Zimbabwe Stock Exchange finally launches website; a really useful one

L.S.M Kabweza Avatar
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Website Launch

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Acting CEO, Martin Matanda speaking at the launch of the ZSE website. On his right is ZSE Chairperson, Eve Gadzikwa, and a Big Law head of customer services, Albert Nyarugwe.

We’re just from a Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) event where the local exchange was launching a web portal. The new website comes online after close to 2 years of being down. From our first impressions we almost want to say the wait was worth it, which we shouldn’t say because 2 years is a long long time.

But the website is that; really impressive. And its not about design – the design is really good as well by the way – but its about information being available to people that need it. Freely.  The website is  loaded with lots of useful information that makes it so easy to track what’s going on in terms of the financials of listed companies. You can drill down on each company and get more details like it’s annual reports, graphs of its movement over a period, latest news on the counter, information on shares issued, the company’s executives, other companies related to it, and lots of other stuff.

All the information is available free to anyone. ZSE executives speaking at the launch today said making all this information freely available is unprecedented on the continent as other bourses charge for the detailed information on listed companies.

There’s also new social media integration. The ZSE’s Twitter account is active right now with over 1,200 tweets made already. Speaking at today’s launch,  ZSE acting CEO Martin Matanda said he believes the role of social media in the ZSE’s new initiative is critical. “Twitter and Facebook are being used to interact with all stakeholders, enabling the ZSE to communicate and receive feedback from anywhere in the world with immediate information dissemination.” he said.

He conceded that the ZSE is not approaching this assuming everything will be smooth; “there is no doubt that we are new to this and will learn from it so our disclosure policy is expected to evolve according to our experiences,” he explained.

Matanda also indicated that they will have an API for organisations that want to connect to the ZSE’s data store. They will however charge a small fee for such access.

One small drawback we noticed is that the website is not mobile friendly, which means it’ll be relatively cumbersome for someone viewing it from a phone or small tablet. It’s still in beta, so maybe an improvement is coming down the load.

The website itself was developed by a local web development company called Big Law. They have developed investor relations website for a number of listed companies locally, so you could say they have experience in this kind of thing. It looks like Big Law will be managing the website for ZSE onward. On this Matanda said there will be some training of ZSE staff to enable them to do the website themselves but didn’t say how long this would take.

The BigLaw team
The Big Law team, the company the new ZSE website


  1. Beaton Nyamapanda

    I love the new website, its lively, has all the required information and so on. So believe me when i say I’m not hating when i say these words.

    If a company does a website on WordPress (a free content management system) and purchase a template for the look and feel and installs a few plugins for some additional functions, can we say they developed the website? From my knowledge of this industry, this is not development, this is just customizing a template on top of WordPress.

    As for the mobile friendly problem, there are many plugins to use to make a WordPress site mobile friendly, i can suggest a few to them and they are all free.

    1. rob

      Its all about content, how its presented and why its presented. Design is out, content is in and for content to be understood you need to understand business. And that’s a different ball game

    2. Frank

      What people develop are not websites. People develop databases which drives the website and this is what is expensive. What did they say about re-inventing the wheel.

    3. Concern Shoko

      The era of “coding” endlessly and aimlessly is over. Welcome to the new world that runs on themes and templates! all that matters is the layout and content, whether WP, Joomla, plain html+css+jquery….the real cutomer doesn’t really care!

    4. Pindile Mhandu

      Design is key: If this site looked like those gvt websites, all these nerds will be dissing joomla/wordpress right now. If i am a client paying $40million dollars for website development you think i would be chuffed to hear u templatised my website from a $45 theme? They should make their own themes OG, plugins can come in but create your own stuff. If ZSE paid $1000 for the site then i’d understand the $45 theme idea but surely they paid out of the nose.

    5. Time

      Umm Beaton please educate yourself on the true power of using WordPress, Joomla etc. Did you know the Mercedese Benz USA website runs on Joomla? But have you ever seen a Mercedes configurator extension in the Joomla extension directiory? No. That is because it was developed and the developers decided to use Joomla as the CMS instead of waisting everybodys time in building a custom CMS when one that served their needs already existed. So please stop this nonsense of saying you can’t be called a developer simply because your blank canvas is infact WordPress or Joomla or Drupal etc.

      P.S. A configurator is what you use to build your custom car on the net before deciding to purchase or just to check out how you can trick out your dream car.

    6. Bonde

      Dude re-use is key to development today… otherwise you may as well just go and develop your website in BINARY!

  2. Zim Observer

    I aplaud the “effort”… they picked a really nice WordPress theme!

  3. getdevhelp

    im sorry, but is this website for the “ZSE” or is it for “BIg Law”???

    Scroll to the footer and it says “get in touch” with a logo of BIg Law next to it???

    Yes, nice wordpress theme (http://themeforest.net/item/etherna-powerful-and-flexible-wordpress-theme/462474) – kikiki, you could have at least changed the theme name?

    Besides that, great site. Full of information.

    1. L.S.M. Kabweza

      Changing the theme name would imply they are ashamed to be associated with a themed site and are trying to hide it. I don’t think they should be ashamed… this website is about data

      1. getdevhelp

        I agree, they should not be ashamed, they have actually changed the original theme alot, therefore they have spent quite some dev time working on it.

        What i mean is that it would be a lot more professional to change the name to reflect the client… #thatisall

    2. Tirivashe Mundondo

      why should they change the theme name?

  4. Tirivashe Mundondo

    I like the new website, it serves the purpose. Joomla, WordPress or whatever the CMS can be, it delivers and solves their challenge. Thumbs up Big Law

    1. Time

      Couldnt have said it better. I don’t get the ignorant fools cussing out the possible use of Joomla/Wordpress on the site!

      They clearly misunderstand the term CMS. The website probably still has hundreds of hours of custom development and coding but some people seem to think that joomla/wordpress sites only run on the extensions/plugins found in their stores and that nothing custom can be built for them.

      Using a CMS just cuts down on the cost of developing a content management system that will probably serve the same purpose as joomla/wordpress. Building a CMS from the ground up can be costly and may be far more challenging than using a tried, tested and continuosly evolving CMS….but anyways, I cant tell how many times I’ve said this on TZ and you’ll still find someone adamant in saying that already built CMS’s are evil though they can be infact a powerful tool in the hands of the right developer.

      1. Tirivashe Mundondo

        I am glad you think progress and delivery, the rest is what idle people worry about.

  5. Greg Chiponda

    maybe we just found ourselves zimbabwe’s most expensive website, hopefully the parallels just end with the wordpress theme and not the cost

  6. Concern Shoko

    Cool website. Well done! But the domain name could have been better I guess.

    1. KuraiMGT

      Agree, why the long sentence of a web-address, though if you type http://www.zse.co.zw it still take you to the new one

  7. Norman Nhliziyo

    Great looking site 🙂

  8. ic0n1c

    Official ZSE web, at least now I get real time stock info…

  9. KuraiMGT

    Young team!!! I hope with the forthcoming demutualisation as well as dematerialisation, the site will cope. Tired of websites that remain the same as day of launch.

  10. Loyd Kambuzuma

    Why did the website take so long? When will you ( Big Law) make a mobile version of the site? When will you ( Big Law) do development of mobile apps (iOS, Android, RIM and Java). Why the hell did you ( Martin Matanda) domain .com instead of .co.zw, Dont you know that the US government can legally seize any domain ending in .com – This Is Ridiculous! 🙁

    1. Time

      Yes, the US government is definitely going to seize a nations stock exchange website… :’)

  11. Tapiwa ✔

    Some interesting stuff I noticed while sniffing around:
    * some scripts are being loaded from africanfinancials.net, which is on hosted on the same IP (Parallels VM) as ZSE website
    * ‘Coming soon to AfricanFinancials.com’ is commented out in the HTML source
    * Charts have africanfinancials.com watermark

    All of which make me wonder if BigLaw is looking way beyond the local bourse

    post-script edit: they have already gone pan-African. While africanfinancials.net is ‘coming soon’, the .com site is live. I guess they chose .com over .net

  12. Pindile Mhandu

    The domain name is great. SEO-wise it sets the ZSE on the international stage, and the zimbabwe-stock-exchange makes it easier to find for those that wont wasily remember zse.co.zw. Nice site guys big-up

  13. Pindile Mhandu

    I love the detail on this site probably one of the best so far in Zim. I however wonder why the hosting is in USA, it takes so long to download a 2mb file locally. Maybe they wanted to guarantee security of the site from hackers???

  14. anony-ini

    Excellent job by Big Law, free CMS or not, $45 theme or not, I just hope this excellent example of re-use of net resources does not excuse those who abuse themes by just installing and charging premium rand for it without even caring to understand the business and deliver a solution. SOLUTION key word.

  15. Zola

    Great job for bringing back the site and kudos to the BigLaw chaps. Back to the main business did the ZSE guys hire professional pen testers to test this site. If not the typical site down status is imminent now or at some point. So Mr. Mutanda show us some governance and ownership and fund a security testing of the Web and backend infrastructure.

  16. Trust Mutemasango

    Its a good site its better than http://www.jse.co.za so how they did it don’t matter

  17. The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange is a big disappointment right now – Techzim

    […] ZSE website which we celebrated at launch in 2013 has been taken down, and its place is this – a couple of pages not of much use to anyone […]

  18. Don't hold your breath, the ZSE just published a tender for a new website – Techzim

    […] someone looking to understand the exchange’s listed companies. This, in stark contrast with the website they had for about 3 and half years – a website third parties could integrate to with APIs to extract and analyse […]