CEO Today - Business Women Awards 2022

ABOUTMONICAMUSONDA Corporate lawyer turned entrepreneur, MonicaMusonda is the founder of Java Foods, a Zambian-based food processing & consumer goods manufacturer. By way of background, Monica is a dual-qualified English solicitor and Zambian advocate with over 16 years post qualification experience. She has held senior positions in private practice with Clifford Chance & Edward Nathan as well as worked as in-house corporate counsel at International Finance Corporation and for the Dangote Group. Her experience working with Aliko Dangote, one of Africa’s most successful entrepreneurs gave her the impetus to start Java Foods. Monica currently serves as a non-executive director on several boards including Airtel Networks Zambia Plc & Zambian Breweries (where she is chair), Zambeef Plc, and Arcelor Mittal South Africa Plc. She is the recipient of the 2017 African Agribusiness Entrepreneur of the Year award, which is an award conferred annually to entrepreneurs who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in agricultural input and value addition in Africa. She is a Young Global Leader (World Economic Forum) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow. Forbes Magazine and Africa Investor named her as one of the leading Young Power Women in Business in Africa in 2013 and 2014 respectively. When she is not manufacturing food, she speaks at several conferences on entrepreneurship, women empowerment & the role of business in the Global Nutrition agenda. She is passionate about food & is trying to get her running shoes back on. FIRMPROFILE Java Foods was founded in 2012 by Monica Musonda, with the vision of manufacturing nutritious food products using locally sourced raw materials at an affordable price point. Java Foods currently markets and distributes fortified instant noodles, cereals and seasoning in and across Zambia to both the formal (modern) retail and informal trade (directly to wholesalers and small stores). Java Foods first product was a fortified instant noodle brand – eeZee Instant Noodles. The rationale around starting with a noodle brandwas (i) to take advantage of Government position to have more Zambian products in formal retail (ii) changing demographics and consumption patterns (Rapid urbanization and improving incomes in urban areas was leading to increased demand for easy-to-prepare convenience products) and (iii) with busier lives, Java Foods knew people were looking for convenient, affordable meal options and (iv) wheat yields in Zambia were increasing on a year on year basis but wheat flour was only being processed for bread and confectionary (and Java Foods saw an opportunity to create another product using locally grown wheat). Because of the lack of information on market size & product acceptability, Java Foods decided to enter into a contract packaging agreement with a leading manufacturer in Asia who would manufacture fortified noodles under the eeZee Instant Noodles brand name. The business concept was to grow the brand and demand for the product through an import model prior to local production. Java Foods imported noodles for 6 years before it decided to bring production of instant noodles to Zambia. 53 www. ceotodaymagazine . com Zambia CEO Today Bus i ne ss Women Awa rds 202 2 Monica Musonda Founde r and CEO Java Foods

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