwe (ABAZ) is the collective voice of U.S. business and investment in Zimbabwe.     It serves as both a forum and representative body for U.S. business and Zimbabwean/American business interests to encourage a better understanding of the role of business in a competitive market system.   In early October, ABAZ led a delegation of Zimbabwean business persons to the U.S. for the U.S.-African Business Summit, where a pre-summit discussion on doing business in Zimbabwe was held.   The meeting was attended by Ambassador Ray and Zimbabwe's ambassador in Washington.

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