If you have spent enough time in Zimbabwe at some point you get used to the gallows humour and general pessimism that is captured by phrases like zvinhu zvakadakwa (things are moving slowly). The massive interest generated by our story I paid a bribe and I didn’t like it also serves to highlight the type of stories that dominate our public discourse. Frampol Investments however are framing a new discussion through pioneering their own way of doing business in Zimbabwe.
It was a real breath of fresh air to meet folks with not only a sunny disposition but whose actions are equally cool. This is the impact I felt when I met Tendekai Tadi and Neil Padmore of Frampol Investments an IT company that has a touch of difference. Though the company is not as big or as well know known as some of it’s competitors it’s unlikely that there’s one with more soul. Frampol Investments is an ISP /IT services company that through it’s non-profit arm Helping Zimbabwe is making a difference in an environment that has suffered from chronic neglect.
Frampol are based along Mutare Road, Msasa, Harare and since 2009 have been actively maintaining a 12km stretch of road from Samora Machel & Fourth Street to Jaggers in Msasa, which is a major artery of the capital city. The company’s offices are adjacent to this road. Their work has included filling potholes, planting trees (both within the island of the dual carriageway and on both sides of the road), trimming trees, cutting grass and clearing debris in the form of rocks and soil from the road.
The Msasa Cleanup Project Team
Consistent with the Helping Zimbabwe’s principles of managing the environment, exclusively indigenous trees are planted, with an emphasis on shade and fruit trees. To achieve this the organisation works with disadvantaged individuals who are paid for their services. The following is a summary of the activities undertaken under the Msasa environmental program:
The Msasa Cleanup Project, however is one of five thematic areas that Help Zimbabwe is pursuing, the others being: Livelihoods, Food Security, Child Protection and Health. Tendekai indicated that these are in the works and will soon be active once the relevant paperwork has been processed with the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare.
In Harare’s Marlborough suburb Help Zimbabwe is working closely with the Shalom Academy an orphanage that caters for 15 children with another 20 they are being supported in the Accelerated Christian Eduction (ACE) program.
In its core business Frampol provides Internet connectivity via UHF and fibre solutions and has various innovative products under it’s banner. Notably these include the Frampol Databank, Frampol Mailbank and the Fortigate range of network products. Here’s a quick lowdown of these products:
Frampol Databank: A data storage/ backup solution (an enterprise Dropbox or iCloud if you will) that was introduced in response to market demand for backup storage solution. Frampol’s customers where experiencing loss of critical data to various reasons including theft, fire and system crashes. Databank backs up data via the Internet to the company’s servers that are housed in a secure location with uninterrupted power supply (backup power is provided by a generator and invertor system). An offsite location backups the backup. The pricing for the service is $800/yr/100GB, but for the month of June, Frampol is offering a 25% discounted price of $600/yr/100GB.
Frampol Mailbank: An email archiving system which is useful for companies with high volumes of important business communication that is conducted via email. The product is a response to the fact that emails can be deleted, employees can leave abruptly and for continuity purposes it helps to have access to an employees email archive. This service is $50/mailbox/yr/ minimum 5 mailboxes and offers 2GB storage.
FortiGate: This device allows efficient network performance, detects intruders and threats and acts as a firewall. The appliances functionality enables the network administrator to deal with spyware, malware, viruses, blocks restricted sites (such as porn) and an ability to adjust bandwidth use per user. Frampol offers various FortiGate models with the top of the range FortiGate 3950D model retailing at $1,800 incl installation and setup.
Frampol’s social responsibility program is certainly worth celebrating and an example worth following.
Before a clean up excercise
After a clean up excercise
Simon Jailos who is Manager of the Frampol Helping Zimbabwe Project, next to trees that his team has planted
Images Credit: Helping Zimbabwe