ABN Vol 5 Iss 1

Page 1


Volume 5, Issue 1


Industry and commerce from across the continent

Stock Exchange of Mauritius

Exclusive interview with chief executive Sunil Benimadhu

One&Only Resorts

Reintroducing the 5-star Le Saint Géran


Part of the Mauritian miracle


SH E’ S BACK A legendary resort, entirely transformed NOW OPEN


MINING | Brookfield Multiplex


Executive Team Mauritius is a tiny island nation marooned in the Indian Ocean with a total land mass only marginally larger than that of London. Therefore, one could be forgiven for assuming it would play only a minor role within today’s global society. However, over the last half-century Mauritius has defied the odds and transformed itself into a thriving society with a diversified, modern economy and one of the highest GDP growth rates in subSaharan Africa. In this issue of ABN, we celebrate 50 years of independence in Mauritius, charting its remarkable progress during this time which has led to the epithet ‘the Mauritian miracle’ being bestowed upon the nation.

Editor Jacob Ambrose Willson Content Manager Michelle Madureira Content Director (APAC and Americas) David Hunter Creative Director Hugo Currie ICT Director Stuart Clark Managing Director Simon Curran

Our headline interview with the Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) highlights the island’s strength on the international finance stage, along with our feature on SEM-listed holding company Rogers. Meanwhile, we also focus on the thriving luxury tourism industry in Mauritius, with spotlights on One&Only Resorts and Anahita Golf & Spa Resort, along with Grit Real Estate Income Group. You can read all this and much more over the following pages. We hope you enjoy this issue and encourage you to connect with us on email, Facebook and Twitter.

Jacob Ambrose Willson Jacob Ambrose Willson Editor, ABN jacob@africanbusinessnetwork.co.za

ABN is published by Anderson Murray Media: a diverse media and information services company focused on creating and distributing engaging content to business leaders across the globe. SOUTH AFRICA Convention Tower, 1st Floor Cnr of Heerengracht & Walter Sisulu Street, Cape Town, 8001 +27 (0) 21 403 6339 LONDON Fulham Green, 69-79 Fulham High Street, Main Reception, Bedford House, London SW6 3JW +44 (0) 207 148 5631




NEWS 10 African business news Our selection of business stories from across the continent during the last month


18 Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) ABN interviews the SEM’s chief executive Sunil Benimadhu

COLUMNS 30 Mauritius 50 years of independence Assessing the ‘Mauritian miracle’ after 50 years of independence 44 Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) A low-down on the Mauritian tourism board

SERVICES 52 Rogers SEM-listed international holding company with deep roots in Mauritius

REAL ESTATE 66 GRIT Real Estate Guts, resilience, innovation and tenacity in Africa’s real estate markets 76 Centum Diversified investment vehicle that provides access to a high-quality East African asset portfolio



CONTENTS TOURISM 90 One&Only Resorts Redefining ultra-luxury at the first 5-star hotel in Mauritius 104 Anahita Mauritius A five-star experience awaits for every visitor

INVESTMENT 118 Johannesburg Stock Exchange ABN speaks to the JSE’s head of primary markets Prejelin Naggan

EDUCATION 128 UNICAF Delivering high-quality higher education to African students online

RESOURCES 140 Hummingbird Resources Notable appointments in the resources industry from the past month 156 Middle Island Resources Significant gold assets in Western Australia and West Africa 168 Alphamin Resources Creating a globally significant responsible tine mine in DRC

APPOINTMENTS & EVENTS 192 Appointments Notable appointments across the African business sector from the past month 193 Events Our pick of the top business events happening on the continent in the months to come





NEWS | Brookfield Multiplex MINING


Our selection of the bigg the major sectors o

African Business Network


gest stories from across of African business




Business confidence in Mauritius soars to record high in Q4 A survey of leading private companies in Mauritius has found that business confidence on the Indian Ocean island rose to a record high during the last quarter of 2017. The Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s quarterly confidence index jumped by 8.5% to 123 points in Q4, rounding off an overall growth of 26.2% on the index in 2017.

rising by 9.3% and the commerce sector up by 6.2%. The Mauritian economy grew by an estimated 3.9% in 2017 and is set to further increase to 4.4% this year according to the statistics office.

The tiny African island’s US$14 billion-a-year economy is reliant on its services industry, At sectoral level, the chamber noticed general such as tourism and financial services. Its increases in confidence levels during the main trade partners are India and the UK. quarter, with the manufacturing sector index

Zuma ousting lifts South African stocks as Ramaphosa looks to boost economy The resignation of Jacob Zuma and the election of South Africa’s new President Cyril Ramaphosa has resulted in the highest gains amongst South African stocks since June 2016. News of Zuma’s scandal-hit presidency coming to an end was received positively by the investor market after his successor Ramaphosa promised to fight corruption and spark economic growth.

South Africa’s benchmark FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index rose as much as 2.7%, its biggest gain since June 28 2016, in a boost for duallisted Johannesburg/London stocks. Hopes that a change in leadership will turn around an economy that has averaged just 1.6% growth a year during Zuma’s controversial reign will remain high over the next few months as Ramaphosa establishes his new government.

African Business Network 11

Norwegian incubator to connect Kenyan startups with global investors Norwegian startup support firm Pangea has partnered with the iLab at Strathmore University to pilot a US$50,000 accelerator programme that attempts to connect Kenyan SMEs with global investors. Pangea has opened an online platform to received applicants from startups within the ICT, agribusiness, fintech, healthcare, and education industries. Companies will be coached by international

investors and experts under the programme before the 10 best startups will be chosen to take part in a demo day on April 3, receiving initial funding of up to $50,000 each. “By joining Pangea’s accelerator program, your startup may benefit from even more funding when Pangea’s crowd investment platform launches in June 2018,” Pangea said. “Whether you want to expand to Angola, Norway or Peru, Pangea will get you there.”



Mauritius named best nation for business in Africa once again

Mauritius has been named the best country in sub-Saharan Africa to do business in by the World Bank in its annual Doing Business rankings. The tiny island nation retained top spot on the continent from last year’s report and climbed from 49th to 25th in the overall rankings, which saw New Zealand top the list, followed by Singapore and Denmark.

The next highest ranked African country for ease of business was Rwanda, which came in at 41st before a big gap to the next African nations Kenya and Botswana, which were ranked 80th and 81st respectively. South Africa, a leading economic power for the sub-Saharan region, could only reach 82nd on the World Bank’s rankings, meanwhile Africa’s largest economy Nigeria came in at a lowly 145th.

Construction begins on $1 billion Virgin City project in Nigeria First ground has been broken at the site of the US$1 billion Virgin City project in Southeast Nigeria, which will deliver an entire urban settlement including various infrastructural networks. The new city will be located at the mouth of the Cross River, South of the city of Calabar in Cross River state, and will consist of several markets, a residential area, schools, a supermarket and hospital along with several leisure facilities.

The wider aim of the project is to build a deepwater port surrounded by facilities for industry and tourism, while also incorporating the city into a $12 billion railway that China is building along the coast of Nigeria. Chinese company Mark Sino Construction Company will develop the massive project and Baishan Zhongtian Development Group will construct the city.

African Business Network

Juwi SA to offer hybrid energy solutions to African mining sector An established South African renewable energy company has plans to expand into the rest of sub-Saharan Africa with a specific focus on offering hybrid energy solutions to the mining industry. Juwi South Africa is a subsidiary of the Juwi Holding AG company and has over 1GW of wind and solar projects in South Africa that are fully developed or moving into the phase of financial close. The company is currently working on a number of significant mining projects in Africa, according to Juwi SA’s CEO Greg Austin. “From this office, we’re currently looking at 25MW and 15MW solar hybrid projects on the continent, among other smaller projects on mines,” he said. “It’s all well and good having a project in Australia, but people want to go and kick the tyres on a real project in Africa – so it’ll be great to have our first project at scale here.”

Juwi developed a 10.6MW solar hybrid system to fully integrate with the existing 19MW diesel-fired power station at the DeGrussa Mine in Western Australia. The US$40 million solar project is the largest integrated off-grid solar and battery storage facility in Australia, and potentially the world, covering a total area of over 20 hectares. “DeGrussa represents one extreme of what is possible, Austin continued. “It’s a pure off-grid mine – it’s totally reliant on diesel, solar and batteries. Even if the mine power drops off for an hour, then it’s a day to bring it back online again, so clearly the system has to work. “In some African mines, there is a national grid that supports the mine but it’s often quite weak, so there it will be what we call a ‘behind the meter’ connection, with two clear benefits for the miner – it’s cheaper and it improves the quality of their supply.”

Group Five is a diversified construction, infrastructure concessions and services group ersified construction,

cessions and services group

Our Projects business unit offers our clients seamless multi-disciplinary structural, mechanical, electrical, instrumentation and piping construction services. The projects we manage range from power, energy, mining and industrial to plant maintenance and shutdown services.

seamless multi-disciplinary structural, mechanical, uction services. The projects we manage range from t maintenance and shutdown services.

Contact us: Group Five Projects (Pty) Ltd 9 Country Estate Drive, Waterfall Business Estate, Jukskei View, Johannesburg I Postnet Suite 500, Private Bag X26, Sunninghill, 2157, South Africa I Tel +27 10 060 1555 I Vax +27 86 206 3885 I Email projects@groupfive.co.za I Website www.groupfive.co.za

41 construction, Group Five is a diversified 1974 – 2015

years as a listed company

infrastructure concessions and services group Our Projects business unit offers our clients seamless multi-disciplinary structural, mechanical,


electrical, instrumentation and piping construction services. The projects we manage range

kei View, Johannesburg I outh Africa I Tel +27 10 060 energy, 1555 I from power, Website www.groupfive.co.za

mining and industrial to plant maintenance and shutdown services. 1974 – 2015 years as a listed company

Contact us: Group Five Projects (Pty) Ltd 9 Country Estate Drive, Waterfall Business Estate, Jukskei View, Johannesburg I Postnet Suite 500, Private Bag X26, Sunninghill, 2157, South Africa I Tel +27 10 060 1555 I Fax +27 86 206 3885 I Email projects@groupfive.co.za I Website www.groupfive.co.za


INVESTMENT | Stock Exchange of Mauritius


ABN interviews the SEM’s chief executive Sunil Benima



African Business Network



INVESTMENT | Stock Exchange of Mauritius

The Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) was set up in 1989 as the Indian Ocean island nation continued to diversify and modernise the economy, taking its first brave steps into the international finance industry. The bourse has come a long way since the early days, when trading took place just once a week for a mere five minutes through an open outcry system, with the value of weekly trading barely exceeding R15 million. Today, the SEM is one of the world’s most attractive and innovative markets with a total value exceeding well over US$500 million. ABN catches up with chief executive Sunil Benimadhu. Jacob Ambrose Willson: What level of

of 31.6% during the year, increasing from

activity has been witnessed on the

US$419.8 million in 2016 to $552.3 million in

SEM in 2017? – How successful has the


programme of attracting international investors been?

Foreign investors actively contributed to the SEM’s activity in 2017, accounting for 34% of

Sunil Benimadhu: 2017 was a very positive

the total trading activity.

year for the SEM, both from a performance standpoint and from a trading perspective.

In the wake of the market’s bullish run, during year 2017, total market capitalisation reached

On the performance front, the main price

$12.1 billion, confirming the SEM’s leadership

index, SEMDEX, rose by 21.77% in 2017,

position in Africa (South Africa aside) in terms

while the total return index, SEMTRI, rose

of the market capitalisation to GDP ratio. 2017

by 25.32%. More importantly, the total

was also very engaging from a capital-raising

value traded on the SEM registered a surge

perspective. SEM’s multi-currency platform

African Business Network

was used by issuers to raise capital to the

more active in terms of trading activity,

tune of a yearly all-time high of $1.5 billion,

compared to the DEM. This is because the

confirming the SEM’s leadership role as a

Official Market hosts the highest market

competitive capital-raising platform in the

capitalisation companies, and these


companies are generally more liquid. For instance, in 2017, the total value traded on

JAW: On which board have you seen

the Official Market was $457 million.

greater activity on recently? Is the Main Board (MB) for more established firms

Nevertheless, having two separate boards

and the Development & Enterprise

does have some advantages, as each board

Market (DEM) for SMEs? What advantages

has a different target market in terms of

does having two separate boards bring?

issuers and a different listing framework. The more established firms, specialist securities

SB: The Main Board, namely, the Official

and investment entities are listed on the

Market, has historically always been

Official Market, while the DEM caters to small



INVESTMENT | Stock Exchange of Mauritius and medium sized companies, as well as newly established businesses which do not necessarily have a track record but have a good business plan. The DEM has a simplified regulatory environment to meet the needs of these SMEs and newly-formed companies. We are quite satisfied with the development of the DEM. The DEM currently lists 47 issuers, which makes it one of the African SME platforms with the highest number of listed issuers. The total market capitalisation of the DEM stood at $1.6 billion as at the end of 2017 and the performance of the majority of the securities listed on DEM has been quite good in 2017. The price index, DEMDEX, rose by 12.96% in 2017, while the total return index, DEMTRI, rose by 16.6%. JAW: How are you maintaining position as one of Africa’s most lucrative stock exchanges? – Have any new innovations or regulatory changes been implemented? SB: Several transformational changes have been brought by the SEM during the past few years to strengthen the exchange’s competitive position as a multi-asset class internationalised stock exchange and create the enabling environment for the listing and trading of niche international products. We have introduced many new indices to capture the contribution of listed foreigncurrency denominated issuers to the trading activities of the SEM. We have also introduced

African Business Network a bond market index, given the growing number of issuers that are turning to the SEM’s platform to raise debt funding. Another initiative that we have undertaken from an operational standpoint is the introduction of Dual Currency trading and settlement on international products to offer investors the option to trade a security in both foreign currencies and Mauritian Rupees. We expect this initiative to boost trading and liquidity in international products and global business companies that are listed on SEM. On the regulatory front, some of the transformational changes introduced by the SEM include a fast track listing route whereby issuers having a primary listing on a select list of Exchanges, such as the ASX, JSE, LSE, NYSE, EURONEXT or the TSX, can submit the same listing application documents approved by the exchange of primary listing to the SEM. International issuers having a secondary listing on the SEM can also file and publish financial statements on the same periodical basis as in the jurisdiction of the primary listing. JAW: A large proportion of listing products on the SEM are from financial services and leisure/hospitality sectors – is this still the case judging by the new listings last year and what other sectors have you seen greater activity in? SB: Listings on our markets actually span various sectors of activities, other than the



INVESTMENT | Stock Exchange of Mauritius

Resource GlobalNetwork Network 25 African Business financial services and leisure/hospitality

JAW: Does the SEM’s sustainability index

sectors. This includes sectors such as

(SEMSI) make the bourse a more attractive

property development and investment,

prospect for investors and listing

transport, commerce and industry, amongst


others. We have several conglomerates also listed on our platform. Moreover, we have an

SB: The SEMSI provides a robust measure

increasing array of specialised instruments

of the sustainability performance of listed

and products also listed on our exchange,

companies against a set of internationally-

such as exchange traded funds, global

aligned and locally-relevant ESG criteria,

business companies, mineral companies,

inspired from the Global Reporting Initiative

depositary receipts and structured products.


2017 was marked by the listing of a total

SEMSI is therefore a useful tool to connect

of 27 new securities on the SEM, cutting-

domestic and international investors

across different asset classes, namely: three

having an appetite for responsible

global business companies, three structured

investment in frontier markets with the

products, 20 specialist debt securities (issued

SEM-listed companies that are championing

by conglomerates and companies operating

sustainability. It sends out a clear signal

in the property investment and hotels

to investors that SEM-listed companies

sectors) and one depositary receipt issued by

are mindful and proactive with regard to

a pan-African bank.

sustainability. Since its launch, SEMSI has contributed to create awareness about

JAW: Tourism makes a large-scale

responsible investment in the local context.

contribution to the Mauritian economy –

We are also noting the growing interest

How does the SEM support this particular

from international pension funds, which

industry and its sub-sectors?

have earmarked funds for responsible investments, in our market since the launch

SB: Most of the biggest hotel groups in

of the index.

Mauritius are listed on the SEM’s markets, and the SEM supports these companies by

With regards to the listed companies that

connecting them with investors and providing

have been included in SEMSI, the index

them with an eased access to capital to fund

has brought them into the spotlight, thus

their projects and expansion. Indeed, since

giving them better visibility in front of the

2009, $978 million has been raised on the

investor community. SEMSI comprises 13

SEM by listed companies operating in the

listed companies so far and there is an

tourism sector. The SEM has also been an

increasing level of interest from other listed

excellent value creation platform for these

companies to put sustainability high on their


agendas and eventually be included in the


INVESTMENT | Stock Exchange of Mauritius

Sunil Benimadhu, chief executive

sustainability index. Prioritising sustainability

SB: We have, during the past 10 years,

as part of their operations and strategy is

brought major changes to our listing

beneficial to listed companies and their

framework to enhance the competitiveness

stakeholders as they can thus pursue long-

of SEM as a leading listing platform in Africa

term sustainable growth, achieve cost

and to widen the spectrum of products that

savings, improve their brand and reputation

we can list. The listing activity has gained a lot

and also contribute to a better future for all.

of momentum since 2010 and we have since listed 134 new securities on our platform, out

JAW: What makes listing on Mauritius’s

of which 73 are foreign securities.

stock exchange unique and what is the goal for the board going into 2018 and

The SEM is today well established as a multi-


asset class international exchange and a powerful capital raising platform at the

African Business Network intersection of Asia, Europe and Africa. We

and will remain a key area of focus for the

have a fast turn-around time for handling

SEM. Furthermore, we will stand ready to

listing applications and our listing fees are

facilitate capital-raising and accompany the

very competitive.

development of the growing and upcoming economic sectors to support Mauritius’ move

Issuers that choose to list on our platform

into the league of high income economies.

can raise capital not only from the local community of investors but can also tap into

We will be working on the research and

the billions of US dollars available from the

development of new products and in 2018,

global funds and other collective structures

we intend to introduce rules for the listing of

that are registered in Mauritius.

warrants, amongst others.

The SEM is also the only exchange in Africa

Last year, we made significant inroads as a

and one of the few exchanges in the world

regional capital raising platform following the

which has a multi-currency capital-raising,

listing of the depositary receipts issued by a

listing, trading and settlement platform. This

pan-African financial institution spanning 44

platform gives issuers the possibility to list

African countries. We hope to welcome the

and raise capital from international investors

listing of more African issuers in the coming

in international currencies such as the US

years, as we do have a very compelling value

Dollar, Euro, GBP and South African Rand,

proposition for these issuers.

and also enables trading and settlement of transactions in those underlying currencies.

We will also explore the possibility of offering a range of African currency derivatives

This multi-currency platform thus eliminates

against the Dollar, Euro and Pound Sterling to

currency conversion costs and provides US

provide international investors with hedging

dollar investors with a natural hedge against

tools against volatile African currencies.

local currency risks when investing in a SEMlisted entity that issues securities and trades

Furthermore, we are considering upgrading

in US dollar, for example.

our technology to offer new features and enable the cross-linking of SEM’s markets

In 2018 and the years to come our priority

with other markets in the region, including

will be to continue innovating and to

the JSE, so as to enhance liquidity in African

maintain SEM’s momentum with regards to

markets over time.

our internationalisation strategy. Africa is




“We listed with a portfolio of US$130 million

and over the last three years we have grown

our portfolio to $540 million, we have grown into Zambia, Kenya and Mauritius and we

are continuing to grow in Mozambique and Morocco,” notes Corbett.

Owned by some 18,000 domestic and international shareholders, with over 500,000 customers, SBM Holdings Ltd is a leading financial holding company In Africa, a continent where the market and listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius. Besides Mauritius, SBM Group is present in Madagascar and India, with a representative office in Myanmar, and the macro challenges are often volatile and expanding into the region mainly the Indian Ocean Islands and East Africa. In line with its expansion plans, the Group has recently been granted a banking many, Corbett identified a safeguard in real licence in Seychelles subject to conditions which it has undertaken to fulfil. Its estate investment by concentrating on assets portfolio of services covers banking, non-banking financial services and nonfinancial investments. Innovation, flexibility, accessibility and reliability are at that would attract leases with major firms. the root of the SBM reputation and brand. Established in 1973 as its banking entity in Mauritius, SBM Bank (Mauritius) Multi-nationals and large companies reduce

Ltd is the Group’s flagship. With a domestic market share of over 20%,

the Banklong delivers solutions for its diverse customer base: Consumer, SME, exposure to fluctuating markets through Corporate, International and Financial Institutions.

term leases and insurance of capital.

SBM’s major products and services are: * Global Business & International Banking “Our business strategy from day one was * Investment Solutions to focus on the strength of the underlying * Treasury Services * asset Cross Border Financing counterparty not necessarily on the * E-commerce class. * Trade Finance * Wealth Management

A strong counterparty meant we could sign

To tap the potential of emerging markets, the Group is gearing up for further

good long term leases from an international expansion plans in the East African, Indian and Asian regions, thus further strengthening the existing continental links with Mauritius. or local company whether it was industrial, residential, offices or any other asset class.” In the interim the business plan has developed to incorporate geographical diversity and diversification by sector. It was imperative for Corbett to ensure the fund was not overly exposed to any one country or any country where the economy is propped up by the oil & gas sector. This approach has seen a targeted acquisition strategy of corporate space in Mozambique, retail assets in Zambia hotel and hospitality assets in T: (230) 202 1111 and E: sbm@sbmgroup.mu www.sbmgroup.mu Mauritius.


MAURITIUS | The Mauritian miracle


A h a l f c e nt u r y o f s o c i o

Assessing the ‘Mauritian miracle’ after 50 years of i

African Business Network


o - e c o n o m i c d e v e l o p m e nt

ndependence | By ABN editor Jacob Ambrose Willson



MAURITIUS | The Mauritian miracle

Out of 195 officially recognised nations across the globe, Mauritius is ranked 171st when arranged by total land mass. However, this tiny speck on the Indian Ocean assumes a disproportionally large degree of global recognition, whether this is in the hearts of epicurean travellers or in the minds of financial brokers and high-profile international organisations. Mauritius continues to build its remarkable position in the globalised world of today, and this year it will also celebrate a significant milestone in its national story. On the eve of the 50th anniversary of independence, ABN’s editor Jacob Ambrose Willson charts the ‘Mauritian miracle’ — one of Africa’s biggest post-colonial success stories. March 12th 2018 marks 50 years to the day when Mauritius claimed independence, thus ending a checkered colonial era which had seen possession of the island passed between three major European powers. During this period Dutch, French and British leadership brought little in the way of development to the island itself, with colonial settlers most remembered for driving the native Dodo to extinction.

African Business Network



MAURITIUS | The Mauritian miracle

African Business Network After being freed from the shackles of colonialism Mauritius took its first steps towards modernity, with principles of democracy and capitalism entrenched into the nation’s post-colonial identity at an early stage. These principles would sow the seeds of socio-economic development in the ensuing years. However, in 1961 (just seven years before independence was declared) esteemed economics professor James Meade predicted a dismal future for the Mauritian economy, which was largely based around the agricultural sector and defined by the extent of its sugar production in any given year. Meade’s convictions were based on a number of factors including a small population of just 650,000 people, its geographical separation from global markets, an over-reliance on the sugar industry and its vulnerability to extreme weather conditions. But, his calculations were blown out of the water by the developments of the following decades. Since gaining independence, Mauritius transformed itself from a low-income sugar economy to a middle-income diversified economy with one of the highest GDP growth rates in sub-Saharan Africa, which has averaged at around 5% since 1970, while its GDP per capita has increased more than tenfold over the same period.



MAURITIUS | The Mauritian miracle

A stable political regime

So, what have been the major factors behind this Mauritian miracle? Political stability has been a common denominator on the island since it was liberated from its colonial powers of the previous era. A democratic government had been in place since the 1940s and this electoral system was maintained after independence and troubled only in fleeting moments, such as

fallen, and the nation’s infrastructure has dramatically improved.

Economic diversification

In the 1960s, the Mauritian mono-crop economy was close to exhaustion with areas of arable land for sugar cane cultivation close to completely running out. However, the authorities quickly realised that further growth could only be achieved if the economy was diversified away from sugar.

the suspension of a general election in 1972

Subsequently, Mauritius quickly worked

after the government felt threatened by the

on economic diversification, first moving

growing strength of the socialist Mouvement

into the textiles industry and other light

Militant Mauricien (MMM) party.

manufacturing areas. The advent of export processing zones (EPZs) in Mauritius during

In 1992, Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth

the 1970s also became key in attracting

declared Mauritius a republic within the

foreign direct investment (FDI) onto the

Commonwealth after the legislative assembly


approved the transition in the previous year. His son Pravind Jugnauth is the current Prime

The profits turned from its nascent

Minister of Mauritius.

manufacturing industry were then used to facilitate growth in another budding area of

With a stable political system at the base of

the national economy - the services industry.

the nation, those in power have been able

This is when the island’s economic prowess

to implement a series of sensible macro-

really took shape.

economic policies, forge strong public and private sector institutions, while practising

By the 1990s, Mauritius had established

good fiscal prudence and developing a highly

itself as a genuine hub for financial services

liberal trade regime with the rest of the

and offshore banking in Africa and its


diversification didn’t stop there. The ICT industry was next to be embraced in the

These factors have been crucial in Mauritius

early 2000s, while at the same time the

chalking up some of highest economic

island became renowned the world over as a

growth figures in Africa during the post-

luxury holiday destination as its tourism and

colonial era. Real social progress has also

hospitality sectors flourished.

been delivered in tandem with economic growth, as since the 1970s life expectancy

Overall, the extent of economic diversification

has increased, infant mortality rates have

in post-colonial Mauritius is reflected in the

Resource GlobalNetwork Network 37 African Business


MAURITIUS | The Mauritian miracle

African Business Network following GDP comparison. In 1976, the sugar industry counted for more than 20% of the nation’s GDP, but by 2009 it accounted for just 4% of the total GDP.

Sector focus Although the importance of the sugar industry to the Mauritian economy has waned since the 1970s, the process of diversification would not have been possible without the government securing a series of shrewd sugar export deals with customers in the UK and the EEC (the former EU). In particular, during the 1970s Mauritius was able to sell its sugar to the EEC at a premium three times the international market price, with these profits put towards establishing EPZs for the textiles and manufacturing sectors. The 1970 Export Processing Zone Act subsequently ushered in a new era of FDI in Mauritius as manufacturers were given a series of powerful incentives to operate in the zones. By the end of the 1980s, more people worked in EPZs than in the agricultural sector, with most of the manufactured goods heading to markets in the EU. After accumulating capital from its sugar and textile industries, Mauritius was able to reduce its reliance on foreign investment in the 1990s and began down the road to becoming a middle-income economy. Crucially, Mauritian authorities used the nation’s swelling coffers to invest in



MAURITIUS | The Mauritian miracle infrastructural development such as schools, hospitals, water supply and roads to support the needs of its growing population. These investments, along with the establishment of a national airline, also served to strengthen its budding tourism sector. The natural beauty and intimacy of the island soon became a unique selling point, providing the antithesis to mass tourism and high-rise accommodation. This point was not lost on those in the tourism sector, who have since focused on high-end, luxury packages that dove-tail with the island’s natural splendour. Indeed, the growth of the tourism industry is revealed by the fact that visitors to the island went from 240,000 in 1998 to 1.3 million in 2016, with most of these tourists arriving from European countries.

A flourishing services sector Meanwhile, the expansion of the services sector materialised at an important time for the Mauritian economy as the sugar and textiles industries faced multiple challenges, not least from the EU’s 50% reduction in sugar prices in the mid-2000s. However, by this point Mauritius had already developed a multi-faceted services industry that incorporated financial services, offshore banking and ICT that, along with the fruits of the tourism sector, offset any economic stagnation in the aforementioned areas.

African Business Network The island’s reputation as a financial services hub is based on the presence of over 9,000 offshore entities mainly targeted at linking commerce in India, China and East and Southern Africa, with investment in the banking sector alone recently exceeding the $1 billion mark. Furthermore, Mauritius has also developed international accreditation for its business and investment climate, consistently ranking high in studies which assess factors that contribute to ease of doing business. For instance, Mauritius retained its crown as the best country in sub-Saharan Africa to do business in, ranking 25th in the World Bank’s 2017 index. Since Mauritius gained independence in 1968, the tiny island nation has trailblazed its way through a half-century of progress, navigating the ship of socio-economic development with great skill where other African nations have thrashed in choppy post-colonial seas. Economic diversification has been the nation’s most effective instrument, having been able to expand its once agriculturereliant economy into new lucrative areas and ride the waves of sub-sector volatility. Now, the challenge centres on how well Mauritius can identify and adopt new drivers of growth into its rapidly evolving society, with technological innovation high on the agenda in 2018 and in the following years.


Transforming potential into performance

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MAURI TIUS T PROMOTI ON A low-down on the Mauritian tourism board

African Business Network





The reputation of Mauritius as a picturesque and luxurious holiday destination has gone from strength to strength in recent years. In 2016, visitor numbers increased by 11% on the back of an improving global economy, but also thanks to an internal tourism drive on the minute Indian Ocean island. One of the goals laid out by the Mauritian government last year was not only to build on the overall visitor growth of 2016, but also to improve its tourism statistics in the off-season. A key mouthpiece for the sector is the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA), whose mission is to increase the visibility of Mauritius as a prime holiday and up-market destination. ABN received the following low-down on the organisation. What factors are behind the recent growth in the Mauritian tourism industry? • By positioning itself as a modern tourist destination, versatile and flexible, Mauritius is enjoying an excellent reputation worldwide • Enhanced connectivity (KLM, Lufthansa, Eurowings, Austria Airlines, Condor additional flights, Asia-Africa Corridor) • ‘The Mauritius 365’ campaign from May to September (low-season push)

African Business Network




African Business Network How has MTPA contributed to this growth and what actions does it undertake to promote Mauritius as an ideal travel destination in Africa? • MTPA is the marketing arm of the destination and our key message has unwaveringly been to promote Mauritius as a lifestyle and all-year round destination to reach our targets. We also focus on niche segments, including golf, sports and eco-tourism among others • MTPA has been involved in several initiatives, such as the CNN campaign, intended to promote the destination in Africa • Enhancing the tourism product: cleanliness, safety, new events, activities, publication of a new calendar of events • Asia-Africa Corridor which is a government vision • Organising roadshows In what ways does the bustling tourism sector benefit the country? • Tourism is a multi-disciplinary sector which has a trickle-down effect on the economy • Tourism in Mauritius encourages experience and activities • A number of tourism-related activities are developing around eco-tourism, culture, gastronomy and sports • Hotel visitors are encouraged to live like locals




Resource GlobalNetwork Network 51 African Business Mauritius attracts many thousands of

promote the islands unique history and

holidaying tourists every year but also

culture through this campaign?

welcomes many business travelers thanks to its developed business and finance

• The strength of the island is its cosmopolitan

sector - How important is this business-

population and the diversity and harmony

related tourism to the overall sector?

that has prevailed throughout the years • 50 years after independence, we want to

• Various hotel groups including the Indigo

showcase the strong co-existence of different

Group and Holiday Inn cater specifically

cultures that create a unique Mauritian

for the business traveller. In addition,


exclusive packages targeting the business

• Mauritius is a world-famous melting pot and

traveller have been introduced by all

its culture can not be found in any other

the major groups to accommodate this


growing market • Mauritius offers a range of excellent venues for hosting meetings across the

What challenges is the national tourism industry faced with?

island, from its world-class conference centre in Port Louis and the many hotels,

• Competition from other islands states

to more unusual venues for those seeking

• We are not facing reductions in visitor

a meeting venue with a difference • These venues are supported by efficient

numbers. In fact, we have a number of airlines that have enhanced accessibility,

support services and great infrastructure

thus showing the strong preference for the

to deliver a seamless event or conference,

destination among European visitors

from arrival to departure, for the host company • Another major advantage for those travelling to Mauritius on business or

What is the outlook for Mauritian tourism in 2018 and how do you intend to maintain growth in tourism sector?

leisure is that no visa is required for travellers from most countries • Mauritius is a MICE-friendly destination offering all the key ingredients necessary to host successful meetings, incentive groups, conferences and events

• Forecast for 2018: 7% growth in tourist arrivals • To further pursue our diversification strategy in emerging markets • To look at segment specific campaigns (golf, wedding, sports tourism, medical tourism) to

As part of its 50th anniversary of independence celebrations MTPA is

enhance the product offering • To consolidate and be stronger in our

supporting the BBC campaign celebrating

marketing actions in our key European

the milestone – How important is it to





SEM-listed international holding

company with deep roots in Mauritius

speaks to Rogers CEO Philippe Espitalier-NoĂŤl

African Business Network




Rogers is a multi-faceted services and investment company with roots in Mauritius stretching all the way back to 1899. As such, the firm has been contributing to the development of the island for nearly 120 years and as a good corporate citizen, its own development has remained closely linked to that of the country in the postindependence era. Over the last half century, Rogers has been a forerunner in various sectors including tourism and aviation, playing a leading role of the setting up of the national airline, Air Mauritius on the eve of independence. “We have often been among the first to venture into greenfield sectors and the success we have met has been shared with our citizens through our significant contribution to GDP and job creation in Mauritius,â€? says Rogers CEO Philippe Espitalier-NoĂŤl.

A global growth story Today, the Rogers story is no longer centred on Mauritius alone. In recent years, the company has expanded out of its Mauritian base, establishing a corporate presence in several emerging markets, particularly in the Afro-Asian region.

African Business Network Thanks to a series of measured and adaptive management practises and a sense of leadership, agility and dynamism, Rogers now has a sustainable presence on three continents; Africa, Asia and Europe. “It has taken much business acumen and energy to drive our group’s growth beyond the borders of our country. Our financial strength and growth history over several decades despite the ups and downs of the global economy have forged our credibility with our foreign counterparts.” Through its subsidiaries and investments, Rogers currently has more than 50 offices in 16 territories, namely Mauritius, Reunion Island, Mayotte, Madagascar, Comoros, the Seychelles, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, India, Singapore, Bangladesh, France, Morocco, Zimbabwe and Zambia. This internationalisation of the Rogers growth story is largely symbolic of the rise of Mauritius on the global stage over the last two decades, as the tiny island nation has become well-renowned across the world as a luxury holiday destination and for its firstrate services industry, particularly in finance and investment. Consequently, hospitality and finance are two of four focus sectors for Rogers, with logistics and property the other key areas that it offers services to in Mauritius and in other destinations around the world. “We definitely have a competitive edge in


TURN YOUR BUSINESS INTO A MASTERPIECE Today’s fast moving world makes it capital for companies to constantly readjust themselves.From small to medium, from local to global, from e ffective to efficient, evolution is essential in order to succeed.Rogers Capital offers a complete suite of corporate services whose mettle is aligned to international standards, including: corporate administration, fund administration, tax advisory and compliance, accounting and payroll outsourcing, and captive insurance management. With our three business segments, Corporate, Financial and Technology, we combine world-class financial expertise with cutting edge technology to provide sophisticated business solutions that are tailored to our clients’ needs. Together, we partner up for progress, we keep evolving.

Corporate | Technology | Financial


African Business Network

our core areas of competency,” claims

A bubbling tourism sector

Espitalier-Noël. “Over the years, we have

Focusing on its domestic hospitality business,

successfully executed our strategy to achieve

in the last year or so Rogers has benefitted

leaner and more streamlined operations.

from a marked upturn in tourism arrivals

these served markets, which have become

after a few sluggish years with regards to “We are now an international services and

visitor numbers.

investment company with a structure that enables us to focus on those things which we

Espitalier-Noël holds up the improved

do best and capitalise on opportunities for

revenue made by subsidiary Veranda Leisure

growth, building on our strengths. The fact

& Hospitality (VLH) as evidence to this point,

that these sectors are mainly service-oriented

which is further strengthened by the fact that

also makes it easier for us to export our

the resort operator turned in a satisfactory

know-how and expand into existing or new

performance despite drops in Euro and


Pound Sterling exchange rates.




In order to capitalise on the growth observed

After recording a bumper 11% rise in visitor

in the domestic tourism market, Rogers has

numbers in 2016 and following this up with a

chosen to significantly increase its investment

smaller (yet still impressive) 5% increase last

in the hospitality sector since 2016.

year, Espitalier-Noël is confident of a similar performance in 2018 within the tourism

“This includes an expansion of our leisure

industry, which is set to further boost Rogers’

offerings to enhance the guest experience,”

hospitality business.

the CEO explains. “We have been capitalising on golf tourism, on gastronomic offerings,

Regional fintech leader

and wellness services, amongst others.

However, Mauritius is not just thought of as a high-end holiday destination. The country

“Our group has been infusing innovation for

has also built a reputation as a world class

decades across the entire travel and tourism

investment hub intersecting Africa, Asia and

value chain in Mauritius and we are intent on

Europe with an advanced fintech network

going further in this direction.”

buttressing the sector.

Resource GlobalNetwork Network 59 African Business

Rogers has embraced this burgeoning fintech

300 professionals and is structured around

culture on the island and become well-versed

three core pillars: Corporate Services,

in the latest technological trends occurring

Technology Services and Financial Services.”

in the business and finance world, offering a range of products and services through its

The Corporate Services segment provides

investment arm Rogers Capital.

fiduciary, outsourcing and consulting services to an established customer base in Europe,

“Rogers Capital delivers on our ambition

the US, Africa and Asia (India and China),

to combine world-class financial expertise

while the Technology Services division is an

with leading edge technology to provide

end-to-end provider of integrated business

sophisticated solutions to businesses,

solutions, cloud computing and mobile

institutions and individuals in their evolution

connectivity services in Mauritius, the Indian

under a solid and respected brand.

Ocean islands and South Africa.

“Our fintech served market currently employs

“As for Financial Services, it is in the process



African Business Network

of introducing some disruptive fintech

and was the largest single contributor to the

offerings in respect of credit and electronic

group’s overall profitability in 2017 with a

payment on the domestic market,” Espitalier-

profit after tax of R974 million.

Noël reveals. Ascencia was founded by Rogers in 2007 to In its remaining focus areas, Rogers

manage its property portfolio, which includes

continues to perform to a high standard, with commercial, industrial, agricultural and the logistics sector recording a 14% increase

office properties in prime locations across

in profit during the last financial year and a

the island. The fund has since grown into

long-term strategy in place to expand the

one of the largest property companies listed

reach of the logistics business beyond its

on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius, with

current footprint under the brand Velogic.

an investment portfolio currently valued at R10.7 billion.

On the property front, Rogers’ listed property fund Ascencia continues to perform well

“The sector remains dynamic with the recent




African Business Network opening of a new mall in November 2017,

The company has also been able to provide

and the construction of a new one in the

tangible success in this respect after both

South of the Island in the pipeline.”

its upmarket resorts in Bel Ombre received

A proud SEMSI firm

the Green Key label, awarded to hotels that promote sustainable tourism.

Aside from its operational performances, Rogers takes great pride in being one of

Over the last three centuries, Rogers has

just 13 companies listed on the SEMSI – the

continually developed in tandem with

sustainability index on the Stock Exchange of

Mauritius, but how will it maintain this growth


curve in the rapidly-changing globalised world of the future? The answer lies in having

“We at Rogers believe that energy drives

a clear strategy, says Espitalier-Noël.

sustainability and in conjunction with our different business sectors, we intend to

“We have well-structured businesses

continue integrating the sustainability

equipped with the right mix of leadership

philosophy into our business strategies.”

skills and dynamism to seize new opportunities and drive organic growth.

It is worth noting that the group’s responsible and inclusive approach to sustainable

“Our three main pillars will be the expansion

development has been singled out by the

of our fintech-related activities, the expansion

UN for its work undertaken at national level.

of our hospitality business with a sizeable

“We are proud to have been included in

leisure arm as well as the enhancement

the Global Compact International Yearbook

of our existing operations with a property

2017 for the work done over the past few

component on our Southwestern estate.

years with respect to lagoon and marine environment protection.

“The overall objective is to achieve a more balanced contribution to group profits from

“The balance between economic, social and

each of our served markets.”

environmental goals has become a constant in our projects. We are also working hard to reduce our carbon footprint in environmental metrics such as energy, water and waste consumption.”




“We listed with a portfolio of US$130 million

and over the last three years we have grown

our portfolio to $540 million, we have grown into Zambia, Kenya and Mauritius and we

are continuing to grow in Mozambique and Morocco,” notes Corbett.

Owned by some 18,000 domestic and international shareholders, with over 500,000 customers, SBM Holdings Ltd is a leading financial holding company In Africa, a continent where the market and listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius. Besides Mauritius, SBM Group is present in Madagascar and India, with a representative office in Myanmar, and the macro challenges are often volatile and expanding into the region mainly the Indian Ocean Islands and East Africa. In line with its expansion plans, the Group has recently been granted a banking many, Corbett identified a safeguard in real licence in Seychelles subject to conditions which it has undertaken to fulfil. Its estate investment by concentrating on assets portfolio of services covers banking, non-banking financial services and nonfinancial investments. Innovation, flexibility, accessibility and reliability are at that would attract leases with major firms. the root of the SBM reputation and brand. Established in 1973 as its banking entity in Mauritius, SBM Bank (Mauritius) Multi-nationals and large companies reduce

Ltd is the Group’s flagship. With a domestic market share of over 20%,

the Banklong delivers solutions for its diverse customer base: Consumer, SME, exposure to fluctuating markets through Corporate, International and Financial Institutions.

term leases and insurance of capital.

SBM’s major products and services are: * Global Business & International Banking “Our business strategy from day one was * Investment Solutions to focus on the strength of the underlying * Treasury Services * asset Cross Border Financing counterparty not necessarily on the * E-commerce class. * Trade Finance * Wealth Management

A strong counterparty meant we could sign

To tap the potential of emerging markets, the Group is gearing up for further

good long term leases from an international expansion plans in the East African, Indian and Asian regions, thus further strengthening the existing continental links with Mauritius. or local company whether it was industrial, residential, offices or any other asset class.” In the interim the business plan has developed to incorporate geographical diversity and diversification by sector. It was imperative for Corbett to ensure the fund was not overly exposed to any one country or any country where the economy is propped up by the oil & gas sector. This approach has seen a targeted acquisition strategy of corporate space in Mozambique, retail assets in Zambia hotel and hospitality assets in T: (230) 202 1111 and E: sbm@sbmgroup.mu www.sbmgroup.mu Mauritius.

“It was a pleasure working with the RGN team. The entire process - from the initial interview to the layout and finished piece - was seamless and professional. ” Orlee Wertheim Head of Business Development, Global Mining, Toronto Stock Exchange TSX Venture Exchange


REAL ESTATE | Grit Real Estate Income Group


R E A L E S T AT E INCOME GROUP Guts, resilience, innovation and tenacity in Africa’s real estate markets

African Business Network



REAL ESTATE | Grit Real Estate Income Group

Running any developing business on the African continent demands a long list of qualities which extend much beyond the usual prerequisites of a successful company. The continent is a mish-mash of frontier, emerging and maturing markets with countless jurisdictional regimes often punctuated by various macro challenges. Pan-African real estate group Mara Delta has experienced the full spectrum of these conditions since its formation in 2014, so when the company decided to undertake a corporate rebrand it was inspired by the skills it had drawn on over the last three and a half years operating across Africa’s sprawling real estate sector. “After much deliberation, months of work and spending lots of time with branding agencies the name Grit came to me while I was listening to a TED talk,” says CEO Bronwyn Corbett. “I listened to the concept of grit, which stood for guts, resilience, innovation and tenacity and it really resonated with what we are building on the continent. “It takes a sheer amount of grit to have done what we’ve done and the whole concept of grit is reflected in our work so far. Therefore, the name Grit absolutely made sense.”

African Business Network Grit’s strategy remains unchanged through the name change, which is built on the premise of establishing a diverse portfolio comprised of highly regarded blue-chip tenants. “We are continuing with our investment strategy from day one which is based on country diversification and not being overly exposed to a commodity driven country or a jurisdiction that is driven by the same factors as another country. “We want to have that diversification of country, to have that diversification of asset class, which means we are looking more for the strength of the tenant and the underlying lease, rather than a particular asset class.” Corbett believes it is this carefully defined strategy that has shaped the company’s success thus far in building a varied portfolio of industrial, office, residential and retail properties in Morocco, Mozambique, Kenya, Zambia, Mauritius and most recently Ghana.

Mozambique The group’s sustained progress in Mozambique is a perfect example of the grit concept in action, as the company has maintained its portfolio of $150 million in the face of increasing macro challenges in the Southern African nation. After two decades of large-scale socioeconomic development, Mozambique’s economic growth has slowed in the last few years as a result of the global



REAL ESTATE | Grit Real Estate Income Group

African Business Network economic downturn and low-level political conflict. However, Grit has kept its faith in Mozambique and is reaping the rewards from it. “Mozambique has remained through these times our best performing portfolio and that is because of our investment strategy which centres on having very strong, international blue-chip tenants that have been quite sticky in the respect of macro challenges,” reveals Corbett. “For us we call Mozambique our country of

“I listened to the concept of grit, which stood for guts, resilience, innovation and tenacity and it really resonated with what we are building on the continent” Bronwyn Corbett, CEO

true grit because it’s a really great case study. We bought this portfolio before their recent troubles and if you look now we’ve actually


renewed several significant leases.”

Focusing on its transitions in Mauritius, Grit has been highly acute to the realities of the

Grit has renewed its leases with Vodacom

real estate market, and quickly identified that

and KPMG for another 10 years each,

the retail market is challenged by obvious

increasing the firm’s overall lease expiry

demographic factors, as the tiny Indian

profile across the whole portfolio to eight

Ocean island is home to only 1.2 million

years, which is longer than any other lease in


Southern Africa. However, the Mauritian tourism industry In a further show of commitment to the

is currently booming with visitor numbers

country, Grit has established a large

rising 11% in 2016, taking a chunk out of

corporate office in Mozambique containing a

the European tourism market as the region

number of senior staff, and is fully expectant

continues to struggle in the face of macro

of a full economic recovery and more.


Looking at the wider portfolio, Grit recently

Consequently, Grit has built its portfolio

completed a $121 million capital raise to

around this burgeoning tourism sector on the

settle some pipeline acquisitions including

island. “Mauritius has become an absolute

a number of hospitality assets in Mauritius,

hub for tourist activities in recent times,”

its current Kenyan assets and an investment

confirms Corbett.

into a separate development company.



REAL ESTATE | Grit Real Estate Income Group “There are more flights coming into the island with Turkish Airlines flying in six days a week and Emirates Airlines flying two A380s a day, so we really looked at that sector quite closely.” What the company found was a collection of highly prominent owner-operator brands on the island that were keen to expand and renovate their existing facilities. Therefore, Grit was able to approach these brands with the offer of buying the assets on a lease-back basis, allowing them to continue with the operational running of the facilities. “Those have proven to be very good deals for us on the basis that we collect a triplenet lease rental cheque every month and we don’t have to get involved in any structural matters or other challenges on the assets.” One of these assets, the Tamassa Resort hotel closed out at 90% occupancy this year in a further sign of the industry’s growth. Yet it is the strength and size of the hotel operator LUX* that is crucial to Grit, as the brand is big enough to sustain the 15-year Euro-backed lease it agreed with LUX*. “Mauritius itself is very flush and it has a lot of liquidity on the Euro. We funded that deal at 3.75%, and we still predict annual growth on the leases of around 2%, so those really stand out as being very accretive, very good real estate transactions for ourselves.”

Bronwyn Corbett, CEO

Resource GlobalNetwork Network 73 African Business


REAL ESTATE | Grit Real Estate Income Group

London Stock Exchange

now but probably need to be around the

One of Grit’s long-standing targets as a

$450 million mark to consider listing.”

company has always been to list on the LSE and having already listed on the JSE and the

The major attractions to the LSE centre on

SEM, it has patiently waited for the perfect

it providing access to a new shareholder

moment to list in London.

base thus bringing greater liquidity, but Corbett remains cautious of a London listing

“London has been something we have been

based on how previous African stocks have

looking at for some time,” reveals Corbett.

fared. Consequently, the firm is undertaking

“For us its key that we come in at the right

detailed market research to determine

market cap size. We are just over $200 million

whether the flotation would bring compelling

African Business Network to drive development, particularly in Kenya and Morocco. “For me what makes Africa so exciting is the extent of opportunity out there, and with the projected population growth over the next 10 years, I think that Africa is the only frontier and I really do believe that. “We have a portfolio in five countries and just in these alone there are enough opportunities to keep us busy for a lifetime. It really is just the tip of the iceberg in relation to real estate, as we know these markets are 20-30 years behind other mature global markets.” For the time being Grit enjoys first mover advantage in the African real estate market, and has built itself from the ground up into a company with an equity shareholder following that will support considerable further portfolio expansion. Now the aim for Grit is to continue adapting to the challenges associated with the listed market space (not just those of the real enough returns to the business.

estate sector) ahead of a potential listing on the LSE, which promises to propel the

On a broader note, Corbett sees an ever-

company to the next level in Africa’s real

increasing catalogue of opportunities for

estate market.

real estate development in Grit’s portfolio countries, with the implementation of real estate investment trust (REIT) structures set



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African Business Network




Centum is a diversified investment channel and one of the largest such investment vehicles in East Africa. Listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange and Uganda Securities Exchange, the firm aims to provide investors with access to a wideranging portfolio of quality investments and has a long history in the region going back to 1967 when it was incorporated as an affiliate of the Kenyan government-owned Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC). In the ensuing years, Centum has grown in tandem with the economic progress of the East Africa region and consistently met and exceeded expectations laid out in its five-year strategic plans. The latest 2014-19 strategic objectives highlighted a new plan to focus on building investments in eight sectors across East Africa. Under the 2014-19 plan, Centum aims to grow its total assets under management from US$288 million (including 3rd party funds) to $1.2 billion by 2019, while generating 35%+ annualised return and maintaining an asset to cost ratio below 2%. Its asset portfolio is comprised of various investments from the following eight

African Business Network




African Business Network


Tangible Partnerships www.boogertman.com

sectors: Real estate & infrastructure, financial

Starting with the FMCG business, Centum

services, FMCG, power, education, ICT,

has established itself in the food and drink

agribusiness and healthcare.

manufacturing sector and lays claim to be

Investment sectors strategy

Kenya’s largest bottler of Coca-Cola through its portfolio companies Almasi Bottlers and Nairobi Bottlers.

Centum identified that these sectors are not necessarily orientated exclusively for

The company has seen double digit growth in

the export market, instead they largely

underlying volume within the FMCG portfolio

fulfil demand within local economies and

according to Mworia, and as such has heavily

therefore offer more growth opportunities in

invested in the expansion of its current

the contained East African market.

production facilities. This expansion will also support product diversification, particularly

“Our investment thesis follows the belief

after Centum’s recent move into the alcoholic

that as the economies of the region grow,

drinks sector.

the sectors that would be the most positively impacted would be the ones fulfilling demand In much of the remaining focus sectors, for basic goods and services to the national

Centum is simply responding to local

and regional populations,” explains James

demand, whether this is the need for reliable

Mworia, CEO of Centum.

power in rural parts of Kenya, or the need for



INVESTMENT | Centum greater healthcare and education in Uganda, which is currently undergoing rapid socioeconomic progress. “As there is a growing middle-class [in the region] that is more aspirational in terms of its needs, our thesis follows that we should experience sustainable growth over the long term, also noting that there is a significant bulk of the population that is currently underserved in these sectors.” Centum has made sizeable investments in agribusiness, education and financial services, including an investment in a leasing business in the latter, and is evaluating a major investment opportunity in the healthcare space. Overall, the firm continues to make investments and is contemplating several potential investments across its entire range of focus sectors. However, the largest sector represented in Centum’s overall portfolio is its real estate business, currently made up of three mixeduse developments namely the Two Rivers Development, Vipingo and the Pearl Marina in Uganda. Athena Properties is its wholly owned subsidiary that provides turnkey services for the developments. “In real estate, the need is for new urban nodes in the region, supported by infrastructural development. Typically, it is governments that provide this infrastructure and services, but as our national government is currently constrained, our thesis is focused

Resource GlobalNetwork Network 83 African Business


INVESTMENT | Centum on providing these urban nodes like the Two Rivers Mall.� Centum aims to focus on all-encompassing projects that provide the whole gamut of services from roads, water, power, sanitation and other similar services that are highly sought after in several developing parts of East Africa.

African Business Network breaking Two Rivers Mall within the 102-

Two Rivers Lifestyle Centre

acre Two Rivers Development located on

Two Rivers is the largest single site shopping

the outskirts of Nairobi, officially opened its

centre in East & Central Africa made up

doors on February 14th 2017. After being

of 67,000m² of retail space, along with

in operation for well over a year, now is a

28,000m² of office space, with 75% of the

pertinent time to evaluate the impact the

centre currently being let and more than

development has made in the region, and

65% of the centre open to trade, explains

how it has redefined Kenya’s retail industry.

Inutu Zaloumis, MD of the Two Rivers

By far Centum’s biggest project, the ground-




INVESTMENT | Centum “This is the biggest occupancy rate in retail

These familiar brands were part of the

across East and Central Africa within the

reason why Two Rivers was able to attract 3.8

initial year of operation,� she adds.

million visitors during its first year, a fantastic result for the developers of the project and

The centre is comprised of a diverse hub

a tangible indication of how a mall that

of retail offerings from hypermarkets, food

combines strong retail brands with exciting

and drink outlets, entertainment and sports

entertainment and leisure spaces represents

stores, electronics, hair and beauty and more,

the future of retail.

with the central premise being that it is more than just a mall, but a lifestyle experience.

However, the success of Two Rivers should not only be measured by footfall figures

Amongst the various retail outlets are a number of major international companies such as Carrefour, Nike and Adidas, together with several regional and local brands. However, its ability to attract blue-chip tenants is a clear indication of a broader confidence in the long-term success of the mall.

alone, and when considering the positive

African Business Network impact that the development has had on the

“Overall, Two Rivers is a demonstration

local area, its success runs deeper.

of the possibilities in Kenya and in Africa in general. Retail is an ever-

“The development has had a tremendous

changing sector of the property market,

positive impact on the community, attaining

as shoppers’ tastes, and needs are ever

a Kenyan Vision 2030 flagship status and


driving the government’s infrastructural investments towards it,” says Zaloumis. As well as prompting the government to open up access to the region through road infrastructure projects, Two Rivers also provided 10,000 direct jobs during the construction phase and is maintaining over 1,500 direct jobs and 2,000 indirect jobs in the long-term.




Real estate portfolio

Consequently, the company has developed

Judging by the scale of the Two Rivers Mall

a robust pipeline of development projects

(Mworia has previously stated the project

in real estate where there is underlying

represents between 10-15% of Centum’s

demand. One of those regions displaying

balance sheet), real estate is a major part

underlying demand is in Uganda, where

of Centum’s portfolio and will continue to

Centum is developing the Pearl Marina

influence its strategy going forward.


“If you look at our balance sheet today, it

The Pearl Marina project

reflects both the costs and the value uplift

Pearl Marina is a mixed-use urban

that we have experienced in our real estate

development situated between Kampala and

portfolio,” explains Mworia.

Entebbe on the shores of Lake Victoria. Over about 380 acres of land, the project will be

“The reason why real estate currently is 40%

comprised of a variety of services including

of our overall portfolio is because we’ve had

commercial, healthcare, educational and

significant value uplift from the real estate

tourism nodes.

portfolio. I think that validates the decision to invest in real estate in the first instance

“Often, the challenge with Uganda is getting a

because the idea was to generate a return.”

sizable parcel of land that has clean title and is serviced with infrastructure, which is what

Mworia also points to the low risk nature of

we are providing at Pearl Marina.”

this asset class as another good reason why Centum has invested heavily in real estate, a

Work has recently commenced on a major

sector which has very limited downside in his

piece on infrastructure in the shape of


an access road, meanwhile an external

African Business Network

infrastructure development – an express

funds and over the last five years we have

highway between Kampala and Entebbe, is

outperformed the market,” he proclaims.

almost complete. “We have had a positive return in each of the Although still in the early stages, Mworia is

years, even against a backdrop of challenging

pleased with the level of appetite shown by

market trends that in some cases have been

developers interested in the opportunities

negative. But, we’ve had positive returns

provided by Pearl Marina and with the

underpinned by growth in our assets.

progress made thus far on the project, which is set to become East Africa’s newest mixed-

“We are also outperforming our internal

use real estate development.

ceiling of 2% costs to assets ratio, and are currently operating at just over 1%, which is

With the real estate portfolio at the heart

another encouraging sign.”

of its success, Centum continues to deliver strong year-on-year profitability while ploughing back into the ongoing story of socio-economic progress in East Africa. “Each year our benchmark has been to achieve a return on opening shareholder

ar c



TOURISM | One&Only Resorts



African Business Network

O N E & O N LY

ining ultra-luxury at the first 5-star hotel in Mauritius



TOURISM | One&Only Resorts

Tucked away in a pristine private peninsula on the Northeastern coast of Mauritius lies One&Only Le Saint Géran. This high-end resort has maintained pride of place at this secluded spot on the island for 42 years, since renowned property magnate Sol Kerzner was first enthralled by the natural beauty of the area and recognised its potential to captivate future guests in much the same way. However, the key to success in longevity has always been to move with the times, and this message has not been lost on One&Only. The international luxury hotel brand pushed forward with nine months of renovation at the resort and officially re-opened in December 2017. ABN finds out how One&Only Le Saint Géran is redefining ultra-luxury for its guests. The multi million-dollar investment in the resort’s redevelopment has been a truly extensive process, with major improvements made to almost every element of the resort, all of which serve to elevate the overall guest

the 143 guest rooms, suites and Villa One


incorporating a contemporary beach-inspired

The return of a legend

design while maintaining the retreat’s muchloved exterior colonial architecture.

The resort’s transformation involves a completely re-designed range of

Furthermore, a dynamic selection of fresh

accommodation options with each of

culinary experiences will greet the eyes and

African Business Network

taste buds of guests at One&Only Le Saint

we define ultra-luxury, we worked on

Géran, who can also expect to reap the

accommodation,” says One&Only Le Saint

rewards of several re-imagined public spaces

Géran’s general manager Charles de

at the resort, from a state-of-the-art new spa


to exclusive children and teens play zones. “We’ve really stripped down the resort, “In terms of improvement and where

keeping the structure but creating 20 less



TOURISM | One&Only Resorts

African Business Network

rooms and having 20 additional suites.

A lot of thought has also gone into the

We beautifully redesigned two and three-

development of the resort’s five restaurants.

bedroom suites with up to 50 interconnecting

The average length of stay at the hotel is very

rooms because we have a lot of families that

long, so the One&Only team aimed to ensure

stay here.

that guests are spoilt for choice in terms of culinary experiences.

“We’ve also redesigned Villa One, which is our villa at the resort,” de Foucault continues. “We

The resort appointed a Michelin star chef to

utilised a designer from South Africa who has

lead its new culinary programme (the only

sophistically blended African expertise with

Michelin star chef in the Indian Ocean), and

local art. We found that Africa offers really

launched the jewel of its dining offerings -

beautiful craft materials which furnish our

the Tapasake restaurant, a contemporary


pan-Asian tapas eatery located in idyllic surroundings overlooking the lagoon.



TOURISM | One&Only Resorts

Left: Charles de Foucault – general manager Le Saint Géran resort Centre: The Honourable Marie Joseph Noël-Etienne Ghislain SINATAMBOU, MP - Minister of Social Security, Reform Institutions and Environment, and Sustainable Development in Mauritius Right: Philippe Zuber - CEO One&Only Resorts

Resource GlobalNetwork Network 97 African Business

“We’ve also created a lot of new family-

Deep-rooted history

orientated experiences, notably at la Pointe

Looking back to One&Only’s roots in

with its family pool and two others spread

Mauritius, Le Saint Géran was first formed in

across the resort to please all our guests.”

the mind of Sol Kerzner back in 1972 when the island, in all its beauty, fanned out below

Furthermore, the hotel’s energy centre

him from the vantage of a helicopter.

for adults and children alike is Club One. Facilities include an indoor-outdoor gym, a

“He was flying over the island in the

group cycle and TRX room and a mind and

helicopter and he saw the area and said ‘this

body room which has been dubbed the soul

is where I want to put my hotel’ because the

studio. One&Only Le Saint Géran also provide

magic was there,” reveals de Foucault.

three tennis courts, two padel courts and a multi-use playing field.

“The magic of the beach, the magic of the


TOURISM | One&Only Resorts

“He [Sol Kerzner] was flying over the island in the helicopter and he saw the area and said ‘this is where I want to put my hotel’ because the magic was there” Charles de Foucault, general manager One&Only Le Saint Géran

African Business Network lagoon, the point where nobody can disturb you from either side. He just said we can create magic here and magic he did create.” The resort was built not long after Kerzner’s aerial epiphany and quickly became the benchmark development not just for hotels on the island, but for the entire nation’s budding tourism sector. In the years and decades since the arrival of the resort on the Eastern coast, the national tourism sector has evolved from a small-scale local trade to an internationally acclaimed holiday destination that is typified by 5-star resorts and luxurious experiences. Although today Mauritius boasts a wide range of star-studded resorts, this was not always the case and One&Only proudly claims to have produced the first 5-star hotel on the island. This is something that de Foucault believes was a key driver of growth in the tourism sector, particularly in shaping Mauritius’ reputation as a luxury holiday hub. “I have to say that we spearheaded this process [of tourism growth] in the early days. More recently in 2005 Mauritius went on a mission to get 2 million arrivals a year by 2017 and this created lots of further investment in 2006.” Having weathered the storm of the global financial crisis (GFC), Mauritius recorded around 1.3 million tourist arrivals in 2016,



TOURISM | One&Only Resorts

which although below the pre-GFC target, represented an 11% rise on the previous year.

50 years of independence It is somewhat fitting that One&Only Le Saint Géran’s grand reopening has arrived in time for a major milestone in the history of Mauritius.

While the presence of luxury hotels such as One&Only Le Saint Géran continues to attract On March 12th 2018, Mauritians across high-end visitors, de Foucault also highlights

the island will celebrate 50 years of

the importance of the island’s infrastructural

independence, and as the resort has shared

developments over the last decade.

42 of those post-colonial years and played a key role in the island’s socio-economic

“The infrastructure is excellent I must say,

development, it will take great pleasure in

I’m impressed by the roads, the power, the

joining the festivities.

water. Everything in Mauritius is ready to handle the type of volume that was laid out

“We wanted to ensure that we had our

in 2005.”

festivities without taking the magic date of March 12th, because that day is for the Mauritians, it’s not for us. So on the 13th

African Business Network

One&Only Le Saint Géran will throw its

For instance, exciting plans to launch

opening party, with key public officials and

a private homes initiative was recently

the prime minister in attendance.

announced, where a selection of two to sixbedroom villas will become available to buy

“The resort will be open, but it is just a chance

from the first quarter of 2018 and will be

to say thank you and gives us the perfect

ready by 2020.

excuse for a party.” Beyond this new offering, the resort will While renovations to the historic resort have

continue to strive for excellence only in its

only just been completed, One&Only Le Saint

ultra-modern, ultra-luxurious surroundings.

Géran has pledged to not stand still and will continue to find ways of improving the guest experience.

a bj



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TOURISM | Anahita Golf & Spa Resort

African Business Network


A five-star experience waits for every visitor



TOURISM | Anahita Golf & Spa Resort

In March 2018 the people of Mauritius will celebrate 50 years of independence, but there is also cause for celebration a little later in the year at Anahita Golf & Spa Resort. The luxurious fivestar resort turns 10 in October 2018, and its story resembles a perfect microcosm of the wider progress made on the island over the last half-century. Located on 213 hectares of tropical gardens opposite to the famous Ile aux Cerfs island on the East coast of Mauritius, Anahita has consistently strived to improve and expand its facilities and services over the last decade, much like the nation itself has developed and diversified its economy and society during the last 50 years. Although best known for its world-class golfing facilities, the resort has today a complete and an enhanced offer for many different types of clients from families, corporate guests to couples on their honeymoon, and even caters for weddings and other events. However, Anahita’s prime attractions are its pristine, 18-hole courses exclusively designed by golfing legends Ernie Els and Bernhard Langer. The first playing turf surrounds the resort while the second is located on Ile aux Cerfs, with complimentary green fees provided to guests staying at the resort.

African Business Network



TOURISM | Anahita Golf & Spa Resort

African Business Network “Around 70% of our guests are golfers and the Anahita golf course is one of the best and most popular 18-hole golf courses available in Mauritius,” says Kelly Ip, sales & marketing manager at Anahita. “Guests also have access to our second course on Ile aux Cerfs by free boat shuttle.” Anahita also proudly hosted the Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open (ABMO) in 2016 and the resort is honoured to welcome back the 4th edition of the competition to its grounds in 2018 from November 29 to December 2. “We are hosting the event for the second time at Anahita and being a worldwide trisanctioned tournament endorsed by the European, Sunshine and Asian Tours, it provides very good exposure for the hotel and Mauritius as a destination,” she adds. The presence of an Ernie Els inspired golf course has understandably resulted in the resort being mostly recognised as a golfers’ hotel, but this perception has changed in recent years as Anahita embraces extra services and facilities, namely the new categories of accommodation, the spa and new culinary concept. “Since 2016, with the opening of a new spa, new seminar room and some other enhanced facilities, Anahita can accommodate for the various type of stays ranging from golfer, family, corporate, incentive, spa, honeymoon or any other special events such as weddings, birthdays and renewal of vows.”



TOURISM | Anahita Golf & Spa Resort

Resource GlobalNetwork Network 111 African Business The new spa is a sanctuary of tranquillity providing tailor-made massage and spa packages to suit the requirements of its guests, for both adults and children. “Having a historical background relating to tea production in Mauritius, at Anahita Spa we opted for a tea-based brand THÉMAÉ PARIS instead of a cosmetic brand,” says Ip. “All of the nine spa treatment rooms are named after a region where tea is cultivated in Mauritius, such as Bois Cheri.” Furthermore, for activity-seeking guests, a wide range of land and water sport activities are provided, including personal fitness coaching, swimming and tennis lessons and bike and kayak outings to discover the nearby villages. Other activities include quad biking, ziplining, horse riding at Domaine de l’Etoile, a natural reserve with stunning views of the nearby mountains and lastly, a treetop adventure park located on Ile aux Cerfs. After the October 2016 re-opening, there has also been an increased number of corporate meetings and events taking place at Anahita, which provides several on-site and off-site venues and a wide range of facilities and services to suit the needs of businessorientated guests. In terms of accommodation, Anahita provides two types of lodgings; suites and villas. For visitors wanting to stay in suites, the resort offers a junior suite for golfers and couples/


TOURISM | Anahita Golf & Spa Resort honeymooners and a more spacious prestige suite that is perfect for families and friends who want shared accommodation but also their own private space. “Our villas provide more of a home away from home experience with extra space and their own swimming pool and garden, making this type of accommodation perfect for couples, friends and big families.” All accommodation at Anahita has been designed to conform to a contemporary style that reflects the Mauritian lifestyle, and the resort tries its utmost to include special touches and furnishes which contribute to an overarching localised feel amongst its guests. Around 95% of Anahita’s suppliers are locally based, which contributes to the economic development of Mauritius. Food and beverages on offer are inspired and derived from local produce (seafood, meat, poultry, fish, fruits and vegetables) and local products (spices, rum, sugar, tea). Some local products are also on sale at the deli shop located at the resort. Anahita’s eclectic new dining options are another major attraction to the resort, with guests able to sample a wide range of cuisines during their stay in Mauritius. “We aim to provide freedom of choice to our guests who can either dine in one of the five restaurants or in the comfort and privacy of their suite or villa through the room service. Of the five restaurants, four are on-site and

African Business Network



TOURISM | Anahita Golf & Spa Resort

African Business Network

one is off-site, open primarily for lunch. A

island seems to have grown in tandem

coffee shop also offers light sandwiches to

with the popularity of Mauritius as a tourist

take on the go.”

destination. This is demonstrated by the fact that the number of visitors to the island

A live cooking buffet takes place for dinner

increased by 11% in 2016, and likewise

at Origine Restaurant, with different culinary

increased by 10% at Anahita during the same

themes allocated each evening, while the a


la carte menu at Bliss Restaurant is available at lunch and dinner. Meanwhile, a fine

“The stay concept at Anahita Golf & Spa

dining experience is provided by Signature

Resort is unique and reflects the Mauritian

Restaurant and hungry golfers can savour an

way of living, which explains the significant

Italian menu at Il Forno Restaurant, situated

number of repeat guests. Stays can be

in the golf club house.

further personalised according to the specific needs and requirements of the guests.”

Finally, the hotel’s reputation as one of the most luxurious five-star resorts on the




FINANCE | Johannesburg Stock Exchange

JOHANN STOCK EX ABN interviews the JSE’s head of

African Business Network

NESBURG XCHANGE primary markets Prejelin Naggan



FINANCE | Johannesburg Stock Exchange

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is intrinsically linked with the city of its locus having been formed in 1887; only one year after Johannesburg was officially founded. Then the exchange was established in response to the discovery of gold in the nearby Witwatersrand area. The ensuing gold rush necessitated a platform for the valuable metal to be traded on, and the JSE suitably provided this. Over the course of the proceeding 130 years, the platform has undergone a series of developments which have continued to mould and redefine its status as one of the best stock exchanges in the world.

A progressive exchange However, the primary function of the JSE remains the same as it did all the way back in 1887 – to provide a platform that enables ambitious and pioneering enterprises to raise capital for the betterment of not only South Africa’s economy but the lives of African’s across the continent.

Africa’s oldest stock market joined the regulated global stock trading community in

The JSE has always strived to position itself

1963 when it joined the World Federation of

at the cutting edge of what it means to be a

Exchanges, an important step which solidified

truly modern global stock exchange, which is

its position as an internationally certified

reflected in a number of key junctures in its


progressive history. In 1996, the JSE ended 108 years of open-

African Business Network

outcry trading at its premises when it

in a regulated environment,” says Prejelin

upgraded to an electronic trading system.

Naggan, JSE’s head of primary markets.

“We then launched our board for small to

“In 2006 the JSE listed on its own main board.

medium-sized companies, AltX, in 2003

More recently we launched our equity trading

to provide smaller companies with access

platform using Millennium IT in 2012 and in

to capital while providing investors with

2014 we launched our colocation centre.”

exposure to fast-growing smaller companies



FINANCE | Johannesburg Stock Exchange

The state-of-the-art colocation centre gives

globally,” highlights Naggan.

the exchange’s clients super-fast access speeds to all JSE markets, offering a key

“We have 377 listed companies, 53 of those

advantage for traders in the pursuit of up-to-

are listed on our AltX board and the balance

date real-time data.

of 324 sit on our main board. In 2017 we

Africa’s largest stock market

had 21 new listings on the JSE from various sectors.”

“The current market capitalisation of the JSE

The JSE has not only been woven into the

is around R15 trillion, (just over US$1 trillion)

fabric of the city from the very beginning, but

and that places us in the top 20 of exchanges

it has also developed into South Africa’s and

African Business Network

Africa’s largest stock market.

on the AltX board in September 2014. Since then, another seven of these companies

In 2016, the JSE also launched the JSE

have listed on the exchange – four on the

Exchange Hub, a Cape Town office which

JSE’s main board and three on the AltX

will enhance its services in the city and allow

board. Together they have a total market

them to build better relationships.

capitalisation of R3.2 billion.

Special purpose acquisition companies

The JSE has also been developing offerings

(SPACs), which were introduced in 2013,

across other asset classes that promote

provide a new way to raise capitals for

responsible investing – including the

acquisitions. The first SPAC, Sacoven, listed

launch of its Green Bond Segment, which



FINANCE | Johannesburg Stock Exchange

Brainworks Limited lists on the JSE

Resource GlobalNetwork Network 125 African Business provides a platform for companies and other

access a diverse pool of capital, to improve

institutions to raise funds ring-fenced for low-

the profile of the company, or to enable the

carbon initiatives and investors to contribute

shareholders to monetise their investment in

towards mitigating the effects of climate risk

the company.”

as part of their investment portfolio. It is at this crucial stage of a companies’ life The segment was launched last year and The

cycle that the JSE can offer its platform where

City of Cape Town’s green bond (which listed

cash resources can be rechannelled into

on the JSE) was five times oversubscribed,

productive economic activity, thus building

demonstrating that there is appetite for

the economy and improving socio-economic

good-quality ESG focused assets.

conditions across the company through job opportunism and wealth creation.

The JSE’s elevated status in Africa has been function in raising and redistributing capital,

Primary and secondary markets

which has triggered continued socio-

The role of the JSE’s primary market is to

economic development in South Africa and

originate new listings for the exchange. “The

throughout the continent, particularly in

primary markets are there from a growth

recent decades.

perspective to enable a company access to

forged through the fulfilment of its primary

capital markets in order to raise capital and “Capital markets are there to try and allocate

improve profile,” explains Naggan.

capital from those that have it to those that need it, and the exchange is a very useful way

In addition, the secondary market is where

to do that.

trading of existing shares takes place on the JSE with the equity market providing the

“From our perspective, when companies grow

platform for listed companies shares to be

and expand they are able to employ more

bought and sold by investors.

people and that also boosts job creation, so we play a hugely important role from that

The JSE’s equity market contains a number


of heavyweight companies including British American Tobacco (BAT), Naspers, Sasol,

“As we look at the life cycle of a company,

MTN, ABInBev, Anglo American and BHP,

you start out with some sort of bank or

with the latter two firm’s presence on the

debt funding, and as the company grows, it

exchange an indication of South Africa’s

may be able to procure additional funding

strong mineral resources industry.

sources from private equity. Hopefully these companies reach a stage where they

The importance of mineral resources to

should access capital markets, either to

South Africa’s economy dates back all the


FINANCE | Johannesburg Stock Exchange

Prejelin Naggan, JSE head of primary markets

African Business Network way to the first gold rush of the 19th century,

This process has been highly successful since

however recent decades have brought with

its introduction in terms of attracting more

them an imperative diversification process

capital markets activity.

away from mining, which has been reflected in the make-up of the JSE.

“Our issuer regulation team also undergoes reviews of the rules on a bi-annual basis,

“If we look at the breakdown of the JSE’s

taking feedback from the market to make

current market cap, financials which include

sure that the rules we have are commercial in

real estate firms and basic materials

nature and protect investors.

[resources] previously were the most dominant industries. Now you’ve got

“There is consistent market feedback around

consumer goods which resemble 39% of the

the rules and we obviously look to enhance

JSE and then you’ve got basic materials.

our rules to provide for better capital markets.”

“Listings in 2017 has been very diverse in terms of sector break up. We’ve had

Thanks to its progressive attitude to

companies list from the fishing industry,

stock market trading, the JSE continues

education, real estate, technology, healthcare

to be recognised as one of the world’s

and agriculture,” Naggan reveals.

best exchanges. However, it will work on

Regulatory environment The JSE is widely considered to have one

innovating to maintain its position of having one of the best capital market infrastructures in emerging markets.

of the best regulatory environments of all the major international exchanges, and

“From our perspective, we want to make the

this reputation is enhanced by its ongoing

JSE a cost-effective, efficient, well-regulated

adoption of new innovations, such as fast

exchange. We enhance our services when

track inward listing.

we get feedback from the market to areas we can improve and look very carefully

Introduced in 2014, the fast track listing

at taking that on board and making those

process allows companies already listed on

improvements,” Naggan concludes.

major international exchanges (LSE, NYSE, ASX, TSX) for over 18 months to list on the JSE on a fast track basis.






Delivering high-

African Business Network



-quality higher education to African students online



The potential of the African continent is no longer a wellkept secret, after over a decade of unparalleled growth across all regions in the sub-Saharan. In fact, the continent is now home to seven of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies, with such progress paving the way for a rapidly expanding middle-class of wage-earning consumers in these emerging markets. However, the realisation of Africa’s almost limitless potential will hinge upon whether it can conjure a new generation of highly-educated, highly-skilled leaders who can propel the continent towards the forefront of global business trends.

population is an attractive proposition for

The numbers are there for Africa. It is

UNICAF was established when the University

currently home to 200 million young

of Nicosia, the largest university in Cyprus,

people between the ages of 15-24, and is

wanted to attract applicants from underserved

estimated to become the world’s largest

regions in Africa and Asia but were frustrated

labour force by 2040 at one billion people.

by visa restrictions.

employers and investors alike. However, for a large percentage of Africans, traditional forms of higher education are difficult or even impossible to obtain. A paucity of traditional campuses across the continent, combined with various demographic and socio-economic issues often obstruct the path to higher education for students of Africa. But, with what UNICAF University’s vicechancellor Kevin Andrews calls a ‘paradigm shift in communication’ and the realisation that brick and mortar institutions are not accessible to most Africans, UNICAF has begun to change this through offering higher education courses online at a fraction of the original cost.

UNICAF University

Today’s generation of young people will be the driving force behind the socio-economic

Thus, the concept of an online learning

growth of the continent.

institution, which aimed to increase accessibility of higher education for

Therefore, it is imperative that today’s

international students, was born.

considerable cohort of African youth have access to international standard higher

In just over five years, the university has

education, as robust educational systems

grown from having only 15 students in 2012 to

are the most crucial prerequisite of societal

over 11,000 today from 156 countries across

development, while a highly educated

the world, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa.

African Business Network




UNICAF has also established support

on flexibility and mobility which has been

infrastructure in nine African countries and

a significant boon for its African students,

currently delivers 35 academic programmes,

who’s circumstances often pose several

mostly at masters level.

challenges to traditional attendance-based studying.

Around three years ago, UNICAF took another decisive step when partnering with the

Despite the university’s focus on independent

University of South Wales. The partnership

learning, the classroom environment is

has allowed UNICAF to learn and grow from

maintained through online interactive

a UK university while providing greater

teaching and discussion forums with teachers

opportunities and better prospects for its

and fellow students, while the growing


number of support centres also provide a face-to-face element to the learning process.

UNICAF’s educational delivery model is based

African Business Network

Improving access to higher education Speaking at UNICAF’s 2017 Higher Education

The impossible nature of this task inspired the creation of UNICAF with its alternative mode of delivering higher education.

in sub-Saharan Africa Conference in London, Andrews said the continent’s current

However, the university was also established

demography and lack of traditional university

in response to the unique barriers faced by

campuses has created a ‘crisis in capacity’ for

hopeful African students.

prospective students. Even when students do have access to “For African nations to cope with the growing

campus-based African universities, they are

need for university places, the continent’s

often still faced with a number of hurdles.

governments would need to build 10 universities a week, each with room for

A web of socio-economic factors including

10,000 students, every week for the next 12

distance, familial responsibilities and working

years,” postulated Andrews.



EDUCATION | UNICAF University “I have always wanted to study but I could not afford the tuition costs and did not have the time to study or to attend full-time on campus. But through UNICAF I found a convenient way to study. “UNICAF has given me the opportunity to pursue a globally competitive MBA through the scholarship which is affordable, and the flexible nature of the course allows me to continue working.”

Developing African business enterprise Kevin Andrews, Vice Chancellor of UNICAF University

Providing access to higher education unlocks the potential for personal, local, national and even continental and global development,

commitments all stand in the way of attaining

which is needed amongst many individuals,


communities and nations across sub-Saharan Africa.

“However, the biggest limiting factor of education in Africa is financial,” said Andrews.

UNICAF’s wide range of easily accessible

“Most of our students are already in

courses serve to create multiple paths

employment and providing for their families,

towards this development. In the most

so our model which allows individuals to

obvious sense, courses such as the MBA

‘earn as you learn’ is crucially important.”

impart a wealth of crucial knowledge and skills related to effective business practise in

Furthermore, earning a scholarship with


UNICAF entitles students to discounts of up to 80% on the fees they would pay

This acquisition of international standard

by enrolling in the equivalent course at

business knowledge allows Africans to

a traditional institution, which has been

pursue entrepreneurial ventures in their

absolutely vital in opening doors to higher

local and national settings, which not only

education for thousands of UNICAF students.

encourages the growth of African small and medium enterprises (SMEs) but also raises

Talking at the UNICAF 2017 student awards,

the economic status of families, improving

Ugandan MBA student Julian Lumbasi said:

their quality of life.

Resource GlobalNetwork Network 135 African Business “The development of SMEs in Africa is going

business knowledge is also bringing myriad

to be a real driver in reducing poverty, and

benefits to families and communities in Africa

the education that UNICAF can provide

through tackling issues such as poverty.

is helping individuals to promote their businesses,” Andrews contended.

Higher education prevents poverty by equipping students with important health-

“A lot of our students are already employed,

related knowledge which is passed around

and often utilise the skills that they have

communities, but also fights poverty through

acquired from UNICAF by leaving their

economic development.

employment and setting up their own businesses.”

“The UNICAF scholarship is empowering me to improve myself, to improve the life of

Indeed Lumbasi was motivated to study by

my family, to further my business, to help

a desire to improve the prospects of her

my community and to fight until the end of

small-scale business in Uganda. “UNICAF has

poverty,” said Lumbasi.

empowered me with knowledge crucial to business practises,” she said. “The modules

Professor Helen Langton of the University

I have been able to finish have helped me to

of South Wales summarised this crucial

better manage my small family business.”

element of UNICAF’s educating process at the conference.

Another student speaker at the conference told of how she was unhappy with her

“Much of what we are about is not only giving

current role at a digital marketing company in Zimbabwe, and wanted to learn new skills in order to climb the corporate ladder. She undertook a UNICAF degree and with a host of additional knowledge and skills to her name, she was quickly promoted to the position of digital strategies officer in the company. “UNICAF gave me the skills to be able to take up a senior position in my organisation and has equipped me with life-long leadership skills,” she said. UNICAF’s ability to empower individuals with

Dr Nicos Nicolaou, CEO UNICAF



people a good education but making sure it ploughs benefits back into the community,” she said.

students across sub-Saharan Africa, in turn opening up countless pathways towards socio-economic development. The testimonies of students at the

“Being able to take a degree and do

conference provide incontrovertible evidence

something with it that is of benefit to your

that higher education, and UNICAF’s delivery

community, your society and globally, is a

of higher education, is driving development

fundamental part of any of the education we

among individuals, communities, businesses

do - online included.”

and nations in Africa.

The future of UNICAF

The next step in the UNICAF story will

Through offering online-based teaching at a fraction of the cost of traditional degrees, UNICAF is democratising education to

be to begin expanding further into the undergraduate market, according to Andrews. However, in order to do this

African Business Network

the university must build on its support

This expansion of its physical support


centres will also benefit its existing cohort of students, who highlighted the need for

“Compared to postgraduates,

greater face-to-face interaction with their

undergraduates need a greater level of

tutors at the conference, with a more

support, so the UNICAF strategy going

blended style of learning set to materialise in

forward will be to develop its own support

the coming years.

centres and micro-campuses in order to

extend the opportunities into the graduate market.�

All Imagery : Tino Antoniou Photography



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MINING | Hummingbird Resources


African Business Network

Pouring first gold at Yanfolila



MINING | Hummingbird Resources

At the start of 2017, RGN spoke to Hummingbird Resources as the West Africa-focused gold miner began to accelerate its flagship low cost, high grade Yanfolila Gold Project in Mali. In little under a year, the AIM-listed outfit has accomplished a long list of undertakings that have taken the project off the ground, from construction and electrification of the plant, building the camp, commissioning of the mill, mobilisation of the mining fleet, local recruitment, training and much more. At the end of Q3, Hummingbird began mining operations at Yanfolila ahead of an anticipated first entry into production by year end. Managing director Daniel Betts talks RGN through Hummingbird’s busy year, explaining how he and his team have ensured the project will be delivered on time and on budget.

The team So often in these near-term developments it is the organisational strength of the managing team that dictates the overall strength of the project, and this notion was not lost on Betts when it came to assembling a senior management team.

African Business Network



MINING | Hummingbird Resources

African Business Network “I think we have got the structure right in terms of Hummingbird having a VP for all the major disciplines be that the EPCM, the SHEC, operations, geology and some of those people have been with me for a long time,” says Betts. For example, VP SHEC (safety, health, environment, consultancy) David Hebditch has worked with Betts for several years prior to his arrival on the Yanfolila project, including on the Dugbe Gold Project in Liberia, Hummingbird’s other major gold development in West Africa. Another staunch member of the team is VP Operations William Cook who is responsible for the ongoing running and development of Hummingbird’s operational capability in Mali and Liberia, and has been with the company since the beginning. However, the company has also brought in fresh blood such as Murray Paterson, VP Geology, Wayne Galea, VP EPCM and Shaun Bunn, Senior VP Project Delivery, who have each made significant overseeing contributions to the overall ramp-up in activities at Yanfolila over the last year. The construction of a clearly-defined and compartmentalised management team has allowed the company to maintain a high degree of control over the many different elements of the project, meaning that no detail (however fine or glaring) has escaped the attentions of a Hummingbird supervisor.


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African Business Network 147 Resource Global Network

This level of transparency in Hummingbird’s

Major milestone

work has taken on even greater importance

“AMS are very professional, they know exactly

in recent months with the entry of the

what they are doing and run lots of mining

contract mining team African Mining Services

operations in West Africa, but ultimately they

(AMS) on to the project.

are bringing in a $100 million mining fleet and it changes the dynamic of your team and

Overall, Betts believes the transition from

the way you operate as a company massively.

construction of the plant to mobilisation of

the mining fleet has been a smooth one,

“How we have integrated with AMS, managed

which is a testament to the disciplined

the contact with them and ultimately worked

overarching management structure already

together, is a major milestone for the

in place prior to the arrival of AMS.

company. We are currently getting through



MINING | Hummingbird Resources

the strip, have accessed ore and the ROM

so I’ve got to be happy.” After first pour in

pad has been completed.”

December, Yanfolila’s first year capacity will reach 132,000oz au, according to the project’s

Over three million tonnes of material was

2016 definitive feasibility study.

removed and transported during the initial process of top-fill strip mining to prepare the

The DFS was followed up by an optimised

open pit ahead of first pour in December,

new mine schedule outlining the financial

a target which was achieved on time to the

metrics of the project, which revealed a low

delight of Betts.

AISC of $695/oz and after-tax IRR of 60% at a $1,250 gold price. At this price Yanfolila will

“I guess the proof in the pudding of our work

generate over $70 million of free cash flow a

is the fact that we are going to deliver on time year. and on budget and that’s a pretty rare feat

Australian African Business Network

As if these encouraging returns weren’t

struggle to raise the capital to build that plant

satisfying enough for Hummingbird,

on its own.

Yanfolila’s production profile is set to be further boosted over the next decade by the

“But, based on the current metrics we think

recent deal struck with African Gold Group

we can beneficiate by concentrating that ore

for a conditional 50% interest in the nearby

at site before trucking it to our Yanfolila mine

Kobada Gold Project.

and running it through our CIL circuit, which would take a lot of the capital costs out of

The Kobada project has a measured,

building a standalone mine.

indicated and inferred gold resource of 2.2 million oz (Moz), including 511,000oz

“Effectively overnight we’ve got an additional

of reserves all within trucking distance

resource of 2.2 million ounces and we can

to Yanfolila’s processing plant, which

show the world that Yanfolila is not a short-

provides a tantalising scenario involving the

term project.

transportation of concentrate. “If we can get it to 10 years and 150,000oz a “I think it is one of those rare things in life

year by bleeding in a higher concentrate feed,

where it is a win-win,” proclaims Betts.

then we’ve got a very significant mine on our

“Kobada is a low grade deposit and would



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African Business Network


Cora Gold

“We had a fantastic portfolio of exploration

Turning away from the Yanfolila project and

licenses but just didn’t have the bandwidth or

towards Hummingbird’s exploration activity,

the budget to explore and they’ve just been

the company struck a significant deal with

sitting there for the last 18 months,” explains

fellow junior Cora Gold, which also has a


presence in the Yanfolila Gold Belt across

Mali and Senegal.

“The period of stagnation was frustrating as we like to work our ground hard and give

Ahead of Cora’s listing on the AIM,

ourselves a chance at making the next big

Hummingbird agreed to put some of its own


exploration targets into Cora’s portfolio in return for 33% of the company’s shares.

However, under a JV with Cora (a company




MINING | Hummingbird Resources

African Business Network

Betts has known for a long time) the

As Hummingbird enters into production at

company has been able to free up its

Yanfolila, maintains its position in Liberia at

exploration bandwidth and funding.

the Dugbe project and keeps its exploration

“From Hummingbird’s point of view this

targets open through the shared ownership

deal becomes an arms-length exploration

deal with Cora, Betts reflects on where he

incubator for us and I quite like the model to

wants to take the firm in the coming years.

be honest. “My vision is to build the most profitable, “It lets us focus on growing a mining

efficient gold company I can build and that

company, developing Yanfolila and Kobada

doesn’t need to be just in West Africa. This

but it also gives us access to exploration

is to be driven by the quality of the resource

which is where Hummingbird came from and

and any differentiators our team can bring to

is the bedrock of the industry. We certainly

the table to deliver those resources.”

want to be involved in exploration and I think this is a neat way to do this.”

b a r j



MINING | Middle Island Resources

MIDDLE ISLAN Significant gold assets in Western Australia and West Africa

African Business Network




MINING | Middle Island Resources

Rick Yeates began putting Middle Island Resources together in February 2010 on the back of his resignation from Coffey Mining, the firm which bought RSG Global – the company he co-founded back in 1987. Under Yeates’ stewardship, Middle Island quickly accumulated gold assets in West Africa before listing on the ASX in December 2010. Over the next few years, the company consolidated its work in Burkina Faso, Liberia and Niger but was soon halted in its tracks in the latter nation, which blocked the purchase of the Samira Hill gold mine. However, the company bounced back from this setback by widening its exploration lens beyond Africa, acquiring the Sandstone Gold Project in Western Australia in July 2016. This asset, along with the Reo Project in Burkina Faso are the company’s two flagship projects today. After having its fingers burnt in Niger, it quickly became imperative for Middle Island to locate a project which would mitigate shareholder exposure to sovereign risk. Consequently, Middle Island’s conservative and deliberated approach saw it go down the safer, albeit well-trodden, path of mining in Western Australia’s gold fields, acquiring

African Business Network



MINING | Middle Island Resources

African Business Network Sandstone after a meticulous three-year search.

Western Australia “We were also very specifically looking for an advanced near-term production asset that had the potential to generate a cash flow from which we would be able to fund further exploration activity,” says Yeates. “Sandstone was a near-term development opportunity because it has a 600,000-tonne processing plant in reasonably good order, and importantly the cost required to refurbish and recommission that project was achievable.” The Sandstone Gold Project is located around 400km Northwest of Kalgoorlie in a mineralabundant region which has seen sustained surface, underground and open-pit mining activity since the 1890s. In excess of one million ounces (1Moz) of gold has been produced from the Sandstone area by a number of mining companies throughout its extensive history, with gold mineralisation occurring in the triangularshaped greenstone belt. Prior to Middle Island assuming ownership of the project, the last resource statement was undertaken by Troy Resources in 2011, which recognised an aggregate of 11 million tonnes (Mt) at 1.4g/t for 480,000oz Au. Middle Island moved quickly to build on these figures, undertaking its own pre-feasibility



MINING | Middle Island Resources

Resource GlobalNetwork Network 163 African Resource Business Global study (PFS) in 2016. However, the results

The processing plant at Sandstone has been

concluded that the project’s recommissioning

in care and maintenance since 2010, but

was uneconomical based on the Two Mile Hill

remains in a remarkably healthy condition

and Shillington open-pit deposits alone.

because the area is blessed with fresh ground water.

Yet responding to adversity once again, Middle Island decided to defer a

Therefore, the company will not have to

recommissioning decision and went back

invest vast sums of time and money to

to drilling around the existing deposits to

get the plant back up and running. The

extend and enhance the production profile.

renovation work was fully costed at $9.3 million as part of the PFS.

During the last 10 months the firm has made a number of important discoveries, most

“We are conscious that this [overall cost] is

notably the Two Mile Hill tonalite target,

still a fair hurdle but we are confident we can

which was shown to be mineralised from

get there in the end.”

end-to-end and top-to-bottom after three further diamond drill holes were completed.

With this in mind, Middle Island has pencilled in late December 2017 as the earliest date

“This is a significant result because it

it would be in a position to revisit a mill

highlights the bulk underground mining

recommissioning decision, however Yeates

potential of that target, most likely via sub-

maintains this is dependent on many

level caving, along with the open-pit potential

variables and is by no means guaranteed.

which had already been figured into the original schedule.”

West Africa Middle Island remains active in West Africa,

The other major recent discovery was the

despite exiting from Niger soon after it

identification of gold targets at the Davis

ran into problems, and is still very much

prospect in the Southwest corner of the

committed to the Reo Project in Burkina Faso.

project. “We generated four very cohesive gold-arsenic anomalies down there and have

“The Reo Project was an opportunity that

just completed drilling across two of those,”

was presented by Newmont, as they felt

reveals Yeates.

the project didn’t quite have the potential to come up with the 5Moz target they were

“All these anomalies are within 1km of the

looking for, but we felt it still had plenty of

processing plant which, along with the

merit and were more than content to identify

recently optioned Wirraminna deposit,

a 1-2Moz target.”

could represent a catalyst for the mill recommissioning.”

The subsequent deal was structured as a share sale agreement, meaning that


MINING | Middle Island Resources

Newmont came on board as a cornerstone

However, the project remains in the early

corporate shareholder in the company.

stages and there is still lots of work to be done in the shape of infill drilling, with most

Yeates stresses that having the support of

of the targets defined at a broad, 400-800

a major international miner was crucial for

metre line spacing, which needs to be infilled.

the company from a marketing perspective, especially during the first five years of its

Middle Island is currently prioritising the


development of the Sandstone project and is hopeful of getting another company on

“In addition, from a geological perspective the board to do the heavy lifting on the Reo project is at the Northern end of the Boromo project, taking it through to feasibility, and HoundĂŠ greenstone belts, where the

although Yeates affirms it will look to

two coalesce. These have proved very

recommence work in its own right should this

prolific belts in terms of gold exploration and not be possible. discoveries.�

Australian African Business Network contribute up to 5% of its exploration budget each year to social development initiatives in local communities. “It’s just a recognition that those local communities are our hosts and we effectively stay in their villages while we are there. “Our objective is to become a part of the community wherever we go, whether its Western Australia or West Africa. Rather than simply working with the community we endeavour to integrate ourselves as much as possible. “For an exploration company that is a big ask, but I think we have found a good balance, and certainly I am extremely proud of some of the work we have done.” Yeates is adamant that the current outlook for gold across global markets is very good, based on a pure supply and demand In any case, the company is patiently waiting

equation where demand is currently

three pending renewal permits at Reo and

outstripping the identification of new

is naturally reluctant to pull the trigger on


further exploration, especially being in Africa where these things take time.

It is this fundamental belief that is underpinning a growing confidence that

Middle Island is also acutely aware of its

Middle Island’s flagship projects in Australia

position in the West African communities

and Burkina Faso will deliver profitable

which share the land on which it explores,

returns when they eventually come online.

and takes great pride in its commitment to

a j









STUDIES draglobal.com



MINING | Alphamin Resources






Creating a globally significant re

African Business Network





esponsible tin mine in DRC





MINING | Alphamin Resources

Democratic Republic of Congo, a country that has been ravaged by civil war in the 20th century, is treading the long road back to peace and civility. Mineral resources and the manner in which they have been exploited have been at the heart of DRC’s violence, anguish and misery. Artisanal mining has directly contributed to the formation of armed militias on the back of profits made and traded. The low-tech miners have destroyed potentially billions of dollars of value to the national finances through cherry picking the highest-grade areas of large deposits rendering them uneconomical for commercial exploitation. Alphamin is a TSXV-listed company trying to change things in DRC. With a commitment to conflict-free, responsible tin mining. CEO Boris Kamstra hopes the Bisie tin project will act as a catalyst to a new chapter in DRC’s mining story. The Bisie tin project comprises a host of highly mineralised zones located in the deep jungle in DRC’s North Kivu region, Kamstra has no doubt that it is one of the ‘world’s most significant tin deposits’. At one point Bisie was producing 4% of the world’s tin, but the riches that it produced never

African Business Network



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African Business Network

trickled down to the local community. That

post-tax NPV of US$402.2 million and a post-

can be attributed to the business structure

tax IRR of 49.1% positioned against a capital

of artisanal mining. However, Alphamin is

expenditure of $124.4 million, peak funding

committed to stimulating real economic

of $152 million. The company’s aim is to get

prosperity and development through Bisie.

Mpama North up the development curve and in a positive cash flow position in order to

The company completed a DFS followed

drill out the rest of the mining licence.

up by a comprehensive budget estimate to execute the project and the results were

“We needed to find a starter project. A

outstanding. Kamstra calls the project’s

project where we could define the resource,

economic metrics absolutely stellar and

get sufficient tonnes into our measured/

Bisie will provide the necessary cashflow to

indicated categories, around which we could

support further exploration in the nearby

build a project that made financial sense and


get cash that would allow us to explore the rest of the area,” explains Kamstra.

Alphamin is developing Bisie’s Mpama North deposit first and Kamstra is right, the

When Alphamin set out on the drilling

economics of the project are impressive.

process for Mpama North it had identified

Mpama North has a 12.5-year life with a

a likely 100,000t contained tin at a grade of



MINING | Alphamin Resources

We needed to find a starter project the resource, get sufficient tonn categories, around which we c financial sense and get cash that w of the area - Bor

t. A project where we could define nes into our measured/indicated could build a project that made would allow us to explore the rest ris Kamstra, CEO

African Business Network



MINING | Alphamin Resources

African Business Network

2.5% hoped for. But, to everyone’s surprise,

necessary to build the mine. With $80 million

after 40,000m of diamond drilling the deposit

signalled in debt funding, Kamstra is now

was showing 230,000t contained tin at 4.5%.

going to the markets to raise the balance of the capex in equity.

Kamstra and the team were ecstatic with the new grades but due to the disparity from

This year the focus has been on preparing

their predictions, the results were subject to

the project to receive the main construction

independent verification from MSA and DRA

work. Next year the civil work will begin,

and passed with flying colours.

before the SMPP contractors install the process plant which will be commissioned in

“Everyone is wildly excited about Mpama

2019 with a target for steady state production

North, and so they should be, but we need

in the second half of 2019.

to remember why we are doing this,” says Kamstra, heeding caution. “We are doing this

Welcome to the jungle

to unlock a whole host of mineralisation that

Operating in DRC offers a whole range of

we are yet to quantify.”

unique challenges that have to be overcome, particularly in the remote jungle where

From a financial perspective Alphamin is in

Bisie is situated. A lot of the challenges are

a favourable position to secure the funding

common for frontier mining projects, such



MINING | Alphamin Resources

African Business Network

“Everyone is wildly excited about Mpama North, and so they should be, but we need to remember why we are doing this. We are doing this to unlock a whole host of mineralisation that we are yet to quantify” Boris Kamstra, CEO as local skilled labour, infrastructure access,

When Alphamin first started at Bisie there

government relations and communication

were only two ways to access to project; by


helicopter or a two-day trek through the jungle. The initial work was completed by

However, with the fragile nature of DRC’s

helicopter and limited drill rigs which has led

tribal villages and the often-bureaucratic

a to a ‘false horizon’ on the mineralisation, in

dealings with government, Alphamin has had

that with full size rigs Kamstra believes the

to approach the project with special care.

resource goes much deeper than has been

When it came to looking at how to develop

drilled out so far.

the project the first major hurdle was even just to get access to the site.

Bisie is surrounded by thick jungle and difficult terrain. The nature of the jungle



MINING | Alphamin Resources

Boris Kamstra, CEO with ravines, steep climbs and rivers at any point made the mission to build an access road fraught with difficulty. But without light vehicle access the project would not come to fruition and the locals would not reap the benefit of a usable road through the mountain range. “The solution was to tape a GPS to my back and walk the forest. We had to build up our knowledge of the terrain and plot the route by foot, we eventually found a watershed along which the bulk of the road runs. “We recruited around 400 locals, which rose to 600 at one point, and they built the 38km road through impenetrable jungle. It wasn’t a pretty road but you could get a cruiser and a motorbike through. We are upgrading it now and sending through 20 truckloads a month.”

African Business Network Despite the achievement of getting the access road built, Kamstra maintains that logistics remain the biggest problem. The main road between Goma and Walikale, the district Bisie is in, has seen major floods and Alphamin has had to reroute trucks. However, it has now established supply lines to both the East and West and is providing $4.5 million to improving the road from Goma. The through pass from East to West will unlock a raft of economic potential in the area. Previously the fertile agricultural fields struggled to reach their capacity with poor transport routes but Alphamin’s investment will see new opportunities for trade and commerce for local producers. “We always said that when we build Bisie we will be an economic catalyst for the entire region. We are seeing it happen now, our road repair initiative is getting more support because the route joins Mombasa on the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic coast and you can now get goods across the continent,” notes Kamstra. “This extraordinary agricultural area hasn’t been able to access markets in the West because of a lack of travel routes. The agricultural potential is running at a fraction of what it should be,” with the new road farmers will be able to realise the full value of their crops.

Sparking new industries In addition to developing a world class tin project it is these types of developments for the local population which really set


African Business Network

Alphamin and Bisie apart from what has

in DRC, Alphamin is the direct opposite,”

gone before. Not only the project itself but

says Kamstra referring to a recent visit by

the way Alphamin has gone about working

the North Kivu minister of mines Anselme

with the community and stimulating the local

Paluku Kitakya who described the project as a


‘beacon of hope’ for DRC and its history.

There was understandable distrust when

The commitment Alphamin has made to

the company first approached the local

local prosperity comes in the form of jobs

communities, but through a process of

and economic stimulus. Alphamin’s focus has

mediation using the Catholic Church and

been to keep all the work as labour intensive

the local leaders, as well as the promise of

as possible to bring as many people into

jobs and economic generation, Alphamin

employment as it can. Where the choice is

has been accepted as a vital component

between one excavator or 200 men for a

for development of the North Kivu region’s

task, Kamstra will always favour the manual



“Our thesis is that Bisie tin should be a

In terms of blooding new markets and

premium product in that everything that

industries in the area there are no better

has been levied against the tin industry

examples than the mining company’s need



MINING | Alphamin Resources

Transportation Mining Construction “Traminco shall reflect back on 2017 as a year of exceptional growth and expansion in the mining and construction divisions of the business.� This is according to the CEO, Mr. Brian Christophers. Some highlights for the year would include two World Bank Projects, a mass-concrete Hydro Electrical Power Project, Quarry Development and Crushing, several Road Maintenance and Road Rehabilitation projects and the construction of a Runway, some Bridges and a Detox Facility.



Uganda DR Congo

Traminco has been awarded the 185km Road Maintenance Contract for the fourth consecutive year running at Kibali Gold. Traminco was also awarded the Rehabilitation Contract for the R529 by Alphamin Resources. This road is between Goma and Walikale in DRC where roads are impassable! This project is especially challenging due to the huge amounts of material that has to be processed.

Figure 3: Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation

Figure 4: Road conditions at its Worst!

BRIDGES Traminco has constructed two Concrete Bridges in Garamba Park, one of the biggest and most significant wild life conservational parks in Africa that is situated in the North of the DRC. This project will allow game rangers and antipouching units access to the whole park, even in the wet season when rivers are flooding! Figure 1: Aerial view of the Intake Structure of the Hydro Electrical Power Project for Rand Gold at Kibali Gold Mine, DRC

HYDRO ELECTRICAL POWER PROJECT Traminco was appointed the main contractor for Intake Structure of The Azambi Hydro Electrical Power Project. This is the third hydro powered electrical plant constructed by Randgold Recourses at the Kibali Gold Mine in DRC. This is a substantial mass concrete project. The footprint of the Intake Structure is 2,060 square metres and the structure consists of 6,000 cubic metres of concrete. There is 660 tonnes of reinforced steel in the structure.

WORLD BANK PROJECTS In the last two years, Traminco undertook two World Bank Projects. The road project near Kisangani is now coming to an end where Traminco was awarded two sections of Road Rehabilitation from Kisangani, the capital of Tshopo province in the DRC to Buta. Figure 5: Bridges in Garamba Park


The project was undertaken in late 2016 and is due to finish in the first quarter of 2018.

Our teams are equipped to work and perform well in harsh and remote locations where we are contracted to assist in the opening mines, the construction of roads and infrastructure, quarrying and even bulk concrete works.

QUARRYING AND CRUSHING Part of this Hydro Electrical Power Project is the Development of the Stone Quarry and the Crusher Operations.

Constructing Your Future

Figure 2: Quarry Development, Blasting and Crushing

Brian Christophers (CEO) +27 82 562 4422 (SA)

See our contact information below and let us assist you in your next challenging project!

Joe Meyer (MD) +243 824 900 355 (DR Congo)

African Business Network

“Our thesis is that Bisie tin should be a premium product in that everything that has been levied against the tin industry in DRC, Alphamin is the direct opposite� Boris Kamstra, CEO for access and communications spinning off

by the call and electric recharge being

into wider economic generation.

purchased. There were also a number of lifechanging social benefits to the new

As discussed, building the road opened new

telephone network. If people were sick or

trade routes and opportunities for local

under criminal threat they could quickly

farmers and tradesmen and when Alphamin

make a call to Goma for medical or police aid,

needed a communication network, Vodacom

instead of sending a porter which could take

installed a telephone mast in the area.

up to two weeks and has an associated cost.

Quickly a budding telecommunications

Another development which changes the

market sprung up in the villages with airtime

landscape for the population of Bisie is the

vouchers being sold, phones being rented

new bank that Alphamin requested be built in the village.



MINING | Alphamin Resources

African Business Network

“We try to use local contractors as much as

need all those facilities, we bring them in and

possible and we have a complete aversion

they get leveraged up by the needs of the

to cash payments. When we tried to pay one

people in the area.”

contractor by electronic transfer he said it wasn’t worthwhile as he had to travel all the

Bisie’s long term success

way to Goma and back just to get the money.

Looking forward to how Alphamin can deliver its goal of creating a globally significant

“We went to Trust Merchant Bank and said

tin precinct, Kamstra is focused on getting

we need a bank on site and they are bringing

Mpama North into production before

in the facilities.

widening the net of drilling programmes to incorporate new deposits in the immediate

“That is the power of the mining industry. We




MINING | Alphamin Resources

Even at Mpama North the life-of-mine is stated at 12.5 years and because of the amount of contained tin already proved, there was no pressing need to continue to spend shareholders money on expensive drilling, although Kamstra is confident there is high grade mineralisation that extends deeper into the mountain. Following Mpama North’s ramp up, Alphamin will turn its focus to Mpama South, a second deposit which is showing similar geology and mineralisation trends to the cornerstone resource. “We will be generating a lot of cash [from Mpama North] so our first priority has to be to pay down our debt, secondly we will provide our shareholders with dividends

African Business Network

and then retain a portion of the cash to start drilling programmes. “We will first target Mpama South and what you have to bear in mind when you look at the increase potential at the project is that Mpama North has had to bear the costs of all the infrastructure and the overheads. If we add units all we are picking up is the operating costs but all of the revenue. “These extra units could be hugely accretive. This region will become the world’s premier producing tin area, in my mind there is no doubt to that.”






APPOINTMENTS Steinhoff appoints new board members after CEO resignation Troubled South-Africa retail holding company Steinhoff has bolstered its board with fresh appointments after the resignation of its CEO Markus Jooste. Jooste recently departed the company in the midst of a storm regarding alleged accounting regularities. However, experienced executive and current co-CEO of African Rainbow Capital Johan van Zyl has been drafted in by the company.

South African private hospital group appoints new CEO Mediclinic has promoted its chief clinical officer Carel Aron van der Merwe to the position of CEO in the private hospital group. Van der Merwe has worked for South Africa’s largest private hospital since 1999 and will replace the retiring 22-year veteran Danie Meintjes. He has worked in the chief clinical officer role since 2007, and was also appointed as a director of Mediclinic International in 2010.

Goutam Dev to spearhead digital transformation for SAP Africa SAP Africa has appointed Goutam Dev as head of education for Africa, as the software company looks to lead the process of digital transformation on the continent. Dev has been with the company since 2005, covering many aspects of the firm’s management and strategies across 54 African countries. “As a business, it is our stated objective to help companies with their digital transformation initiatives,” he said after his recent appointment. Bidvest approves appointment of Mark Steyn as CFO Mark Steyn will replace the retiring Peter Meijer as chief financial officer of major South African supplier Bidvest, effective March 1. Upon stepping down from the role, Meijer said revenues were up but margins were down in the automotive and electrical divisions of the company. Steyn first joined Bidvest in 1997 and has held various positions with the freight division over the last two decades.

African Business Network

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