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Perseus: DHL africa: AFRICAN EDITION

imperial group:

Issue No.6

de beers:

The world’s leading diamond company

SPECIAL focus: Kenya development

business excellence editorial

John O’Hanlon

Will Daynes



John has contributed to Business Excellence since its inception: he joined the in-house editorial team in February 2013.

Will has been a business writer for three years. He joined the Business Excellence team in September 2012.



Matt Johnson

Richard Turner

Art Director

Director of sales

Louise Culling

Vince Kielty

Production Designer

Director of Editorial Research


Sharon Rooke

Administration & Operations

Infinity Business Media Ltd Jacquard House, Queen Street, Norwich, NR2 4SX. England

Matt Day Head of technology

The content of this magazine is copyright of Infinity Business Media Ltd. Redistribution or reproduction of any content is prohibited.

Andy Turner

Š Copyright 2013 Infinity Business Media Ltd.

Chief Executive

be Africa | 3

BE africa kenya development focus:

10 10 KAA


Keeping up with the economic growth in Kenya and the growing importance of its flagship Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKI).

20 Base Titanium

Building the foundations of the future


How the work of Base Titanium on the Kwale Project is helping to shape the future prosperity of Kenya.

28 East African Portland Cement Company (EAPCC) Building a brighter future

Having played its part in Kenya’s growth, learn what the future holds for both the company and the country.

36 Kengen

28 4 | be africa

Generating growth

As the country’s leading electricity supplier, KenGen is developing new long-term power solutions.



Mining & Minerals: 44 de beers

Forever friends

The world’s leading diamond company takes its responsibility for growing a sustainable industry very seriously.


62 Namibia Diamond Trading Company Bright shining light

A key part of the economies in southern Africa, diamonds are more than just another resource mineral.

72 Nkomati Mining Reaping the rewards

Mining manager Trevor Visagie explains how the rapid development of the Nkomati mine continues to reward not only its employees, but the local community as well.

84 IHC Merwede B.V. Making waves

How converting a dry mining operation into a wet or dredge mining operation can renew the life of a mine.

92 Allana Potash A class apart


The results of Allana Potash’s recent feasibility study on its Danakhil Potash Project in Ethiopia and how the company plans to build on this going forward.

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102 Perseus Mining A PROMISE IS A PROMISE

West Africa still hosts mineral deposits that have remained underdeveloped: for a certain Australian prospector they are now paying off.

120 Nordgold

Flexible and on the move

Outperforming the industry and adopting world class social initiatives.

138 Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM)

Working towards excellence

The vital role that the Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM) is playing in helping to further develop the country’s rapidly expanding mining sector.


Transport & logistics: 146 Imperial Group In imperious form

The diversified nature of Imperial Group’s business activities is helping it to prosper.

156 DHL Global Forwarding – Sub Saharan Africa

146 6 | be africa

Always moving forward

How the business is striving to become the first choice solutions provider for its customers.



164 Berco – an Aramex Company Two giants unite

How over the course of two decades, a small, family-run business has been able to transform itself into a leading international logistics provider.

176 Super Star Forwarders (SSF) Forward thinking

SSF is expanding to meet the needs of its multi-national corporate clients as the demand for transport and logistics services in East and Central Africa increases.


telecoms: 192 TCRA


Having overseen revolutions in broadcasting, postal services and telecommunications, today’s revolution is a digital one.

206 Vodacom Tanzania

Bringing technology to Tanzania

Continually evolving its product and service offerings to remain the country’s leading cellular network.

214 Rural NetCo Ltd. Connecting the dots


The shared mobile broadband network concept that will not only benefit thousands of people in Tanzania, but potentially millions across Africa.

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222 Djibouti Telecom A gateway to the world

The progress Djibouti Telecom has made in becoming a telecommunications gateway to the rest of the world.


232 Harvest FM

Change is in the air

How Harvest FM has helped achieve social freedom by exposing corruption and fighting for local communities.


Changing for the better

The Director General of ZICTA discusses the role the Authority has played during this exciting period of change.


manufacturing: 246 Grafton Everest RELAX WITH DIAMONDS

South Africa’s leading manufacturer of lounge suites aims to capture the increasing demand for fine furniture.

construction: 260 Tarcon Africa

Models of development

246 8 | be africa

As Zimbabwe emerges from a challenging decade Tarcon Private Limited is finding inventive ways to keep its business, and the country’s economy, in growth.


oil & Gas: 272 Les Gaz Industriels Limited (LGI)

The desire to diversify

Managing Director, Jérôme Commins discusses LGI’s diversification over the years and its plan to expand into Africa’s emerging markets.

food & drink:


282 General Printers Ltd (GPL)

The perfect package

Managing director, Ketul Tanna, reveals the secret behind GPL’s success within the FMGC sector and its plans for imminent expansion across Africa.

Retail & Leisure:


290 Franchise Association of South Africa

Perfect timing

The franchise industry is booming thanks to changing consumer spending habits, an increase in innovation and a willingness to explore new ways of working.

296 Curves Africa Ahead of the curve


From the day its first Franchise opened in South Africa, Curves Africa has gone from strength to strength.

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kenya development focus:

10 | BE Africa


AIRPORT ON THE MOVE Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has to run to keep up with the economic growth in the country and the growing importance of its flagship Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKI) as a hub for the East Africa region

written by: john o’hanlon research by: robert hodgson

BE Africa | 11



s with any country’s main airport JKI is the gateway to the country, and the people who fly in and out from all over the world, fairly or not, will judge Kenya by their first impression, gained as they struggle through the baggage reclaim and immigration checks. The first Kenyans they meet will be the airport staff. What greater PR opportunity could there be for a country and its people? The responsibility for investing in the airports lies with KAA, the autonomous government body founded in 1991 to succeed the Aerodromes Department, then part of the Ministry of Transport and Communications. But responsibility for the day-to-day implementation of policy on the ground devolves upon the airport managers, especially the General Manager of JKI. Edward Kobuthi was appointed to this post in December 2011, having previously been General Manager at Kenya Airways, one of the most successful airlines in Africa. Moving across from the role of the airport’s principal client to that of service provider gave him a unique insight into the business, he says. “I could hardly fail to understand the questions I had been asking as a customer!” But in addition to that he had an unusual background for an administrator, having been trained in process engineering. His experience in manufacturing with its emphasis on continuous improvement, efficiency and lean working was just what the airport needed, though it did present him with some initial challenges. Notable among these was trying to instil a mindset of effective working among staff used to the laid back

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RwandAir, the national airline of the Republic of Rwanda, the airline has earned the proud moniker of “the Fastest Growing Airline in Africa�. Today the airline operates a fleet composed of four Boeing 737 NG series, two CRJ-900 NextGen and one Dash-8 and serves all major cities in the EAC (East African Community), three cities in western Africa, Lagos, Libreville and Brazzaville, Johannesburg in South Africa, and Dubai the only destination out of the continent. Changes are noticeable today on RwandAir side with the

unveiling of our new brand image. On April 12, 2013 the airline will take delivery of the first of two Boeing 737-700NG leased from German airline TUIFly to replace the two retiring Boeing 737-500. And in June we will launch Accra in Ghana and Douala in Cameroon, followed up in July by Juba in South-Sudan to be served with weekly flights ranging from 3 to 5. In December we will also be acquiring a Bombardier Q400 from factory to replace the current leased Dash-8 100. By the end of 2013, we expect to exceed half a million passengers as stated earlier with a fleet of seven beautifully chosen new generation aircraft.


Construction taking place

attitudes prevalent in the civil services. circular structure with the three sections While much remains to be done, things have grouped around a central space recalling improved right across the board in the 15 months a traditional boma. Having been built in since his appointment. One of the first things 1978, it is feeling its age and needs frequent he did was to call together his management repair. What it really needed was a thorough team and set targets in all departments, his aim overhaul, but a renovation programme that to meet the high expectations of the airport was supposed to start in 2007 was put on users. “This is no longer a local airport so they hold, becoming part of the project to build a expect a level of service and brand new fourth terminal. Meanwhile maintenance an experience comparable has been a matter of patch to what they would receive and make do, Kobuthi at Heathrow or Schiphol. Of laments – understandably course delivering that in our he is impatient to see the constrained facilities is not easy to do, but that is what our expansion project completed. improvements all aim to do.� The new Terminal 4 Projected passengers The existing terminal currently under construction through JKI in 2016 complex is an iconic will complete the circle. It is



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“I made it a priority to see that the power supply, especially to the airfield lighting, was robust” a fully self-contained facility with a 23,000 square metre footprint, handling international arrivals and departures and separating them from domestic transit. It will handle 1,500 passengers an hour, with the check-in and bus terminal on the ground floor, seven departure gates on the first floor and arrivals above that. The three storey parking garage for 1,500 vehicles that forms part of Terminal 4 is already nearing completion. To give an idea of its scale, the entire off-street parking provision for Nairobi only amounts to 6,000 places – its presence more than makes up for the open

16 | BE Africa

air parking that had to be sacrificed to the new terminal. Although it has been claimed that Terminal 4 will up the annual passenger throughput of the airport to nine million from the original three terminal’s design capacity of 2.5 million, it is actually designed to cope with an extra 2.5 million. When it is considered that around six million passengers currently pass through the airport, and it is indeed expected that nine million will be using it by next year, the scale of JKI’s under-capacity becomes clear. Nevertheless Edward Kobuthi has not been content to wait. As soon as he came in he set


in process a programme of across the board improvement that owed much to industrial lean practices. Despite the constrictions of the facility the results have been impressive and are reflected in the ratings achieved in JKI’s quarterly Airports Council International (ACI) audits. “Every single parameter showed improvement over the last year,” he says. Putting in free Wi-fi access in the waiting areas gained a huge 16 percentage points improvement, while air-conditioning the departure lounge won a similar hike in ratings. Other areas scored markedly higher, including ground transportation, availability of parking, courtesy of staff and reduced waiting times at security; trolley availability and signage that makes it easier for passengers to find their way about. No ACI category failed to show an improvement. And this comes after some much

larger issues had been tackled. Failure in the baggage conveyor system had been frequently so they were thoroughly rehabilitated. More seriously, just before Kobuthi took up the reins the entire airport had been blacked out in a power cut. “I made it a priority to see that didn’t happen again and to see the power supply, especially to the airfield lighting, was robust. We now have generators powering two separate loops to the airside circuits – if one has a problem the other cuts in.” Terminal 4 is behind its original schedule but should be fully commissioned by the end of the year, ready for the President to open it. Meanwhile work will commence on a brand new terminal building, quite separate from the original complex. The new ‘Greenfield’ terminal will solve JKI’s capacity issues for a long time to come, equipping it to meet a projected demand

BE Africa | 17

KAA took delivery of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

KAA of 15 million passengers a year after 2016. The design capacity of the new $650 million terminal is actually 20 million passengers a year. Designed by architects Pascal & Watson and supervised by consultants Louis Berger Group, a contract has been concluded with Anhui Construction Company of China and work is due to start in May of this year. The project will involve the construction of a new terminal building with a total floor area of 178,000 square metres on four levels, 45 associated aircraft stands, linking taxiways, with access roads and new vehicle parking areas. Strategically situated at the interface between east and west, north and south, JKI is ideally placed to become Africa’s main international hub for passenger services. It has already gained that position in terms of cargo, having overtaken both Cairo and Johannesburg in terms of tonnage. It now handles over 300 million kilogrammes of cargo a year and is growing at an annual rate of ten percent. In a separate contract, work will start this year on a second runway at the airport. It should take a little under two years to build. The new 5.5 kilometre runway will be able to take the airbus A380 and thus open up the airport to direct long haul flights to destinations such as New York, carrying up to 32 tonnes. Edward Kobuthi can’t wait: “Once all these projects are complete Nairobi will finally take its rightful place alongside the top rank passenger and freight airports in the world.” For more information about KAA visit:

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kenya development focus:

foundations of the future

20 | BE Africa

Base Titanium

General Manager of External Affairs, Joe Schwarz discusses how the work of Base Titanium on the Kwale Project is helping to shape the future prosperity of Kenya

written by: Will Daynes research by: Richard Halfhide

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Power reticulation string 11kv line

Base Titanium


s the vast majority of experts, analysts and economic observers will attest, the mining sector offers the African country of Kenya the highest immediate growth potential, with its development expected to contribute significantly to driving economic growth in various industries including energy, construction, transportation and finance. At the heart of the country’s long-term mining plans is the Kwale Mineral Sands Project. Located 50 kilometres south of the port city of Mombasa, it is a highly competitive project in a sector with a significant forecast supply shortfall widely thought to emerge in the medium term. Indeed it is estimated that the Kwale Project will go on to contribute some $300 million to the government of Kenya in direct tax and royalty payments alone over the 13 year life of the mine. “The project,” explains Joe Schwarz, General Manager of External Affairs, “was first initiated back in the mid-1990s by the Canadian company Tiomin Resources, which carried out the initial exploration, environmental, re-settlement and feasibility work. After a number of years of moving the project forward, Tiomin suffered a series of setbacks until an acquisition agreement with the publically listed Australian company Base Resources was concluded in July 2010.” With the deal complete, and with the backing of the Kenyan government, Base Resources registered a wholly-owned Kenyan subsidiary, Base Titanium. It is this local entity in which the Kwale Project assets exist as its flagship development. Following

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a positive update of the feasibility study, and the successful raising of equity and debt financing, the $300 million project was officially launched in late 2011. Wholly focused on the Kwale Project, Base Resources has evolved massively in a very short period of time, going from a small exploration outfit to a sizeable business with a market capitalisation of over $200 million and a member of the ASX 300. Construction of the project is now well advanced, with practical completion scheduled for the third quarter of 2013. By the end of the year Base Titanium expects to have commenced shipping of three distinct product streams processed from the mine’s high-value, heavy-mineral assemblage. Going forward, it will produce 330,000 tonnes of ilmenite, 80,000 tonnes of rutile and 30,000 tonnes of zircon annually over a 13-year period. Base Titanium aims to become a truly Kenyan mining company and one that brings both economic and social benefits to the communities in which it operates. “Our focus,” Schwarz enthuses, “is on delivering sustainable, long-term community investment. We are developing further programmes for the future and the pay back is that we gain the co-operation and support of a contented and uplifted community.”

As the operator of the first large-scale mining project to be developed within Kenya, Base Titanium has the responsibility of setting the benchmark for future developers to meet. The company is very much viewed as a flagship organisation to attract further investment into an industry sector that, despite remaining neglected and dormant for a considerable period of time, is now experiencing a ground swell of

“Base Resources aims to be the first thought of company when considering truly successful resource development in Africa” 24 | BE Africa

Base Titanium

Power supply - mine site substation installation

interest from various neighbouring communities.” exploration companies from Base Titanium operates around the world. a recruitment system based on registering job seekers To date, the Kwale Project into a database that captures has helped create significant Estimated life opportunities for local information on domicile, span of the mine economic development, one skills and other relevant of which being a focused local factors. People are then employment programme. selected for employment on “This part of Kenya,” Schwarz highlights, “is a best fit basis, while giving first priority somewhat economically depressed compared to those from affected and immediately to other regions of the country and t neighbouring communities. herefore employment and economic “In addition to the aforementioned efforts opportunities are sensitive and emotive we have made,” Schwarz says, “we are also issues. Through formalised agreements with committed to transferring skills to locals in the government and local communities, order to equip them for employment in the we are committed to maximising local wider mining and related industries. Among recruitment from among project affected and the ways we are trying to do this is by providing


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formalised training, apprenticeships and mentoring programmes for young people who lack the necessary hands-on experience.” Health and safety of its employees and surrounding communities is something that is equally important to Base Titanium. “We have now worked over two million man hours since the only lost time injury incurred so far in building the project,” Schwarz adds. “Our lost time injury frequency rate of just over 0.3

26 | BE Africa

compares very favourably with some of the best operators globally, all the more remarkably in that many employees have never before worked in an industrial environment.” It is a commonly held view that to this day Kenya remains grossly underexplored. One of the reasons for this is the fact that historically Kenya has seen itself as an agricultural nation first and foremost. “At present,” Schwarz concludes, “minerals

Base Titanium

Water storage dam - central embankment under construction

and mining contribute only 0.7 percent of Kenya’s GDP and less than two percent towards its total export revenues. It goes without saying therefore that the growth potential here is significant, and this is already proving to be the case. However, what we as a business are doing here today is just the beginning. Base Resources aims to be the first thought of company when considering truly successful resource development in Africa

such that governments and communities will invite us in, employees will seek us out and others will want to emulate us. The Kwale Project represents just the first step towards making that a reality.� For more information about Base Titanium visit:

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kenya development focus:

East African Portland Cement Company

Building a brighter future For 80 years, EAPCC has played its part in the growth of Kenya. Managing Director, Kephar Tande talks about what the future holds for both the company and the country

written by: Will Daynes research by: Paul Bradley

BE Africa | 29



EAPCC sponsors the biggest homes expo in East and Central Africa, the Blue Triangle Homes Expo

enowned for the quality of its product, which has proven to be the lifeblood of the Kenyan construction industry over the last 80 years, the East African Portland Cement Company (EAPCC) has been the country’s leading cement manufacturer since it was founded in 1933. “For the first 40 years or more,” explains Managing Director, Kephar Tande, “we were the only cement company to operate within Kenya. As such we played a hugely important role in helping build the nation from the ground up in areas such as housing, education, health, tourism, transport and communication.” It was in 1957 that the company moved to its present headquarters, the Athi River Factory, an area blessed with an abundance of regularly available raw materials required for making cement. Over the subsequent years a number of investments and improvements were made, including the commissioning of new mills, a rotary wet kiln and a limestone crusher, resulting in an increase in EAPCC’s production capacity. In 2009 another new mill was commissioned, doubling capacity once again to bring it to its current figure of 1.3 million tonnes. The company’s flagship product, Blue Triangle Cement, is well regarded throughout Kenya for its reliability, having been used in the construction of a number of the country’s historical and future structural icons such as KICC, the Thika Superhighway and the Chemususu Dam. “Our customers rely on our ability to deliver quality and value,” Tande continues, “and it

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CHEMICAL/PROCESS ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS Areas of Expertise: • Process Plant Evaluation • Process Technical Audits • Process Plant Optimisation • In Plant Training: Technical – Process, Quality Control, Process Economics, Process Costing/Budgetary Control • Bench-marking of Manufacturing Operations • Process Improvements, Products Development/ Standardisation • Techno-financial feasibility Studies • Energy Conservation • Pinch and Intermediate Technologies • Cleaner Production/Industrial Symbiosis • Development of Company –Medium/Long-term Plans. • Technical Management Training, Mentoring and Advisory Services • Safety and Environment (SEIA –Social Environmental Impact Assessment)


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EAPCC is our consistency in being Yongo & Associates able to provide this that has It was in 1999 that Yongo & Associates completed the arguably contributed most to optimization of their new, dry process rotary kiln technology. our success over the years. In the year that followed the company achieved a great The local materials available many other things including providing technical process and to us are ideal for cement quality training to its operations department and establishing production and have allowed process economics, process costing, process improvements and budgetary controls, and inter-departmental integration us to create a very unique and harmonization throughout its operations. product. That is not to say In 2010 Yongo & Associates carried out a feasibility study that we aren’t engaged in the into the establishment of a new kiln line. Over the last 12 task of product improvement, months the company has completed technical process rather this is something we do audits, plant optimization projects, delivered training for its while paying close attention operation department staff, carried out an evaluation into to changing market trends, alternative fuels and an in-depth evaluation into technical projects associated with its updating of its kiln line. advancements in technology and evolving customer needs and demands.” Growth, expansion and sustained profitability are the guiding principles of EAPCC’s business model, and driving these goals forward are its people. “Our long-term presence in Kenya,” Tande states, “has allowed us to develop strong local competence when it comes to manufacturing and technical skills. Every single employee, from support staff to management, can expect to receive continuous training in order to keep their skills up to date. Staff development is something that is very important to us and as such we encourage everyone to pursue higher studies.” Kephar L. Tande, EAPCC Managing Director

“Kenya is very much the archetypical model of what one would describe as a rapidly developing country” BE Africa | 33

Kenya is very much the archetypical model of what one would describe as a rapidly developing country. As such there are a number of prominent growth drivers that continue to bring increasing volumes of work to EAPCC and the construction industry as a whole. These include the demand for more housing to cater for an ever-increasing population and for core infrastructure such as road networks, bridges and dams, all of which of course being heavily reliant on cement. In addition to its commitment to contributing towards Kenya’s development, EAPCC is also driven by its aim to create better lives for the communities that it operates in. It does so by sponsoring a wide range of development projects through its Corporate Social Responsibility investments. The company believes passionately in education and consistently supports brilliant but disadvantaged children as well as building classes, dormitories and boreholes to support learning in hardship areas. An equally important theme for the company is its aim to be recognised as a green business that is doing its part to respond to the environmental concerns that often greet the construction sector in Africa. “We have always worked hard when it comes to

managing our responsibilities,” Tande says. “One of the ways we do this is by carefully monitoring our use of resources, for example reducing our levels of waste. At present we are looking into ways in which we can incorporate solar power into our operations, while another important development sees us looking at ways in which we can convert hot gas into electrical power, thus reducing our reliance on coal.”

“it goes without saying that as we grow as a business we will keep a sharp eye focused on other potential growth areas for EAPCC” 34 | BE Africa


The staff clinic

Kenya, and much of East we are as well positioned as anyone when it comes to Africa for that matter, is unquestionably a fast moving recognising the positive signs market and one with an that exist when it comes to the country’s future growth. average growth rate of at The year EAPCC moved least ten percent per annum What we also know to be true to its Athi River Factory in terms of concrete and is that growing confidence associated products. in a country like Kenya in It is therefore fair to turn breeds confidence in assume that EAPCC do not envision their surrounding economies. Therefore it goes efforts slowing down at all in the years ahead. without saying that as we grow as a business “Within the next five years,” Tande concludes, we will keep a sharp eye focused on other “we intend to at least double our production potential growth areas for EAPCC.” capacity, while also looking to increase our market share further still and to expand For more information about East African our business interest into the ready-mixed Portland Cement Company visit: and pre-cast concrete sectors. For 80 years now we have grown alongside Kenya, thus


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kenya development focus:

Generating g

As Kenya’s energy demands continue to increase unaba is taking its role as the country’s leading electricity sup extremely seriously by developing new long-term powe

written by: Will Daynes research by: Richard Halfhide

36 | be africa



ated, KenGen pplier er solutions

be africa | 37

Wind turbine generator



o say that Kenya Electricity Today KenGen possesses a workforce of Generating Company Limited, or approximately 1,829 staff distributed across KenGen as it is more commonly 20 different sites where its power plants are recognised, plays an important located. The company utilises various sources role in the economic development to generate electricity ranging from hydro, of the African nation is, to all intents and geothermal, thermal and wind. Of these purposes, a gross understatement. The reason hydro is the leading source, with an installed for this is that KenGen alone is responsible for capacity of 766.88MW, which is 65 percent of producing almost 80 percent of the electricity the company’s installed capacity. consumed in the country. Kenya is rightfully proud of having KenGen’s history dates back to 1954. It was a liberalised marketplace and it is here then that the Kenya Power Company (KPC) that KenGen competes directly with four was first registered and was commissioned independent power producers, who between to construct a transmission line between them produce the remaining 20 percent of the country’s electric power. the city of Nairobi and Tororo in Uganda, as well as It is with this competition to develop geothermal and in mind that KenGen strives to maintain its position as other generating facilities in the country. The Nairobi the market leader in the - Tororo line was to transmit provision of reliable, safe, Potential future power generated at the quality and competitively power capacity of the Owen Falls Dam. priced electric energy. “With Olkaria complex From its inception, KPC the wealth of experience we possess, our established sold its electricity in bulk at cost to the Kenya Power and Lighting corporate base and a clear vision, we Company (KPLC), which ran the company believe we are perfectly placed to retain our under a management contract. This remained leadership position with the sector,” explains the case until January 1997 when the Geoffrey Muchemi, KenGen Director of management of KPC was formally separated Geothermal Projects. from KPLC as a result of new reforms and “For the foreseeable future,” Muchemi legislation brought in to regulate Kenya’s continues, “we aim to efficiently generate energy sector. competitively priced electric energy using state Come October 1998 KPC had re-launched of the art technology, while also leveraging itself under the name and corporate skilled and motivated human resources to identity that we now know at KenGen. It ensure financial success. Meanwhile, we shall was this act that saw KenGen take charge achieve market leadership by undertaking of all publicly owned power generating least cost, environmentally friendly capacity plants in the country. expansion. Consistent with our corporate


be africa | 39

Hyundai Engineering Co., Ltd. to Create the Sustainable Value With almost 40 years of experience, Hyundai Engineering Co., Ltd. has grown into a comprehensive engineering company which has the diverse business portfolio covering a number of areas including chemical plants, power plants, industrial plants, infrastructure and the environment, with a well accumulated level of high-quality technology expertise in design, procurement, commissioning and maintenance. Today the company is actively expanding into the renewable energy sector and expects the striving pace for the lasting value creation for humanity to allow it to secure future growth.


Howard Humphreys is one of Eastern Africa’s leading consulting engineering and project management company and has been carrying out project management, engineering design and construction supervision of buildings, roads and transportation, water supply and sewerage projects in Eastern Africa since 1931. To date Howard Humphreys has carried out several major projects in the Eastern Africa region. The Company’s main fields of activity in East Africa can be classified under the following Service Lines: • Building and Structures • M&E Building Services • Project Management • Water and Sanitation • Safety, Health and Environment • Transportation and Roads & Bridges Telephone: (+254 20) 2063254/2660374 Cell Phones: 0724253431/0733625483 Email:


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Kengen culture, our core values Hyundai Engineering Co., Ltd will be adhered to in all our Hyundai Engineering Co., Ltd. is the only company to have operations.” a performance reference from the geothermal power plant Despite Kenya’s economic in the Republic of Korea, “Kenya Olkaria geothermal power advances in recent times it plant unit I & IV Project”. This was awarded in recognition is still a widely shared belief of its skills and competencies in the field of geothermal that the country’s power power plants, a field which has long been led by Japan, U.S. and European companies. sector remains in need of In addition, Hyundai Engineering Co., Ltd. is now standing major investment. This is in a competitive position within the market of combined evidenced by the fact that cycle power generation, coal-fired power plants, it is still many thousands cogeneration, diesel power generation, and transmission of MW short of being able and substation projects. to deliver total national coverage. Thankfully Kenya’s government and its energy sector are not oblivious to this need and are taking active steps to meet the said challenge. One answer is the major investment that is being made in geothermal energy projects. It is these such projects that KenGen anticipates will become its primary source of energy by 2020, and the basis for this growth will be its Olkaria power station projects. As of now there are three Olkaria plants active today, with Olkaria I and II producing a combined 115 MW of power, a figure that is set to be increased to 150 MW in the coming months. Olkaria III on the other hand produces 48 MW and its running is outsourced to Ormat Technologies. Water turbine generator

“KenGen alone is responsible for producing almost 80 percent of the electricity consumed in the country” be africa | 41

“KenGen strives to maintain its position as the market leader in the provision of reliable, safe, quality and competitively priced electric energy” In 2012 the company hosted the groundbreaking ceremony for the Olkaria IV construction, a new 280 MW geothermal plant that KenGen expects to be ready for generation capacity by 2014. “Olkaria IV is an extension of the existing Olkaria I and

42 | be africa

II plants, and is expected to cost around $1.3 billion to complete,” Muchemi states. “The development itself will be built across two physical plants, each of which will boast two 70 MW units.” The steam wells for the Olkaria IV project


The Olkaria III power plant

have already been successfully drilled, while the well head generators are expected to be installed and begin generating power as the construction phase of the undertaking continues. The Olkaria IV project is co-financed by the Kenyan government through KenGen and by a series of development partners, including KfW, World Bank, JICA, the French development agency, and the European Investment Bank. With the addition of Olkaria IV, the complete Olkaria complex will further cement itself as being the largest geothermal power project in Africa, with output estimated to

register at 430 MW in total by 2014. The good news doesn’t end here however. Recent studies on the field on which Olkaria stands have raised hopes that the overall capacity of the project could in fact be increased to 560 MW in total in the years ahead. Should this be achieved it would make KenGen even more of a vital contributor to Kenya’s growing power requirements. For more information about KenGen visit:

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De Beers

Forever friends

De Beers is the world’s leading diamond company, and operates across the diamond value chain, from exploration through to retail: it takes its responsibility for growing a sustainable industry very seriously

written by: John O’Hanlon research by: Robert Hodgson

BE Africa | 45

Close up of rough diamonds

De Beers


veryone agrees that diamonds are special. De Beers is unlike other mineral extraction businesses in that, while it is involved in the familiar geological and feasibility work followed by mining and beneficiation, it follows that up with the production and marketing of a luxury end product. It deals in both rough diamonds and finished gemstones, but while diamond may be chemically simple, De Beers recognises 12,000 different categories of rough diamond alone – and that is before they are polished, cut, and set. This makes diamonds less attractive as an investment. Gold is gold, but in the 1980s when a combination of economic factors led people to invest in diamonds, many got their fingers burnt, says Andrew Bone, International Relations Director. “No one would argue that diamonds hold their value and are a good long term store of wealth – but you do have to know just what you are buying.” Investing in diamonds requires specialist knowledge. The business therefore depends on a lively downstream market to support its trading. Bone says there is every reason to be confident that the market will continue to grow, driven by demand from emerging markets, China in particular. Though ‘middle class’ is an elusive term to define, Wang Xiaolu, an economist and deputy director of the National Economic Research Institute based in Beijing predicts that the Chinese middle class will rise from just over ten percent of the population in 2009 to over 40 percent in 2020 and more that 70 percent by 2030. They may not all want to

BE Africa | 47

The Process Plant - a view across the large thickeners at the Venetia plant

buy diamonds, but China is really starting to participate in luxury goods markets, and with midstream and downstream diamond beneficiation, Bone notes. “They are building their capacity to cut and polish rough diamonds, and they already have robust institutions overseeing the industry.” As a good indication of how China is determined to be seen as a responsible trader, it is currently vice-chair of the Kimberley Process, established in 2003 to cut off the trade in conflict diamonds, and will take the

chair of that organisation next year. However the Kimberley Process is only one of a number of ways in which the authenticity and origin of diamonds can be assured. Another is the Forevermark, De Beer’s proprietary diamond brand that offers a promise of beauty, rarity and responsible sourcing. Each Forevermark diamond is inscribed with a unique serial number and Forevermark icon, invisible to the naked eye, using proprietary technology. “As a world class company, consumer confidence is

“Shifting operations to Gaborone is at the forefront of the move to foster ‘resource nationalism’” 50 | BE Africa

De Beers

$2 Billion Investment at Venetia mine

paramount to us. To hold onto that you have to always be one step ahead of the issues, plan for them and act accordingly. De Beers is very proactive; always looking to improve existing processes and engaging in new ones.” In fact, consumer confidence is the driving force in an approach to operating responsibly and sustainably that goes right back to the preliminary geological survey, according to Dr Nicky Black, Head of Social Performance. Right through the value chain, she says, runs the consciousness that company as a discretionary, luxury product, diamonds are uniquely exposed to reputational damage, as without consumer confidence that the diamonds they are buying have been mined, cut, and polished in an environmentally and socially responsible way demand will evaporate. “That’s why we established our Best Practice Principles (BPPs) Assurance Programme. Through this bespoke compliance programme, the social, environmental and ethical performance of our own operations and those of our customers is independently verified. Uniquely within compliance programmes, De Beers asks our customers to meet these requirements as a condition of our supplying them.” Sightholders – customers who purchase rough diamonds from De Beers’ mines – have been required to comply with

Sorting diamonds at DTC Botswana

BE Africa | 51



ATLAS COPCO BOTSWANA Atlas Copco’s Mining and Rock Excavation Technique business area provides equipment for drilling and rock excavation, a complete range of related consumables and service through a global network. Atlas Copco’s Construction Technique business area provides construction and demolition tools, portable compressors, pumps and generators, lighting towers, and compaction and paving equipment, all of which is supported through a global service network. Atlas Copco’s Industrial Technique business area provides industrial power A leader in sustainable productivity solutions tools, assembly systems, quality assurance products, software and services. Atlas Copco Botswana, a customer centre Atlas Copco Botswana was established within the Atlas Copco Group, is part of in 1969, and forms part of Atlas Copco’s an industrial group with world-leading Southern African business region. The positions in compressors, expanders and company operates from head office air treatment systems, construction and in Gaborone, as well as branches in mining equipment, power tools and assembly Francistown and Selebi Pikwe, and systems. With innovative products and currently employs 85 people. services, and in close cooperation with Atlas Copco Botswana is supported by customers and business partners, Atlas South Africa, which is the main hub for the Copco delivers solutions for sustainable Southern African region. A strengthened productivity. regional organisation means that customers The Group is organised into four separate, don’t only have access to Atlas Copco’s but still integrated business areas: world-class quality capital equipment, Atlas Copco’s Compressor Technique but also to related technical and support business area provides industrial services. In fact, even equipment operating compressors, gas and process compressors in extremely remote areas will be able to and expanders, air and gas treatment have the service excellence for which Atlas equipment and air management systems Copco is renowned. all of which are supported through a global service network. This business area also E. offers speciality rental services.

BE Africa WEEKLY| |532 BE

De Beers

The trucks are lining up at the start of the shift ready to transport kimberlite ore to the primary crusher

BPPs since 2005. Contractors downstream trade behaves who derive 75 percent or properly is of existential importance to the business, more of their revenue from any De Beers Sightholder or De Beers does not lose business have participated sight of its need to operate Of all diamonds sold in the assurance programme sustainably and ethically worldwide are cut and since 2008. Other contractors at the government level. polished by De Beers have to sign a declaration of Diamonds are the bedrock Sightholders integrity stating that they are of economies such as those free of any material breaches of Namibia and Botswana, where De Beers has 50/50 Joint Venture of the BPP standards. So far reaching is the programme that partnerships with the Governments, and today more than 330,000 people in the still a big contributor to that of South Africa diamond industry world-wide are covered where De Beers started. And wherever by it – between them, she adds, De Beers diamonds are mined they have a direct Sightholders cut and polish more than 60 impact on the surrounding community. percent of all diamonds sold worldwide. Speaking as De Beers’ responsible However, while making sure the business lead, Dr Black is understandably


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Click here to visit our dedicated homepage for the mining community BEST PRACTICE IN MINING

De Beers partisan, but her argument is compelling. “I believe our At Komatsu our vision has resulted in a proud heritage of partnership approach has technological success, and we are continuously evolving to been particularly powerful meet the needs of our customers. Our unique and advanced in supporting development. equipment provides our customers in South Africa and Certainly our Joint Venture world-wide with innovation and exceptional value. We partnerships with the understand the challenges our customers encounter in their business; that is why our construction, surface mining, governments of Botswana utility and process equipment is designed to meet the and Namibia speak for highest productivity, safety and environmental standards. themselves. Over the past 50 year Botswana has been the great success story of southern Africa and has turned its diamonds into lasting national wealth, with four out of every five dollars generated by our diamond related activities staying in the country.” The Government of Botswana also holds a 15 percent stake in De Beers, in addition to its 50/50 Joint Venture partnership with De Beers in the diamond mining company Debswana. This partnership has helped transform an essentially agricultural economy into a nation with one of the highest economic growth rates in the world. It is certainly true that the policy of establishing a downstream industry in southern Africa has been a great success. Ten percent of all rough diamonds from Namibia, for example, being retained and sold locally to the 13 Sightholders that Forevermark Encordia bangle


“I believe our partnership approach has been particularly powerful in supporting development” BE Africa | 57

Based in Cape Town,

ADP Group of Companies consists of ADP Holdings, ADP Marine and Modular, ADP Projects with ADP Namibia and ADPAfrica servicing the African continent. ADP Projects specializes in providing Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Management (EPCM) services and EPC projects to the Mineral Industry with a small representative office in Johannesburg. ADP Marine and Modular targets fit for purpose project execution requirements and smaller scale pre-engineered plant and technology supply to national and international marine and land based diamond, mineral sands, coal and gold mining industries. ADP Marine and Modular also represents major European based Dredging and Marine Company Vosta LMG and is an equal partner with Denith Engineering in Under Water Mining Systems (UMS) a company focusing on the fast growing, niche marine mining market. ADP Africa specializes in support services to mining companies in Africa that includes spares supply, logistics, meet and assist, visa applications and other general services to their client base. PO BOX 514 PAARDEN EILAND 7420 CAPE TOWN Tel: +27 21 521 9400 Fax +27 21 521 9401

ADP started its operations in 1997 and boasts an impressive list of successful mining industry projects predominantly in Africa but including Canada, Brazil, India and Australia. ADP is specifically structured as a group of companies in order to be able to optimally and cost effectively offer a full range of projects, consulting services and process plants to its clients, whether small or large, from conceptual studies and pre-engineered plants through to larger scale project execution using EPCM or Lump Sum contracting models. Our value proposition is assisting our clients to develop the optimal techno-economic solution for each project leveraging off our prior projects, technology and experienced innovative process engineering core..

De Beers

A view of the Venetia Diamond Mine open pit

have now set up indigenous companies that in the banking, hospitality and industrial currently employ at least 1,250 Namibians. sectors, he points out. Now De Beers is really stepping up to its The move is taking place right now and principles by transferring a huge chunk of will be complete by the end of the year, its key HQ diamond sorting, valuation and making Gaborone a centre as important to the sales operations from London to Gaborone. diamond industry as London, Johannesburg “This is a bold move, I know,” says Bone, or Antwerp. The impact of De Beers’ activities “it is at the forefront of the move to foster on the other economies of southern Africa ‘resource nationalism’, and not without cannot be overemphasised. The $2 billion risk. But we think it is the right thing to it has announced it will spend on opening do. It will transfer a lot of underground workings at value to Botswana on top of its Venetia mine in South Africa, that country’s largest, what we have already done there in the past.” As well would prolong its life by as the hundreds of direct at least 20 years, during jobs being transferred, the which De Beers will devote People who work to move will act as a catalyst itself to creating sustainable BPP standard to other business activity alternative employment


BE Africa | 59

De Beers after the mine closes. One of the most effective ways it is doing this is through its involvement in the Zimele initiative. Started in 2008, Zimele’s programme focuses on those mining communities and impoverished areas that supply the De Beers workforce. By encouraging the start-up of sustainable indigenous enterprises it aims to create 25,000 employment opportunities and 1,500 companies by 2015. “We have seven hubs, located near our operations in South Africa,” says Dr Black, “and we are currently looking at supporting similar initiatives in Namibia and Botswana as well.” And stimulating economic development is far from the whole story. Sustainable initiatives generally include elements of education, environmental best practice, healthcare and conservation as well. Mining activities account for only a fifth of the area that is under lease to De Beers and a number of conservation and biodiversity projects have been started under The Diamond Route, a joint venture between De Beers, the Oppenheimer family and the black economic empowerment (BEE) company Ponahalo Holdings. Often these highly protected lease areas prove a haven for wildlife. “A good example is the Orapa mine in Botswana,” explains Andrew Bone. “A rhino conservation project was introduced at Orapa last year: now 15 rhinos are happily breeding there and it is remarkable programme. For more information about De Beers visit:

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62 | BE Africa

Namibia Diamond Trading Company

Bright shining light Diamonds have an undeniable attraction that has made them sought after by collectors, connoisseurs, investors, and lovers: a key part of the economies of southern Africa they are so much more than just another resource mineral

written by: John O’Hanlon research by: Will Kirby BE Africa | 63


amibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC) was established in 2007, to sort, value and sell diamonds produced by Namdeb (the joint venture responsible for mining activities in Namibia) and more specifically to establish a viable downstream diamond cutting, polishing and jewellery design industry in Namibia. In 2008 the man appointed as the new organisation’s chairman, then permanent secretary in the Ministry of Work, Transport and Communications, stepped into the leadership position of Chief Executive Officer at NDTC: in the subsequent six years Shihaleni Ndjaba has presided over the steady realisation of that goal. NDTC is an equal partnership, or joint venture between the Government of Namibia and De Beers, the world’s leading diamond company with unrivalled expertise in the exploration, mining and marketing of diamonds, employing more than 23,000 people round the world. Its primary goal is to drive the growth of domestic diamond manufacturing industry and the creation of a sustainable downstream diamond industry in the country. The aim is to ensure the maximum, long term value from Namibian diamonds through world class sorting, valuing and sales practices in Namibia. This strategy supports the development of new employment opportunities and a broadening of the skills base of Namibian citizens and will, it is hoped, encourage inward investment generally. It has not been an easy time, he admits. The volatility in the international

64 | BE Africa

Namibia Diamond Trading Company

1,250 People employed by NDTC Sightholders

diamond market has affected the demand for jewellery, and as a consequence the demand for the rough diamonds traded by NDTC. You might have thought that wealthy people might think diamonds were a good investment at such a time, but the bulk of business activity is driven by consumption, not speculation, he believes. But while waiting for green shoots to appear in the depressed global economy, things have gone really well for the diamond trade in Namibia itself. “One of our clearest objectives is to build up a vibrant and creative domestic beneficiation industry and here we have seen very satisfactory expansion,” says Ndjaba. NDTC’s customers are called Sightholders – these are the suppliers of choice, selected in a rigorous process to determine their financial viability, technical capability and integrity. They are appointed for three-year periods during which they have the right to buy diamonds offered to them by NDTC. Historically the centres of excellence in diamond polishing and cutting activities have been Belgium, Israel, India and New York. Now Namibia has its own group of Sightholders, incorporated in Namibia and employing an overwhelming majority of Namibians in their workshops. During the contract period that ended in 2012 there

66 | BE Africa

Namibia Diamond Trading Company

were twelve such companies in the portfolio, but in the three year period from 2013 to 2016 this has grown to 13. “Right now we have about 1,250 people employed by these 13 Sightholders,” he says, adding that out of a total population of around two million in Namibia and with 27 percent unemployment, that is quite an achievement. There’s more. Though it is a highly skilled and creative industry, requiring a high level of craftsmanship as well as a great deal of creative and artistic flair, it is suitable for disadvantaged people who are keen

to learn new skills. Just to take one local Sightholder, Schachter & Namdar employs 160 people at its Windhoek factory, a third of them disabled, deaf or mute, modifying its polishing benches, installing handicapped restrooms and purchasing a modified minibus that accommodates wheelchairs. So successful has this programme been that it has probably already reached its critical capacity. The number of diamonds being extracted in Namibia is not likely to increase. There have been no new discoveries on the land-based diamond

“One of our clearest objectives is to build up a vibrant and creative domestic beneficiation industry” BE Africa | 67

fields, which are approaching the end of their life. And while Namibia has become the world leader in marine diamond mining since it started exploiting the beaches and undersea resources that won’t last forever, Ndjaba warns. “Our task is to make sure the Sightholders we do have work hard, maintain those jobs, and transfer their skills

to local people so that one day, even if we are not able to supply them with diamonds, they will be able to source diamonds from elsewhere.” The industry will then be self-sustaining, with all the skills and equipment that it needs in place, and able to supply any shortfall in local materials from international sources.

“Our task is to make sure the Sightholders we do have work hard, maintain those jobs, and transfer their skills to local people”

68 | BE Africa

Namibia Diamond Trading Company

Turning NDTC into a fully for training in cutting and localised operation has been polishing but they need also largely thanks to the success to understand how to assess of its training academy. rough stones. “They learn Originally the company something of the geology Cut diamonds shown at relied on expatriates from and chemistry relating to Shining Light, Windhoek De Beers to evaluate and rough diamonds and that helps them understand the sort the rough diamonds it receives from Namdeb but now their assortment that we supply to them.” As time goes on, he continues, the number has reduced as Namibians have acquired their skills. Now the academy Sightholder community is becoming fully offers courses to staff from the Ministry indigenised. No longer seen as a local branch of Mines and Energy, the office of the of an international entity, these companies Diamond Commissioner and to diamond are able to take part in the monthly ‘sights’ or inspectors to equip them with knowledge sales weeks that are held locally and where about the appearance and quality of rough they negotiate for all or part of the diamonds diamonds. It is also open to Sightholders they are offered. Namibia is after all a stable – they have their own specialist facilities and secure location to base an operation, and


BE Africa | 69

there is no reason the companies that set up here should be limited to Namibian diamonds for their raw material. One of the most successful and high profile ways that NDTC has found to promote the industry and take ownership of its African roots is the bi-annual Shining Light Awards. At the launch of the third such event in Windhoek on 21 February 2013 the theme was the Women of Africa, Your Light Shines. More than 14,000 expertly cut diamonds were shown, set into locally designed jewellery pieces, including some from neighbouring Botswana. The overall winner was Erkki Hifindwako, a visual arts student at the Namibia College of the Arts, whose 18-carat white and yellow gold ring set with 575 brilliant cut diamonds took its inspiration from a traditional Namibian basket weave. He was sponsored by Sightholder Julius Klein Diamonds. “Our African women need to be celebrated,” says Shihaleni Ndjaba. “It is a commonly known fact that a house without a mother is just a house, but a house with a woman is a home full of love and comfort!” The awards are a great showcase for the Namibian diamond industry, the Sightholders and the talented young designers like Hifindwako who are emerging. “Even at the height of the recession we saw no collapse of the industry, so I think we are in good shape to face the future,” he concludes. For more information about Namibia Diamond Trading Company visit:

70 | BE Africa

Namibia Diamond Trading Company

Reaping the rewards

72 | BE Africa

Nkomati Mining

Mining manager Trevor Visagie explains how the rapid development of the Nkomati mine continues to reward not only its employees, but the local community as well

written by: Will Daynes research by: Jon Bradley

BE Africa | 73

The plant complex

Nkomati Mining


ocated in eastern South Africa and sharing borders with Swaziland and Mozambique, the province of Mpumalanga constitutes approximately 6.5 percent of the country’s total land mass. A popular tourist destination, with visitors being particularly drawn to Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga is also home to a number of extensive mining operations. It is about 40 kilometres to the south east of the small town of Machadodorp, also known by its official name of eNtokozweni, that one will find the Nkomati Nickel Mine. One of three mines that comprise the African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) Platinum division, Nkomati is a small to medium-size base-metal operation, exploiting a complex, high-grade nickel, copper, cobalt and platinum-group metal deposit. The mine itself comprises both an open pit and an underground operation. Accessing the deposit by means of two vertical shafts, this highly-mechanised operation exploits two large low grade Ni-sulphide ore bodies by means of trackless equipment. Expected to eventually reach 2.5 kilometres in length, 800 metres in width and with a depth of 240 metres, the open pit will one day be one of the largest of its kind in South Africa. A relatively young development, Nkomati mine was established in 1997 and operates as a joint venture between ARM and Norilsk Nickel. At present the mine provides work for 833 employees and 2404 contractors. One of these employees is mining manager, Trevor Visagie, who joined Nkomati in July 2010, bringing with him an extensive background in mine engineering.

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Power Plant Electrical Technologies (PPE Technologies) is an integrated electrical

engineering organisation situated in Nelspruit, Mbombela South Africa.

Our services cover a range of industries including Mining, Pulp and Paper, Timber, Sugar, Metals industries, Municipal and Utility infrastructure, extending throughout South Africa, Southern Africa and selected Western and Central African Countries. We provide high voltage, medium voltage and low voltage electrical equipment & infrastructure, control and protection systems and solutions. Our specialist services provide commissioned solutions and maintenance support services on electrical reticulation networks, generator plants and plant control systems. Our Products include new HV and MV switchgear and protection, upgrades and retrofits to existing HV and MV switchgear and protection, Bus Bar Manipulations, LV Switchboards and Motor Control Centres and motor starters, PLC Panel, Power Factor

Correction Solutions, Relay Panels, Synchronization Panels and Variable Frequency Drives. We provide load measurement, load profiling, load flow studies, fault level studies, electrical network studies, power quality studies and modelling and electrical protection system design. We also provide lightning protection solutions, earthing system solutions and assessments of existing installations. Our years of engineering support to manufacturing plant enables us to rapidly identify and solve post commissioning problems, which adversely affect operational plants. We therefore pride our-selves as a multifaceted electrical engineering company working beyond the normal electrical project installation, with insight into what really works and what really causes problems for electrical networks, PLC and DCS control systems and associated electrical infrastructure.

Nkomati NKOMATI Mining MINE Nkomati Mine feature text to go here..... Lorem “In the ipsum 15 dolor yearssitsince amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sedVisagie do eiusmod tempor it was opened,” incididunt labore et dolore explains, ut “the mine has magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud expanded considerably exercitation ullamco laboris with the development of nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo its open pit mineconsequat. and of itsDuis aute irure various dolor in plants. reprehenderit The recent in voluptate velit commissioning esse cillum dolore of the eu mine’s fugiat nulla pariatur. production Excepteur sint plants occaecat hascupidatat non helped proident, take sunt nickel in culpa concentrate qui officia production deserunt volumes mollit anim up to id est in excess laborum. of 200 Lorem thousand ipsum tonnes dolor sitper amet, year.” consectetur adipisicing elit, sedThe do eiusmod incididunt ut laborea mine hastempor recently come through

et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod massive tempor expansion incididunt project ut labore that stemmed et dolore from the magna commissioning aliqua. Ut enim of two admajor minim plants, veniam, the quis ofnostrud exercitation first which began in 2009,ullamco followedlaboris by the nisi ut aliquip ea commodo consequat. second in 2010.ex Currently in progress is the

PPE TECHNOLOGIES The PPE Technologies team has a long term view on its customer relationships. The majority of our customers are introduced to us through “word of mouth” references when electrical equipment reliability challenges arise. We use these opportunities to engineer practical solutions that work! In each case these introductions lead to the development of a continued business relationship, built on our trusted reliable service. In the case of ARM, PPE services the Nkomati, Modikwa and Two Rivers Mines. At Nkomati, PPE has actively integrated its services to a large degree and has worked hard with mine engineers to overcome a number of reliability challenges. PPE has been trusted to implement several solutions which have seen the mine’s reliability and operational uptime improve markedly. These solutions include the maintenance and testing of medium voltage systems

allowing the identification and rectification of numerous problems. This also includes the review of the protection schemes and implementation of improvements, achieving direct results. Also of note is the implementation of plant equipment earthing solutions which were seen to reduce control equipment failures and maintenance interventions on the overhead line equipment and auto-reclosers, again with immediate noticeable improvements. As PPE Technologies offers project solutions based on years of experience in an operational environment, we believe that our engineering insight and expertise, with our simple and practical approach, really does work to the customer’s long term benefit. We look forward to growing our service relationship with Nkomati and African Rainbow Minerals into future projects throughout the group.

JANUARY BE Africa 2013 | | 772

YOUR BEE POWER TRANSMISSION SUPPLIER Vital Power Transmission specialises in the power transmission industry and in maintenance free power transmission products and we are proud to have achieved the following agencies and provide and supply the following products and services: AGENCIES • MagnaDrive • Autogard • Pembril • Maina • Sime – Stromag • Tru-line • Vulkan Drive Tech • Cable Reel Engineering • Drumotech – motorized pulleys Specialized Products: Suppliers, Repairs and Services Vital Power Transmission specializes in maintenance-free power transmission products and they are proud to supply the following products.

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VITAL POWER TRANSMISSION Lets Trade 1289 CC t/a Vital Power Transmission was established in 2001. The corporation’s leadership and staff have many collective years of experience in the field of power transmission, specialising in drive solutions and improvements, maintenance-free power transmission products, client acquisitions,

and product consultancy in the industries of mining, power generation, fuel and steel. Vital Power Transmission feels there is a shortage in the power transmission field pertaining to support, maintenance and environmental impact issues and we at Vital Power Transmission are striving to fill that shortage and provide the ultimate service and supply to its customers. The company is operated and managed adhering to strict guidelines and standards compliant with system implementation.


Nkomati Mining

Excavation work on the open pit mine

sinking of a ventilation shaft that will enable is of vital importance to Nkomati Mining. the operator to carry out future underground “What we strive to do,” Visagie enthuses, “is expansion projects. provide direct benefits to local communities, “Significant capital injections are continuing predominantly in the form of employment to be made across the site with the purpose and by providing skills and opportunities that of not only sustaining the operation, but can lead to the establishing of local businesses expanding it as required,” Visagie continues. and enterprises. These businesses then find “Essentially the mine has evolved beyond themselves benefitting from the preferential treatment we strive to give what could be described as those that exist within a its growth phase and now 50 kilometre radius of the finds itself entering its mine when it comes to equally as important sustainability phase.” acquiring services.” Being situated in such a As Visagie goes on to Employees and remote part of the world, highlight, what the mine contractors employed the contributions made by takes just as seriously to work at the mine and to local communities as its commitment to


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WPH is a Material Handling, Crushing and Screening company based in Mpumalanga South Africa Tel (+27 13) 764 2623\4 /+27 825682252 /+27 824984821 Email:

CYCLONE PROJECTS & CONSULTING cc CYCLONE ENGINEERING PROJECTS (Pty) Ltd P O BOX 22000, HELDERKRUIN 1733 REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA TEL: +27 (11) 662 2916 FAX: +27 (86) 632 9646 EMAIL: WEB: Both Cyclone Projects & Consulting and Cyclone Engineering Projects thrive to deliver the most professional service to our client base in the consulting and construction/ management of Tailings Storage Facilities (TSFs). This is achieved by an open policy where honesty and trust are the keywords between us and the Client. A professional and supportive management and labour force contributing to our goals, mission and vision.

Nkomati Mining social responsibility is its Wims Plant Hire consideration for the natural Situated in Mpumalanga, South Africa, WPH has been environment. “We operate servicing the mining industry for the past 10 years, in a very beautiful, pristine specialising in material handling, screening and crushing. environment, highlighted During this time we have built up a good relationship with by several natural water various mines. systems that run next to the mine complex. This water is actually used by those communities living downstream of Nkomati. We maintain extremely stringent controls on any aspect of the operation that could affect the community. This relates to things like blast vibrations and dust creation in order to comply with the strictest of international standards.” The entire environmental ethos of the business appears to revolve around the idea of capturing and utilising the resources provided by what is a fairly undulating area, while striving to avoid causing any long-term detrimental effects. An example of this philosophy can be seen in action with the on-going construction of a storage dam. The aim of this endeavour is to provide the site with the means to accumulate and store water during the rainy seasons for use in drier times. This will minimise the abstraction of water from the surrounding rivers and will allow all dirty water on the Underground at the mine

“The mine has recently come through a massive expansion project that stemmed from the commissioning of two major plants” BE Africa | 81

Nkomati Mining mine to be re-used rather than discharged. With Nkomati undergoing rapid expansion over the last couple of years, the main challenge it continues to face is avoiding having an excess turnover in terms of staff. The retention of top talent is key to the success of the business and as such Nkomati Mining offers its employees competitive salaries and attractive retention incentive bonuses. Further to the financial benefits, the fact that the company is only now starting to realise the vast potential of Nkomati is something that is proving increasingly exciting for each and every one of its employees. The results of all the hard work that has gone into making Nkomati a success are truly starting to show, with both plants breaking their individual milling records in October 2012, producing record nickel units. “The team here,” Visagie says, “are now beginning to taste the success of their own work and, as the old saying goes, success breeds success and that is what we see happening. This reemphasises the fact that we view the future as being very bright indeed for Nkomati. When you look at the resources and assets we have in the ground it equates into what we predict will be a long, rich life of mining ahead. If we can continue along the same path, while containing our operational costs, there is no reason why we cannot be a successful business for many years to come.” For more information about Nkomati Mining visit: MMZ plant

BE Africa | 83


waves Converting a dry mining operation into a wet or dredge mining operation can renew the life of a mine. IHC Mining is able to facilitate this change by supplying equipment, educating and training local crew, and offering life-cycle support

written by: Will Daynes research by: Marcus Lewis

84 | BE Africa

IHC Mining B.V.

Mining dredger attached to floating processing plant

IHC Mining B.V.


s the Mining division of IHC Merwede, IHC Mining focuses on integrated solutions for mining houses in onshore, near shore and deep-sea mining. It offers advisory services to determine overall technical and economic project viability. It designs, builds and supplies innovative mining vessels and advanced equipment. During operations the company provides its clients with life cycle support. With roots that can be traced back to the 18th Century, and origins that lie with six Dutch shipyards that joined forces to build six sea-going tin dredgers for the Billiton Company, IHC Merwede is a Netherlands based company delivering integrated solutions to the dredging, offshore and mining industry. From its locations in the Netherlands, South Africa, Australia and Singapore, IHC Merwede’ s Mining Division works closely with its customers to deliver an integrated service offering that it feels is proven to bring optimum results to any mining operation. The company’s innovative vessels and advanced equipment are typically utilised in the extraction of mineral sands, diamonds, gold, copper, nickel, tin, iron ore, phosphate, rare earths and rock salts from depths of ten metres or less up to 300 metres. Meanwhile it is also working to develop equipment specifically designed to operate in even deeper waters. Unlike a number of the players that exist within the wet mining industry today, IHC Mining is able to point to its long history of operating in such environments. In the many decades in which it has built up

BE Africa | 87

72% Of the world’s surface is covered in water

Dredge miner at work

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an unmatched level of experience it has also collected countless references from satisfied clients. The roots of the business are very much entrenched in dredging. “It is this background,” highlights Marcel Boor, Product Director of Near Shore and Onshore Mining Equipment, “that the company has leveraged in order to develop its core mining technologies over the years. We have long been a well-respected and recognised player in the dredging industry, and we hope to earn a similar status in the mining sector.” “We anticipate the onshore, near shore and deep sea market segments will continue to gain momentum, particular as dry mining becomes more difficult to develop and head grades continue to fall,” explains Managing Director, Martijn Schouten. “While wet mining is by no means a new phenomenon, it is one that is being increasingly recognised as an attractive alternative to dry mining.” “Geographically,” Schouten continues, “we are currently seeing growth in each of our specific market segments. In terms of our onshore activities, these are being driven largely by the strong levels of exploration on-going in places like Russia, Southern Africa and South America, while a particularly attractive area at present for near

IHC Mining B.V.

Mining wheel

shore mining exists between Indonesia and the Philippines. Deep-sea mining activities continue to be spread much further across the globe with companies heading to wherever deposits may be found.” “At the end of the day,” states Product Director for Near Shore and Onshore Mining, Kees Jan Verkaik, “what these mining clients are most interested in what they can get from the ground beneath the water in terms of minerals. One of the primary reasons why

such clients turn to us is because we possess the technology and skills required to get down to these mineral deposits and do so efficiency and effectively in almost any environment.” “One of the major benefits of wet mining in a lot of cases,” Verkaik highlights, “is that the development of large scale deposits becomes a much less logistically challenging undertaking. Whereas such an operation on land would require countless trucks for example to transport the material, the

“IHC Merwede’s Mining Division works closely with its customers to deliver an integrated service offering” BE Africa | 89

transport of a product through say a hydraulic pipeline would not only allow you to move it greater distances in less time, it would also have a significant impact when it comes to cost savings. The trend towards developing larger mines has certainly helped shine the spotlight on such alternatives and that is a good thing for us.� The reality however is that in many instances, when faced with a choice

between land-based and wet mining, a higher percentage of companies still choose to go with the dry option simply because they are less aware of the benefits and advantages of the alternative. The same lack of understanding and acknowledgement is one challenge that IHC Mining is working to overcome. Despite being lauded as being one of the leading figures within the DutchBelgian dredging cluster it is not yet seen as

“One of the major benefits of wet mining is that the development of large scale deposits becomes a much less logistically challenging undertaking�

Dredge equipment for overburden removal

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IHC Mining B.V.

Onshore mining

a leading solution or equipment provider to the mining community. IHC Mining’s mission to increase awareness in not only itself, but the whole concept of wet mining, saw it travel to Cape Town in early February for the Mining INDABA event. “Appearing at such industry gatherings is so important if we are to achieve our ambition of being recognised as the leader player in dredge mining,” Schouten enthuses. “It is at such events that we are able to share our ideas, thoughts and ambitions with potential clients, particular those that are keen to develop new concessions in the future.” From a deep-sea perspective meanwhile, the fact that on average product grades found here are greater than those found on land is certainly something that in the future will

encourage more and more people to get their feet wet, as it were. As Schouten goes on to conclude, with more than 70 percent of the world’s surface covered in water it is only logical that there will be an increase in wet mining going forward as the industry continues to follow a similar pattern to that which saw the oil and gas sector move offshore. “In order to facilitate this growth, as well as the needs of our customers, we will continue to increase our regional presence in core markets as we strive to grow as a leading business in our field of expertise.” For more information about IHC Mining B.V. visit:

BE Africa | 91


92 | BE Africa

Allana Potash

class apart Senior vice president of corporate development, Richard Kelertas, discusses the results of Allana Potash’s recent feasibility study on its Danakhil Potash Project in Ethiopia and how the company plans to build on this going forward

written by: Will Daynes research by: Marcus Lewis

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Meridian drilling operations with CS14 drill rig

Allana Potash


he first several months of 2012 were optimistic times for the potash industry, with a recent acceleration in world demand for the product showing no initial signs of wavering. What we now know is that a number of combining factors in the latter half of 2012 would conspire to negatively impact upon the potash market. “From an external perspective,” explains senior vice president of corporate development, Richard Kelertas, “I believe the biggest contributing factors to the decline in demand for potash were a series of environmental issues caused by both severe drought and major flooding disasters across the planet. Around the same time, India, traditionally a major potash buyer, decided to scale back its buying commitments in the aftermath of the government reducing various farming subsidies.” The reduction of these subsidies meant that said farmers began turning to urea and phosphate fertilisers as an alternative to potash, which is misplaced because there are no substitutes for this critical nutrient. Given this tumultuous backdrop, it comes as little surprise that by the turn of the year the market valuations for the vast majority of junior, and even some senior potash producers had fallen considerably. Fortunately, the first weeks of 2013 saw the potash industry welcome several positive developments, one of which was the release of the results from Allana Potash’s feasibility study from its flagship Danakhil Potash Project, in the first week of February. This study was prepared by

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Highland canyon trek in search of freshwater sources

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Ercosplan Ingenieurgesellschaft Geotechnik und Bergbau (ERCOSPLAN). The technical report, prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 with respect to the feasibility study and the mineral resource and reserve estimates forming the basis of the report is available under Allana Potash Corp’s profile on SEDAR, confirms the project as being one of the few economically viable greenfield potash developments in the world. The feasibility study and the mineral resource and reserve estimates were completed by ERCOSPLAN under the supervision of Dr. Henry Rauche, PhD, EurGeol, Managing Director, CEO ERCOSPLAN and Dr. Sebastiaan van der Klauw, Ph.D., EurGeol, Consulting Geologist, ERCOSPLAN who are both independent Qualified Persons for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101. The feasibility study itself was based on commercial operations that produce one million tonnes per year of a standard grade muriate of potash, or MOP, product over an initial estimated operating life of approximately 25 years from sylvinite reserves at Allana’s Danakhil Project. The study yielded, on an unlevered basis, an after-tax Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 33 percent and an after-tax net present value (NPV) of $ 1.32 billion based on a ten percent discount rate. The feasibility estimates include all infrastructure required to operate a potash solution mine and bring the product to market. This includes cavern and wellfield installation, a three stage processing plant, product storage facilities, load out, trucking

Allana Potash

Production water well wellhead assembly

fleet and the necessary port storage facilities. Even with current potash market realities driving the lower potash price forecast of $430 per tonne used in the study, the favourable total production CAPEX of about $579 million and port and transport CAPEX of $63 million make this project one of the lowest cost and potentially highest return greenfield potash projects worldwide. Similarly, the very competitive production OPEX at $69.25 per

tonne, within a total, loaded-on-ship, OPEX of $98.75 per tonne FOB, is among one of the lowest greenfield potash projects currently under development. ERCOSPLAN modelled the production of one million tonnes of MOP from just the sylvinite zone on the project, excluding future potential production from the extensive carnallite and sulphate-based kainite resources. The feasibility study’s extremely

“In the grand scheme of things we are very happy with where we stand today with our business model and strategy” BE Africa | 97

positive results have understandably given Allana Potash great confidence in advancing its project to development and securing project finance and off take agreements. Aside from Allana Potash’s own exciting developments, Kelertas is also able to point to several other recent events that are helping bring some much needed confidence back to the sector. “In recent months we have seen

one or two significant contracts being signed by the Chinese, Brazilians and Indians. Inventory levels of potash have come down somewhat as well and shipment levels are now rising.” As the industry continues to firm up steadily, Allana Potash finds itself ideally positioned with enough resource on its property to advance from its one

“One of the things that really differentiates us from our competitors is that we have the financial security required to keep the lights on”

NBB water well and solution well drilling with Nordmeyer drill rig

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Allana Potash

Solution well leach string

million tonne production target for midto-late 2017, to between two and three million tonnes per year thereafter should conditions remain in its favour. Allana also has the possibility of producing SOP (sulphate of potash), which is a premium priced product compared to NOP (nitrate of potash), the standard fertiliser that most of the world uses. It should be noted however that Allana’s ability to expand production beyond one million tonnes per year has not been the subject of a feasibility study as yet and there is no certainty that the proposed expansion will be economically viable. “In the grand scheme of things,” Kelertas enthuses, “we are very happy with where

we stand today with our business model and strategy. Indeed, if you look at various other operations across the world, we compare extremely well with any project currently being undertaken, even the numerous established brownfield expansions.” Nevertheless, it is the company’s aim right now not to get too far ahead of itself. “What we are currently looking at,” Kelertas says, “is making sure we have all of our financing in place before then proceeding to actually getting out into the field and putting that first shovel in the ground.” When asked what the long term future might hold for the company, it is clear that while it does aim to grow at a comfortable

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Allana Potash

$28 million In capital that Allana Potash retained in the bank as of the end of January 2013 place, Allana Potash does have a number of ideas about where it might be in fiveto-ten years’ time. “One of the things we must continue to examine on an on-going basis,” Kelertas states, “is the potential for us to upgrade our production levels. Further down the road there is also the possibility that the project could move away from its dependency on diesel and fuel oil, possibly onto solar, geothermal or wind power, making it a totally green operation.” As of the end of January 2013, it was estimated that the company retained over $28 million in capital in the bank (and no debt), with between $15 million and $20 million predicted to remain when it commences its pre-construction phase. “One of the things that really differentiates us from our competitors is that we have the financial security required to keep the lights on, so to speak,” Kelertas concludes. “This stands us in good stead as we now embark on getting that first shovel in the ground, before commencing with construction, which we plan to have underway by the end of 2013.” For more information about Allana Potash visit:

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Perseus Mining

A PROMISE IS A PROMISE West Africa still hosts mineral deposits that for one reason or another have remained underdeveloped: for certain Australian prospectors they became an obsession that is now paying off

written by: John O’Hanlon research by: Robbie Hodgson

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A bar of gold being weighed

Perseus Mining


erseus Mining is very much a team effort: an overnight success that was 25 years in the making, as one of its founders Mark Calderwood has described it. Calderwood, the current chairman Reg Gillard and exec director Colin Carson have been taking an active interest in the under-explored mineral deposits of West Africa for that long, but it was not until 2004 that, having secured a couple of gold bearing deposits in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and the Kyrgyz Republic that they formed a company and floated it on the ASX. Since then things have moved forward quite quickly despite a couple of years of quiescence while world markets were depressed and trying to sort themselves out. In 2006 it acquired the tenements that today host its Edikan Gold Mine, though exploration and feasibility work could not really get under way till 2009. By 2010 though the company had successfully recapitalised, obtained a positive full feasibility study and started to build its flagship project, the Edikan mine in Ghana’s rich Ashanti gold belt. It was just before the start of project development that Jeff Quartermaine joined the team as CFO. Up till then, he says, the company had been brought forward by a team whose main expertise lay in exploration and business development – and they were good at it, having grown the resource from about 130,000 ounces of gold at the time of acquisition to almost eight million ounces today. But they were not blind to the fact that along the development curve different skills are needed. In 2011, shortly before

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Perseus PERSEUS Mining MINING Edikan wentMining into commercial Perseus feature nostrud exercitation ullamco production, team was laboris nisi ut aliquip ex text to go the here.....Lorem joined Jon Yelland Chief ea commodo consequat. ipsumby dolor sit asamet, Operating andelit, in Duis aute irure dolor in consectetur Officer adipisicing February Quartermaine reprehenderit in voluptate sed do 2013 eiusmod tempor succeeded Mark Calderwood incididunt ut labore et dolore velit esse cillum dolore as Managing magna aliqua.Director Ut enimand ad eu fugiat nulla pariatur. CEO. three years have minim“In veniam, quis we nostrud Excepteur sint occaecat come from being a junior to a exercitation ullamco laboris cupidatat non proident, sunt fully gold nisi utintegrated aliquip exmid-tier ea commodo in culpa qui officia deserunt producer,” says.aute irure consequat.heDuis mollit anim id est laborum. The new boss certainly does dolor in reprehenderit in This is a caption this is a caption Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, not regret accepting consectetur adipisicing voluptate velit esseGillard’s cillum of pitincididunt at Edikan Mine invitation comenulla on board. tempor ut dolore eu to fugiat pariatur. Excepteur elit, sed do eiusmod View “We comecupidatat a long way in proident, sunt labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad sint have occaecat non problems with thequis processing towards the last few my initial assessment in culpa quiyears, officiaand deserunt mollit anim id minim veniam, nostrudplant exercitation of people behind outamet, dead the end oflaboris 2012: nisi the mine still managed estthe laborum. LoremPerseus ipsum turned dolor sit ullamco ut aliquip ex ea right – it is a first-rate team. Perseus to produceconsequat. 51,000 ounces gold in Q4 at consectetur adipisicing elit,One sedthing do eiusmod commodo Duis of aute irure dolor has done without exception is dolore to always try an all-in site cost $1,060 velit an ounce, well in reprehenderit in of voluptate esse cillum tempor incididunt ut labore et magna industry average. The Excepteur first three to deliverUtonenim its promises.” Thisveniam, despite some aliqua. ad minim quis below dolore the eu fugiat nulla pariatur.


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BEBEAfrica WEEKLY| 107 |2

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Muchina Engineering started out

as a supplier to two mines in Zambia mainly supplying pumps mechanical seals and gaskets. Over the years we have learnt how the mines work and understand all their special needs. This has allowed us to branch out in to various projects. We now supply 8 mines across Africa including Perseus mining in Ghana. Our products: • Pumps • Pumps Spares/Repairs • Mechanical Seals • Gland Packing • Gaskets • General Supplies

Perseus Mining months of this year were a record quarter, continuing As a subsidiary of Associated Pump Engineers UK Ltd, remediation work on the Muchina Engineering are suppliers of mechanical seals, plant notwithstanding, and pumps, gland packing and gaskets. Muchina Engineering the first year’s production are the sole distributors of Gusher pumps in South Africa, a great success. “We are and as from 2010 we are now the sole distributors for on track and the future is Beresford pumps throughout Africa. In 2008 Muchina Engineering, in conjunction with looking very promising,” says Associated Pump Engineers UK, invested one million dollars Quartermaine. changing from traditional sand castings to investment Ghana, and West Africa castings for our impellers and casings. generally, is not such a risky The vision of our company represents us with an incredible place to do mining business foundation, an underpinning which gives us confidence, in as you might imagine. strength and insight as we continue to be a leader in the “We have worked hard to growing premium pump and seals industry. forge good relations with the government and our host communities, but I think it is interesting when people talk about the political risk of mining in Africa: I don’t think the risks are that much higher than in many other regions.” The MRRT or super profits tax introduced in Australia from July 2012, he suggests, makes Perseus’s base country as challenging a business environment as any, and Ghana in particular has a very forwardlooking regime when it comes to co-operation with the mining companies.

muchina Engineering

250,000 ounces

Annual gold production projected at Edikan Water quality monitoring at Edikan Mine

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THEODORA ASUBONTENG ENTERPRISE, is a multi-faceted business that has a reputable history of excellent services to big-scale corporations such as the mining industry and our strong dedication to perfection and quality makes us a very viable enterprise to do business with.


We supply Household items such as: • Bedsheets • Duvert and duvert covers • Towels • Blankets • Towels • Shower curtains • Door mats • Bed mats • Cutlery sets • Glasses • Blenders • Irons • Microwaves • Rice cookers • Kitchen knives • Kitchen napkins • Mosquito nets • Refrigerators • Television sets We also supply Mining gear such as: • Workers’ Overalls • Reflector Vests • Raincoats • Safety Goggles • Ear plugs • Protective Gloves • Nose guards We also provide Interior Decoration services like: • Curtains • Window blinds • Venetian blinds • Carpet layering • Room furnishing (furniture) We are also Event Organisers for occasions like: • Weddings • Parties • Official Ceremonies Beauty in Virginity: • We also support orphans and vulnerable children

ADDRESS: P.O. Box 2136, Sunyani, Ghana. LOCATION: Ground Floor of Cocoa House, Sunyani, Ghana. TELEPHONE: 233208120256/ 233243109618/ 233352023646/ 233208149554 E-MAIL:

PERSEUS Mining MINING Perseus Perseus Mining Perseus feature Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, In reciprocation text to go here....Lorem consectetur adipisicing elit, has been assiduous in ipsum doing dolorright sit amet, consectetur sed do eiusmod tempor the thing by the host incididunt ut labore et dolore adipisicing elit,Ghana sed has do country. Because eiusmod ut magna aliqua. Ut enim ad a longertempor historyincididunt of mining laboremany et dolore magna aliqua. minim veniam, quis nostrud than other countries, Ut suffered enim ad more minimwhen veniam, exercitation ullamco laboris it the nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo quis nostrud mining boom hitexercitation South Africa ullamco laboris nisi ut on aliquip consequat. Duis aute irure and other countries the ex ea commodo dolor Sackey, in reprehenderit in continent and all consequat. round the Environment Manager, Michael on the revegetated Duis aute irure dolor in voluptate velit storage esse cillum main embankment of the tailings facility world. Its best brains were reprehenderit inbyvoluptate drained, tempted the high This is a caption this is a caption dolore eu fugiat nulla velit esse cillum dolore Excepteur sint salaries being offered. This eu created a shortage trying to recruit pariatur. Ghanaians from the diaspora fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat non proident, sunt in of experienced professionals back home, and occaecat into seniorcupidatat jobs. cupidatatis non proident, sunt inby culpa qui culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id Perseus trying to redress this actively Of course it would be unrealistic to seek officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. est laborum. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,

THEODORA ASUBONTENG ENTERPRISE THEODORA ASUBONTENG ENTERPRISE has an N.G.O. called “BEAUTY IN VIRGINITY� which seeks to promote Moral values and discipline among the youth in Ghana. A chief aim of our N.G.O. is to mobilize, educate and assist virgins to maintain their virginity till marriage. We also serve as an active voice towards HIV/AIDS sensitization and awareness among the youth in various communities in Ghana. Some of our achievements in this regard include: A joint collaboration with Perseus Mining Ghana on World AIDS Day in 2012 where we visited schools in the Ayamfuri community to educate and sensitize the youth about HIV/ AIDS and its deadly effects and how they can protect themselves. A two day HIV/AIDS Sensitization Workshop

for sixty (60) Queens and Opinion Leaders, Long Distance Drivers, Traders and Teachers sponsored by the UN System Gender Program. A Workshop/Quiz was organized for in and out school youth on behavioural modification strategy on HIV/AIDS sponsored by the Ghana AIDS Commission. At THEODORA ASUBONTENG ENTERPRISE, we are contracted to PERSEUS MINING GHANA LIMITED as a supplier of general goods and interior decoration. At THEODORA ASUBONTENG ENTERPRISE, we have also been a supplier and Interior decorator for NEWMONT GHANA GOLD LIMITED for about seven (7) years. E.

BE Africa WEEKLY | | 1112 BE

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Perseus Mining IGS Italia

IGS Italia is the European engineering and manufacturing subsidiary of Innovative Gas Systems (IGS) with HQ in Houston TX. IGS is worldwide one of the major suppliers of non-cryogenic air and gas separation plants and instrument air packages. The patented proprietary hollow-fiber membrane technology from IGS sets market standards in terms of performance and efficiency for nitrogen production, gas separation or air dehydration. IGS Italia not only designs and manufactures standard systems, like its patented NITROSWING® and OXYSWING® modular PSA nitrogen and oxygen

experienced personnel in the surrounding community, so it is remarkable to learn that approximately 50 per cent of the workforce at Edikan is drawn from the five villages nearest the mine. “We could have drawn staff from mining operations elsewhere in Ghana,” says Quartermaine, “but we decided that while recruiting locally meant we’d have to spend more on training, it would put money into the local community and increase their engagement with the operation.” Training local people from scratch has the added advantage that they understand how Perseus operates, he adds. “We went out and

generators, but also offers finely engineered and custom-built packages for nitrogen and oxygen generation, gas separation or instrument air supply. IGS’ scope of supply for standard systems can also be extended with complete turn-key installations on either a single skid or inside an ISO freight container, including feed air system and all necessary receivers. IGS Italia distributes its products and services to the market also through IGS’ Global Sales & Service organization with offices in Germany, Russia, UAE and South Korea.

Geologist Emmanuel Djorjee reviewing cores

“while recruiting locally meant spending more on training, it put money into the local community and increased their engagement with the operation” BE Africa | 113

Reach for Aducolly Eng. Ltd. for your first-rate engineering services in maintenance welding & steel fabrication, pump installation, tank building, pipe welding & installation, cladding, conveyor servicing and steel structure erection.

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Proud suppliers to the Perseus Ayanfuri project

Perseus Mining did aptitude tests to identify Aducolly Eng. Ltd who would be best suited to Aducolly Eng. Ltd. also deliver to your specification in areas the challenge of working in such as belt splicing hot & cold, poly pipe welding, sand our operation. I was fortunate blasting & painting, agitator shaft/crush mantle building as to be on site the day the first well as apron feeder installation among others. We stand trainees arrived and had the distinguished by our level of commitment to duty and how honour of welcoming them to well we delight our clients with excellent customer service beyond their imagination. the site.� There were around a hundred young men and women, he says, all mightily enthused at the opportunity to become a part of a serious operation within their own community and at having the chance to learn new skills. Quartermaine believes the best way to generate sustainability is through education because it equips people make their own choices. Over the last two years Perseus has sponsored 90 students at Kumasi Technical Institute (KTI), instituted a scholarship scheme for students in the Edikan communities to further their education in second and in the future, tertiary institutions in the country and announced a sixmonth apprenticeship programme to train 120 young people in masonry, carpentry, electrical installation and plumbing. Meanwhile his objectives for this year remain firmly to deliver on what has been promised, or at least planned. The process plant will be upgraded to increase throughput from its A view of the Edikan plant

“the best way to generate sustainability is through education because it equips people to make their own choices� BE Africa | 115

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present level of 5.5 million tonnes per annum to eight million tonnes per annum by July 2013. From that point he expects gold production to go forward at a rate of some 250,000 ounces a year, with costs kept low so that the company can generate a substantial cash margin. Gold prices may be past their peak, but following this policy will keep Perseus in business where high cost producers crash out, benefiting proportionally when prices rally. With the world class Edikan mine at full throttle, the subsidiary property in the Ashanti belt, Grumesa 20 kilometres to the east, is taking a back seat though drilling continues

50% Gold Room operator cleans slag residue from a bar of gold

Of workforce from just five local villages

BE Africa | 117

there. Any spare energy is being diverted to the Sissingué Gold Project in north-east Côte d’Ivoire. Only perhaps 300 miles distant, they are very different. If Ghana is switched on to its resources, its neighbour has less of a mining tradition though Quartermaine thinks it could vastly benefit from development. Following a very difficult and unsettled era, the country is now working very hard to upgrade its mining code so it presents a more attractive investment than its neighbours. But late last year, when the Perseus board was preparing to give the green light to construction of the fully permitted and funded Sissingué project, the Ivorian government started to talk about a super profits tax. While not denying their need to benefit from their resources, developing governments sometimes overlook the need of overseas investors to see a fair return. So Perseus along with the rest of the world’s mining community is waiting to see what the awaited mining code will contain. “We would be delighted to be able to get into mine development in the second half of this year, with first production in the second quarter of 2014. But,” says Quartermaine, ever the prudent professional accountant, “we won’t commit if we are not certain we can achieve the kind of returns we need.” However Sissingué is projected to 170,000 ounces of gold a year, at low cost. Adding this project to Edikan would firmly establish Perseus among the leading West African gold producers. For more information about Perseus Mining visit:

118 | BE Africa

Molten gold in crucibles following a gold pour at Perseus Mining’s Edikan Gold Mine

Perseus Mining

Flexible and

Since its establishment in 2007, Nordgo a series of acquisitions: outperforming habit, and it has not been slow to ado

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120 | BE Africa


on the move

old has become a global player through g the industry seems to have become a opt world class social initiatives either

ohn O’Hanlon obert Hodgson

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Gold production at Bissa

old is a most conservative and passive investment, but the same cannot be said of gold mining in emerging markets. To succeed here a company must be flexible and on the move. Its management must be adept and have a keen eye for untapped value.” These are the words of Nikolai Zelenski, CEO of Nordgold, and they will be echoed in the most heartfelt way by many others involved in the goldfields of Africa and South America. Nordgold was established in 2007 when Severstal Group, one of Russia’s most successful metals and resources corporations, decided to move into the gold market. Nordgold is a pure play gold producer and Severstal’s decision to diversify into this sector was taken at a time when it saw opportunities to acquire assets in Russia, Kazakhstan, Burkina Faso and Guinea. In its first five years Nordgold expanded rapidly through acquisitions and organic investment, achieving a rate of growth unmatched in the industry during that period. In 2012 Nordgold’s gold production grew to 717,000 ounces from just 21,000 in 2007. Now it has tripled its resource base to 30 million ounces, and has nine operational mines, one development project, several advanced exploration projects and a diverse portfolio of early exploration projects and licenses in Russia, Kazakhstan, Burkina Faso and Guinea. It was in 2008 that Nordgold, which until then had only been operating in the CIS, acquired a controlling stake in High River Gold Mines Ltd, a Canadian company which held a number of assets in Russia as well as

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AFRICA GLOBAL CONSTRUCTION possesses advanced, high technology equipment. We periodically renew this equipment in an effort to continually improve our performance.


TĂŠl. : (+226) 50 41 75 50 /50 41 82 32 E-mail:

AFRICA GLOBAL CONSTRUCTION boasts strong, proven expertise in the mining and industrial sectors. We are currently a major supplier of equipment and services for industries and mines in Africa.

Nordgold NORDGOLD in Burkina Thetext Taparko NordgoldFaso. feature to go et dolore magna aliqua. Ut mine and Bissa exploration here...Lorem ipsum dolor sit enim ad minim veniam, quis project, both inadipisicing Burkina amet, consectetur nostrud exercitation ullamco Faso were among tempor these elit, sed do eiusmod laboris nisi ut aliquip ex assets. Following theetpositive incididunt ut labore dolore ea commodo consequat. results Nordgold magna aliqua. Ut achieved enim ad Duis aute irure dolor in with project minim turnaround veniam, quis nostrud reprehenderit in voluptate at Taparko ullamco the company exercitation laboris velit esse cillum dolore decided to proceed with the nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo eu fugiat nulla pariatur. development of Bissa. Initially consequat. Duis aute irure Excepteur sint occaecat it was in estimated the mine cupidatat non proident, sunt dolor reprehenderit in loading at Bissa encompassed qui pit officia deserunt voluptate velit mineralised esse cillum This is a caption this is a caption in culpaOpen zones over a strike mollit anim id est laborum. dolore traced eu fugiat nulla The feasibility studysit wasamet, completed in June length ofExcepteur approximately seven kilometres pariatur. sint occaecat cupidatat Lorem ipsum dolor consectetur and further exploration subsequently and the mining was obtained non proident, sunt in culpaworks qui officia deserunt 2010 adipisicing elit, sed licence do eiusmod tempor July 2011, with construction starting in conducted by id Nordgold improved confidence mollit anim est laborum. Lorem ipsum in incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. 2011. All construction works at the further, better reserves than dolor sitdemonstrating amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, September Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud were completed within nisi 15 months – on previously anticipated. sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore site exercitation ullamco laboris ut aliquip ex

GLOBAL CONSTRUCTION AFRICA AFRICA GLOBAL CONSTRUCTIONS positions itself as one of the most successful African companies specialized in studies, construction and maintenance, and providing assistance to the mining, industrial and construction sectors. We make our experience and high-tech equipment available to our customers at all times. AFRICA GLOBAL CONSTRUCTION has in his possession complete and versatile equipment including digital machinery, lifting last generation, cranes, boats, winches and elevators. Our team Our highly qualified staff composes a number of different and complementary profiles:

• Engineers • Managerial staff • Technicians • Team leaders • Drivers operators • Technicians industrial transfer Our technical resources: • Propelled telescopic cranes • Cranes fly variables • Telescopic forklifts • Aerial lifts • Tractors double-deck • Guillotines digita E.

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TRANSCORDEC, Burkina Faso’s leading transportation companies, possesses a large fleet of buses that are both safe and comfortable. Our buses seat between 12 and 70 people and provide transportation between Ouagadougou and various mining sites throughout the region. We work with companies such as IAMGOLD ESSAKANE SA, SEMAFO, NordGold SOMITA, each of who have found us to be a partner they can almost trust. E-mail:


Contact us today and put your company in the spotlight!


Bissa facilities

time and on budget – and the first gold was of Dore gold for shipment to Switzerland, poured in January 2013. The plant at Bissa is where it is further refined before being sold on designed to treat up to four million tonnes of the open market. “Based on the Q1 results we ore a year, translating into more than 170,000 believe we will exceed our initial production ounces of annual gold production. In 2013 guidance for 2013 of up to 100,000 ounces,” Bissa is officially forecast to produce up to says Igor Klimanov, Managing Director of 100,000 ounces of gold. With the launch of African Operations. the Bissa mine Nordgold has become the first One of the significant challenges during gold miner in Burkina Faso to operate two the Bissa development was a water supply mines in the country simultaneously. Bissa is issue. “Water is one of the crucial components of the ore treatment cycle,” a remarkable example of the flexibility and agility enjoined explains Klimanov. “To by Zelenski, already reaching solve it we constructed a its production capacity in dam which allowed us to annualised terms. In the first accumulate water during the quarter of 2013 the plant wet season.” At the first look Tonnes of ore milled at milled 747,000 tonnes of ore logistics was a problem too: Bissa in Q1 2013 Burkina Faso is landlocked and produced 40,400 ounces


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“We look to develop promising people by involving them in advanced projects” and therefore has no sea access for delivering essential equipment. Bissa is situated less than 100 kilometres from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital, and the mine is not far from the national highway which is a part of a secure logistic corridor leading to the ports of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. “This allows us to easily deliver all bulk equipment and supplies from these locations to the mine site with the minimum risk of disruption or delay,” he says.

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In 2010 Nordgold acquired the Lefa gold mine, located at Lero in the Seguiri Prefecture of north eastern Guinea, about 750 kilometres from the capital Conakry. In 2012 production from Lefa and Taparko accounted for approximately 42 percent of Nordgold’s total production, says Klimanov: “In 2013 we expect Nordgold’s African operations to account for about 50 percent of the company’s revenues.” And with huge reserves that will


Open pit at Bissa

keep it producing for another 20 years, Lefa is of great strategic significance for Nordgold.” There’s no doubt that gold mining, while it helps to raise the general standard of living in the host country, does have an impact locally. Nordgold has made a firm commitment to both its own employees and the communities in which it works, so when the villages of Bissa and Imiougou had to be relocated this was seen as more than just a major infrastructure project. Total compensation to the owners of the land affected amounted to 2.5 billion CFA and 380 new houses were built, as well as seven water wells, two mosques, two churches, two community centres and four schools. The dam constructed for the

plant also provides the local population with significantly more water than they previously had access to. “Our aim was to minimise disruption to people’s lives, while maintaining or improving their communities,” says Alexey Shchedrin, Director of Corporate Communications and IR. “For example, the relocated villages will retain the approximate layout of their predecessors, reflecting our belief that the shape of communities is important to their success. Where we relocated people from agricultural land, we ensured that the new land we provided them with was of similar, if not better, quality and fertility. We were also sure to ensure that we relocated people within

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Forefront of

Project Delivery

With two decade’s experience - including involvement in 19 major mining ventures across 20 African countries - Lycopodium has an enviable reputation for successful project delivery in Africa, on time and on budget. Lycopodium is an Australian based engineering and project delivery company with offices also in Canada and the Philippines, along with subsidiaries in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Tanzania and Mauritania. Our experience and extensive knowledge of local operations gained working in remote regions has equipped us with the right skills to deliver fit-for-purpose engineering solutions, making Lycopodium the ‘first choice’ partner for any African mining project. For your next project: • Metallurgical and Process Development • Feasibility Studies • Engineering • Project Delivery • Procurement & Logistics Management • Health, Safety, Environment & Community Management

Nordgold NORDGOLD renovating old clinic. We theNORDGOLD traditional boundaries of feature text in culpa quithe officia deserunt are also actively their to goland.” here...Lorem ipsum mollit anim id est searching laborum. Taparko hadconsectetur already for better medical Lorem ipsum dolorequipment sit amet, dolor sit amet, benefited fromelit, this approach, to install in the two facilities. consectetur adipisicing elit, adipisicing sed do he continues: “We support Furthermore, are sed do eiusmodwetempor eiusmod tempor incididunt the local school, including working with civil incididuntclosely ut labore et dolore ut labore et dolore magna building new classrooms and representatives region magna aliqua. of Utthe enim ad aliqua. Ut enim ad minim providing for to help them identify minim veniam, quispotential nostrud veniam, drinking quis water nostrud the teachersullamco and children. areas for improvement, as exercitation laboris exercitation ullamco laboris We support other well considering new nisi also ut aliquip ex several ea commodo nisi ut as aliquip ex ea commodo community projects infrastructure consequat. Duis auteaimed irure consequat. Duisprogrammes aute irure at helping local populations homesthis in Burkina Faso and a caption is a caption dolor in reprehenderit in This isNew dolorprojects.” in reprehenderit in develop work Nordgold’s corporate voluptate sustainable velit esse cillum voluptate velit esse cillum culture is of mutual which implies practices farming ranching. We dolore dolore eu in fugiat nulla and pariatur. Excepteur euone fugiat nullarespect, pariatur. Excepteur recently built acupidatat new health clinic and will be sint remuneration in line with international sint occaecat non proident, sunt occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt

LYCOPODIUM ENJOYS SUCCESS 20 YEARS IN THE MAKING Lycopodium Minerals Pty Ltd has been in Africa since “before it was fashionable”. As an engineering services and project delivery company, it is now working with a large number of international companies looking to tap into its African experience. Africa has been touted as one of the key emerging markets for miners. However, the importance of Africa as a market isn’t news to Perth-based Lycopodium, which made its first foray into Africa in 1993. “We were in gold and in Africa a long time before it became a favoured jurisdiction. For instance, we were delivering the Geita project for AngloGold Ashanti in Tanzania in 1999-2000 when the price of gold dipped as low as $US280/ oz,” said Lycopodium Minerals Director of Strategic Development, Dr Greg O’Neil. The company is currently active in undertaking feasibility studies and engineering, procurement and construction projects in Ghana, Burkina Faso,

Cote d’Ivoire, Mauritania, Tanzania and Zambia. Its project work is focused on gold and copper developments, along with some magnetite, uranium and nickel. The company’s clientele in Africa now includes many North American, European, South African and Australian miners who are seeking out Lycopodium because of its 20-year history in Africa. “The reason why international mining companies come all the way to Perth to deal with an Australian Engineer is because of hard earned experience. It’s a continent where we have a skill set, familiarity and experience.” Dr O’Neil said. “But it all comes down to value and how Australians deliver value... our clients have found our process plants possess a low capital intensity, ramp up to nameplate capacity quickly and demonstrate low operating costs. In essence they are fit for purpose, which is what Lycopodium aims to bring to the African market.”

BEBEAfrica WEEKLY| |1312

RANA MOTORS With 35 years of experience, Rana Motors, tyre distribution network leaders in Ghana, and West Africa Tire Services (WATS) Ltd, the Regional distributor for Goodyear Earthmoving tyres in West Africa, are associated with NordGold projects in Burkina Faso by way of supplying Goodyear Earthmoving tyres & in tyre related services for their operations. WATS Ltd. is the ONLY company in Burkina Faso to employ qualified mining tyre professionals who provide mining tyre consultancy services, on-site tyre service providing and earthmoving tyre repairs (REMA Tip Top), and engage in supplying the whole range of mining/special equipment tyres to mining companies and contractors. Tyre professionals from WATS and Goodyear share the aim of providing the mining

community in West Africa with better value returns on tyres supplied by them, and are heavily involved in researching the performance of tyres used in mining operations and in recommending specific products that are best suited to challenging applications. In addition they provide a complete after sales service for the tyres supplied. NordGold’s SOMITA mines at Taparko have immensely benefitted from these services. WATS Ltd. is the retail partner of Goodyear & operates its premium retail stores, “VULCO” in Ouagadougou. WATS also possesses supply capabilities in regards to conveyor belts used for mining applications. E.


Vegetable production at Bissa community

standards, appropriate local and at Bissa, where working conditions and 60 percent of unskilled industry-best environmental work is provided from Bissa standards – our 10,000 strong village itself, 30 young people workforce is the core of our work with mobile equipment New houses built for success and deserves nothing and heav y machinery Bissa employees less. Throughout all areas of and a further 70 work in our African operations we the plant itself. Training is provided by try to employ local people where possible insists Alexey Shchedrin. internal instructors and leading external “This is both good business practice, due consultants. “We look to develop promising to the cost of employing expatriates, and people by involving them in advanced helps to develop the skills base and economies projects, such as innovation or productivity of the regions where we work. We do programmes. While training is offered to all employ expatriates where they have the in order to guarantee an acceptable standard best skills and are able to train our people of professionalism and safety, we also aim and pass on their knowledge.” to identify exceptional talent and tailor their At Taparko 631 of the 654 employees are instruction to prepare them for promotion.


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Société générale de travaux et de constructions électriques

OUR SKILLS • The transportation and distribution of both low and medium voltage electricity • Electricity for buildings and industry • Installation of all type of air conditioning systems • Installation of the telephone and computer networks • Sound Systems • Installation of elevators and escalators • Video Surveillance • Fire Alarms • Street Lighting • Water networks

Telephone: (+ 226) 50 34 29 00 / 50 34 25 70 Email:

Nordgold NORDOLD Training programmes cover NordGold feature text to et dolore magna aliqua. Ut a wide rangeipsum of subjects, here.......Lorem dolor sit enim ad minim veniam, quis including equipment use, amet, consectetur adipisicing nostrud exercitation ullamco health andeiusmod safety,tempor and elit, sed do laboris nisi ut aliquip ex languages.” incididunt ut labore et dolore ea commodo consequat. Safety is Ut Nordgold’s magna aliqua. enim ad Duis aute irure dolor in highestveniam, priority. ‘Safe minim quisItsnostrud reprehenderit in voluptate Production’ ullamco principle is exercitation laboris velit esse cillum dolore built the precept that all nisi uton aliquip ex ea commodo eu fugiat nulla pariatur. fatalities andDuis safety incidents consequat. aute irure Excepteur sint occaecat are The Bissa cupidatat non proident, sunt dolorpreventable. in reprehenderit in Taparko processing plant mine wasvelit constructed in This is a caption this is a caption in culpa qui officia deserunt voluptate esse cillum record onlynulla one mollit anim id est laborum. dolore time eu with fugiat minor lost-time incident 15 months and all Lorem A significant healthsitand safety challenge pariatur. Excepteur sintinoccaecat cupidatat ipsum dolor amet, consectetur sites have teams ofin qualified HSE specialists in that Nordgold had overcometempor at its non proident, sunt culpa qui officia deserunt adipisicing elit,has sed dotoeiusmod place, to ensure that standards sites the prevention and treatment mollit whose anim focus id estislaborum. Lorem ipsum African incididunt utislabore et dolore magna aliqua. are aligned with international theveniam, construction of Bissa dolorconsistently sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, of Ut malaria. enim ad With minim quis nostrud compliance requirements. the beginning its mining sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore and exercitation ullamcooflaboris nisi utoperations aliquip ex


Established for over fifty years, SOGETEL is a leader in its sector and enjoys an excellent reputation in the fields of transportation and distribution of electricity of medium and low voltage. SOGETEL delivers, installs and maintains low to medium voltage transformers, power generators, air conditioning systems, cold room storage and elevators.

Our technical staff are experts in the deployment of the electricity network, maintaining public street lighting and computer networks. On a national level, SOGETEL is a partner of SONABEL, the national electricity provider for Burkina Faso. SOGETEL is active in the mining sector and has proved to be both competent and reliable for the daily operations of this industry. SOGETEL follows international standards in all its installations and attaches high importance to the security of its employees and the environment. E.

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Employee directing a Caterpillar truck at Bissa

Nordgold in 2012, the number of employees and contractors on site grew significantly. As a result of unusually heavy rains and a long wet season, the risk of malaria infection increased correspondingly. While the number of medical visits for malaria was significant – as were the number of confirmed cases – all cases were treated as a highest priority and no severe cases were permitted to develop. “From early on in the project a well-equipped medical clinic staffed by competent medical personnel was available on site,” explains Shchedrin. “In addition, several preventative measures were implemented, including providing employees with detailed information on the disease and the proper anti-malarial medicines to prevent mosquito bites.” Having put in place a number of world class sustainability features at all of its sites, such as the use of native trees from Nordgold’s own plantations for the revegetation programme at Taparko, the company will be making further improvements this year. “We will be upgrading our health and safety management systems at all our operations based on standards like ISO 14001,” says Shchedrin. “In addition to the management of tailings storage facilities, which require constant attention to design, performance and maintenance, other waste streams are managed on a daily basis to ensure conformity with Nordgold’s policies and standards,” he added. For more information about Nordgold visit:

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Working toward

CEO Charles Siwawa discusses the vital role that the Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM) is playing in helping further develop the country’s rapidly expanding mining s

written by: Will Daynes research by: Vince Kielty

138 | BE Africa

Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM)

ds excellence

g to sector

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Charles Siwawa, CEO of the Botswana Chamber of Mines

Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM)


ining activities have been share ideas about how they could contribute taking place in Botswana to improving the mining situation in the since the nineteenth century country. Twice a year these companies would with the advent of the gold gather, along with leaders in the fields of rush in the northern part health, safety and the environment. However of the country and have since acted as the it soon became clear that for real progress backbone of the country’s economy. This to be made a dedicated office or Secretariat has been particularly true in the last four was required to carry out the functions of the decades, during which time Botswana’s group. This dedicated office was established hugely significant diamond sector has helped in 2010 with Siwawa at the helm. drive the economy to new heights. Today the Today the BCM boasts close to 30 members, mining industry remains the main driver over half of which are exploration companies, of economic activity in Botswana and is a figure that typifies the rapid increase in the forecasted to sustain the economy further number of companies now present in Botswana into the future. that are searching up and down the land for The Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM) various minerals. Indeed the country’s mining is an organisation established sector has come a long way over 20 years ago with in a matter of a few decades the purpose of serving the from being a purely diamond and copper driven industry interests of mining and to a varied centre of mining exploration companies operating within the county, activity and this is reflected in The year the first together with associated the work of the BCM in 2013. diamond mine was industries. In its role, the BCM “One of our primary discovered in Botswana aims to ensure that legislation objectives at present,” in the country is conducive Siwawa explains, “is trying for mining companies and at the same time to diversify the economy away from being developing good working relationships with one that is single source driven and this the legislator and other stakeholders. has required the industry to look at the “The Chamber was formed with the idea potential of other minerals, rather than to represent the interests of the mining say just diamonds or copper. This approach companies within Botswana and really is also playing an important role in the promote their ideas to make sure that mining country’s Economic Diversification Drive, in the country takes place as smoothly and whereby the aim is to further rejuvenate responsibly as possible, and in a sustainable the economy of Botswana by internalising its own purchasing power in order to invest manner,” says its CEO, Charles Siwawa. Initially the BCM was made up of a small capital across multiple industry sectors.” handful of companies which came together to Attracting foreign direct investment


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(FDI) from overseas is equally fundamental to Botswana’s long-term prosperity. In this arena the BCM is working in conjunction with the government to attract investment by way of marketing what the mining sector has to offer in terms of medium-to-long term profits and growth opportunities. As the government and the BCM look to

establish Botswana as a hub for mining activity, both are also aware that improvements do still need to be made internally to properly support the expansion of the marketplace. At the top of the list of concerns right now is the shortage of skills within not just Botswana, but the wider region. “In order to combat this shortage,”

“we have taken it upon ourselves to focus a great deal of energy on developing the skills of Botswanan people”

Gem Drill site: exploration drilling for diamonds

142 | BE Africa

Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM)

Smelter operations at a copper nickel mine

Siwawa highlights, “we have taken it upon ourselves to focus a great deal of energy on developing the skills of Batswana, many of whom will become the next generation of workers that will take the country into the future. We know that developing skilled people is a continuous and vital process that needs to be done to the highest of standards to remain in line with market demands. In acknowledging this we are making our intentions of developing Botswana’s mining industry comparable to that of anywhere in the world very clear.”

Since the first diamond mine in the country was discovered in 1971 the mining sector has contributed an ever-increasing percentage towards Botswana’s GDP, a trend that shows no sign of diminishing any time soon, particular as the country braces itself for the next phase in its development. It is the BCM’s belief that the next launching pad for this particular phase will be the exploitation of Botswana’s coal reserves, thought to be the second largest in all of Africa. “As a land locked country,” Siwawa states, “we are well aware that in order

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“Over the years the government has worked hard to develop the kinds of infrastructure networks this country needs” to generate revenue from these coal reserves a great deal of work needs to be done to improve the infrastructure of the region, particularly when it comes to road and rail networks that will be needed to transport the product to ports in Namibia, Mozambique or South Africa to be exported

144 | BE Africa

overseas. Such infrastructure will be of vital importance to the country, without which we would not be able to access the full potential of our coal reserves.” It is the opinion of Siwawa, and many others for that matter, that despite coming on leaps and bounds as an epicentre for

Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM)

Flamingos in the forefront of soda ash mining

mining in recent times Botswana remains grossly underexplored. Despite having a land mass equivalent to that of France, Botswana is home to little over two million people and thus only a select few areas of the country possess the necessary infrastructure to host the operations of multi-national mining players. “Over the years the government has worked hard to develop the kinds of infrastructure networks this country needs,” Siwawa concludes, “while at the same time introducing water and power networks so that we are now able to branch out further across the land. Simply put,

this would not be the case if we didn’t feel that Botswana had an enormous amount of mineral potential still to be realised. Our diamond reserves have taken the country to where it is today, from amongst the bottom four poorest countries in the world to a middle-income nation and now we believe that with the resources that we are yet to develop, such as coal, the country can push itself even higher still.” For more information about Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM) visit:

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Imperial Group

In imperious form Mohammed Akoojee, executive responsible for investor relations and corporate strategy, talks about how the diversified nature of Imperial Group’s business activities is helping it to prosper despite some challenging conditions

written by: Will Daynes research by: Candice Nice

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The Kia models compete well in a buoyant South African market

Imperial Group


ver all,” explains Mohammed Akoojee, executive responsible for investor relations and corporate strategy, “our performance over the last 12-to-18 months has been good, with the majority of our core business segments showing strong growth. We just released a report that shows that our earnings during the last six months were up 14 percent, even in the face of some challenging market conditions that we were exposed to during that time period.” Imperial is a diversified industrial services and retail group with activities that span the logistics sector, car rentals, tourism, financial services, vehicle distribution and retail, automotive parts and industrial products distribution. Listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange, Imperial employs more than 47,000 people, each of whom it credits equally for the continued success of a group that began life as a motor dealership in downtown Johannesburg in 1948. “Our motor business in South Africa continues to perform well, despite being subject to supply issues caused by labour disruptions in Korea from where we import many of our products,” Akoojee continues. “Meanwhile, our after sales parts and service business and used car sales have remained buoyant and contributed strongly to the growth achieved. The strength of our integrated business model in the motor business is really starting to come through.” The last four years have seen the South African vehicle market ride a wave of success on the back of factors such as the

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Imperial Group IMPERIAL LOGISTICS REFRIGERATED SERVICES emergence I mp e r i a l of the L og iblack s t ic s officia deserunt mollit anim middle class, improved id est laborum. Lorem ipsum Refrigerated Services text vehicle affordability,ipsum low dolor sit amet, consectetur to go here....Lorem interest andconsectetur good wage adipisicing elit, sed do dolor sitrates amet, growth acrosselit, the country, eiusmod tempor incididunt ut adipisicing sed do the lattertempor creating a situation eiusmod incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. where people’s take labore et dolore ability magna to aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, on Ut debt enimhas ad increased. minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation “What we are seeing,” ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip quis nostrud exercitation Select dealership A koojeelaboris highlights, “is ullamco nisi ut aliquip ex ea Imperial commodo consequat. This is a caption this is a caption that opposed consequat. to buying ex eaascommodo Duis aute irure dolor in or extending are using Buying cars in is an aspirational in voluptate velit purchase esse cillum Duis aute irurehouses, dolor inpeople reprehenderit in reprehenderit and nulla a necessity. While public this disposable and ability to South voluptate velit esseincome cillum dolore eu fugiat dolore Africa eu fugiat pariatur. Excepteur increase their debt to purchase durable transport has improved past number nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat sint occaecat cupidatatover nonthe proident, sunt is still important to mollit own a anim car. Car goods likenon cars.” in years culpa itqui officia deserunt id cupidatat proident, sunt in culpa qui of

CUMMINS ISX ENGINES POWER IMPERIAL LOGISTICS’ FLEETS FORWARD Imperial Logistics has more than 3 800 vehicles in its fleet powered by ISX engines that are manufactured and supplied by Cummins - a global leader in the manufacture, sales and servicing of diesel engines and related technology. All 30 vehicles in one of Imperial Logistics’ refrigerated fleets are able to successfully complete their service delivery projects throughout South Africa from Tzaneen, Limpopo, despite accumulating more than 1-million km of mileage, as a result of the reliability of the American Drive Line range of Cummins ISX engines. Cummins SA Heavy Duty Account Manager Leon Nel notes that the basic Cummins 15l ISX engine is highly diverse. “It has a wide range of horse power and torque and, without a waste gate turbo, is capable of running between 400

hp and 450 hp, with torque of up to 2237 NM, between 1100 and 1500 rpm. By changing to a waste gate turbo, it can run between 475 hp and 565 hp with between 2237 and 2510 NM. The main use of this low rev, high torque engine is in heavy duty 6x4 truck tractors.” According to Nel, the American Drive Line range is perfectly suited to African conditions, as it allows for exceptional mileage and availability of parts and service across the border. “This is evident in the fact that some vehicles in a particular refrigerated fleet are still running smoothly with well over 1.2-million km on the clock. The American Drive Line with Cummins ISX is a great choice as it is extremely durable and the service intervals are 30 000 km.”

BEBEAfrica WEEKLY| |1512

47,000 People employed by Imperial Group worldwide

Imperial’s logistics division

152 | BE Africa

penetration in the South African economy is in line with emerging market peers and has great potential in the country as it is proven that as emerging countries develop vehicle penetration increases. With interest rates in South Africa at a 40 year low and the vast majority of banks willing to provide credit towards vehicle purchases, Imperial has witnessed considerably strong buying patterns at an entry level where it has a number of products including Hyundai and Kia models that compete well. This has allowed the group to gain a decent share of the market over the last three years. From a logistics perspective however, South Africa continues to prove to be a challenging market to operate in, especially with many of Imperial’s clients being exposed to the pressures that the country’s manufacturing and industrial sectors are experiencing at present. Fortunately for Imperial, it has made numerous investments into other parts of the continent in recent years that are counteracting this. Indeed, outside of South Africa, Imperial’s logistics business has performed exceptionally well over the last 6 months, with operating profit increasing by 22 percent. “If you look at our activities in Africa,” Akoojee states, “our strategy has been to focus

Imperial Group

Fleet management

on the demand for consumer goods on the continent. We believe that this sector of the African economy has got excellent long term growth prospects. We are a major distributor of fast moving consumable goods in markets such as Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique, and with consumer growth in those parts in Africa increasing we will benefit from accordingly.” Expansion across Africa is a core element

of Imperial’s future strategy, the success of which it sees as crucial to its long-term development, both from a distribution and logistics perspective. “As part of our longterm vision,” Akoojee highlights, “we recently acquired a South African business called RTT Health Sciences, which is involved in the distribution and logistics of pharmaceutical products on behalf of manufacturers. While being based in South Africa, half of the

“Expansion across Africa is a core element of Imperial’s future strategy, the success of which it sees as crucial to its long-term development” BE Africa | 153

company’s profits actually originate from markets such as Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Malawi. As a result of this acquisition we now have a presence and a distribution channel in these important markets that we did not have previously.” From a geographical point of view, Imperial also remains keen on examining the potential of expanding its activities in Europe, where it already boasts a presence in Germany, where it is a major operator of bulk and container ports along the country’s inland waterways. “In Germany,” Akoojee says, “we occupy critical industrial choke points and provide value added services where we are integrated into the supply chain of our customers. We are seeing a clear trend where our customers are also looking to grow into surrounding markets such as Eastern Europe, which is something we also hope to be doing as we follow our customers into new markets.” Imperial Group prides itself on the fact that it is a leading player in virtually all of its business areas, however what it also benefits greatly from is the fact that within several of these areas there is still much more growth to be had. If you take the automotive industry in South Africa as an example, sales volumes are relatively low when compared to those

seen in the developed world. As a matter of fact they are much more in line with those of other emerging nations, suggesting that as the economy grows so too will the sector. It is Akoojee’s view that internally Imperial also benefits from being a de-centralised business and one that possesses a strong entrepreneurial spirit that runs throughout the

“Going forward it is clear that Imperial’s focus remains on improving its returns on capital and putting more capital into logistics” 154 | BE Africa

Imperial Group

The logistics division’s aim is to continue expanding across Africa and further into Europe

group. “We strive to give our people the freedom to find new opportunities for growth. We also endeavour to provide opportunities for people to be entrepreneurial in their work and we find that is a big factor when it comes to retaining the best men and women.” Going forward it is clear that Imperial’s focus remains on improving its returns on capital and putting more capital into logistics, which is a sector with a good long term growth outlook, especially in the markets it serves. “Certainly we would like logistics over time to become a much larger contributor to the group,” Akoojee concludes, “however this is just one of a number of new revenue

streams that are starting to make a big positive difference to our underlying profit. Meanwhile, from a geographic perspective we intend to continue a gradual expansion across Africa and hopefully further into Europe. So while it is too early to say that we have ambitions to be a global company, it can certainly be said that we intend to become a much more international business entity in the not-too-distant future.” For more information about Imperial Group visit:

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DHL Global Forwarding - Sub Saharan Africa

Always moving forward

CEO of DHL Global Forwarding – Sub Saharan Africa, Roger Olsson, discusses the wealth of opportunities Africa has to offer and how the business is striving to become the first choice solutions provider for its customers

written by: Will Daynes research by: Paul Bradley

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eadquartered in Bonn, Germany, and today employing in excess of 470,000 people in over 220 countries and territories worldwide, Deutsche Post DHL has become a name synonymous with couriering and logistics. The world’s leading mail and logistics group, it generated revenues of €55.5 billion during 2012, representing an increase of 5.1 percent comparing to previous year. This increase mainly reflects the exceptional market position that DHL maintains in the world’s growth regions, such as Asia and Africa When it comes to Global Forwarding, DHL is the world leader in air freight services and one of the biggest providers of ocean freight services. Through the work of its 30,000 employees, DHL Global Forwarding (DGF) helps ensure the transport of all manner of goods by air or sea on a daily basis. “At the beginning of 2012,” states Roger Olsson, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding – Sub Saharan Africa, “DGF merged three previously separate regions, Europe, the Middle East and Africa into a single EMEA region. This consolidation allowed DGF to better coordinate its commercial activities and improve operational efficiencies between countries.” Meanwhile, this event also brought about the establishment of some sub-regional offices, one of which would open in Johannesburg, South Africa. “From this office,” Olsson continues, “we have a regional team committed to improving the group’s activities in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. It also means that for the very first time, DHL is now running its African operations from within the continent itself.”

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DHL Global Forwarding - Sub Saharan Africa

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DHL Global Forwarding - Sub Saharan Africa

DHL support global volunteer day

Sub-Saharan Africa is made up of no fewer success as its global coverage. “We have than 48 different countries, with DHL today dedicated people throughout the business boasting offices and capabilities in 41 of these. who know better than anyone else how The remaining seven are covered through the to expertly deliver the type of services groups’ work with credible local partners. we provide. At the end of the day you can “When it comes to DGF’s operation in have the largest network in the world, but Africa,” Olsson explains, “having the biggest without the right people on hand to make overall coverage of any other logistics it work you will never get very far.” With its GDP growth provider is understandably vital. In addition, we are also outlook estimated to remain able to leverage our global around 5.5 percent over presence to cater for the vast the next three years, Subnumber of businesses that are Saharan Africa is expected working to bring cargo into to remain the region with and out of the continent.” the second highest growth Olsson also shares the rates worldwide, after belief held throughout DHL Asia for the foreseeable Revenue generated that the people that make future. Some of the more by Deutsche Post up its workforce are just tangible opportunities for a DHL in 2012 as vital a component to its multinational logistics player

€55.5 Billion

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like DHL are the recent oil & gas discoveries in Eastern Africa, and the immense natural and mining resources found throughout the region. It is however important not to ignore the more traditional logistics sectors that DHL serves, namely engineering, automotive and the consumer-sector. “The oil and gas industry,” Olsson reveals, “accounts for roughly half of our entire business today in the Sub-Saharan space. It is for this very reason alone that we continue to invest more and more in this area of our operations as the opportunities available to us are simply unbelievable, particularly as major oil and gas undertakings further help put countries like Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda on the map. Following just behind in terms of importance is the mining sector where we also have a special focus, leveraging our global expertise when it comes to the industry to assist in the development of business across Sub-Saharan Africa.” As an organisation, the work of DHL goes beyond simply doing business with its customers. One of the achievements it is most proud of has been the development of a comprehensive strategy to fulfil its Corporate Social Responsibility requirements. In Africa it has helped spearhead the “Go Teach” programme. Sustained through an

existing partnership with SOS Children’s Villages, the programme aims to provide disadvantaged youths with the confidence, knowledge and skills needed to enter the world of employment. Furthermore, DHL supports Global Volunteers Day, an annual event that sees thousands of its employees

“DGF plans to deliver the same kind of door-to-door service in Africa that it currently does elsewhere in the world” 162 | BE Africa

DHL Global Forwarding - Sub Saharan Africa

Warehouse office in Gabon

volunteer to carry out environmental and community related activities. As DGF makes plans for the future its focus looks set to revolve around increasing its service offerings and capabilities in such a way that it will be able to deliver the same kind of door-to-door service in Africa that it currently does elsewhere in the world. “Achieving this goal,” Olsson concludes, “will no doubt bring with it challenges of its own. Nevertheless we see it as absolutely fundamental to our business that we are able to deliver ever-improving service levels and product offerings that allow us to service the entire logistics chain here in Africa, from

origin to final destination. What we benefit from is having a clear strategy and vision for the future, one that we hope will result in DGF being the first choice solutions provider for its customers in Sub-Saharan Africa, growing up our market share in the process. This will be accomplished by expanding into sectors with a seamless end-to-end service offering and a broad product portfolio, by developing bestin-class operational capabilities.” For more information about DHL Global Forwarding - Sub Saharan Africa visit:

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Two giants


How, over the course of two decades, a small, family-run business has been able to transform itself into a leading international logistics provider

written by: Will Daynes research by: Paul Bradley

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Berco - an Aramex Company

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Berco - an Aramex Company


ake a look back through history and you will find that the plot of many of the greatest stories ever told revolve around a protagonist who, from humble beginnings, goes on to achieve great things. It is equally true to say that some of the most incredible business stories share the same theme, with a great many today originating from the rapidly developing economic backdrop that is Africa. Founded in 1992, Berco Express began life, like many other companies, as a small, family-run business, focused on delivering courier services between Johannesburg and Cape Town. By fully embracing its own mantra of delivering constant, never-ending improvement, the company grew organically over the subsequent years to the point where it now boasts a total of 16 branches and three warehouses across the country. “In 2004”, explains van der Velde, “we decided to embark on taking the business to a completely new level in terms of offering a much broader range of services including active warehousing, clearing and forwarding, domestic and international courier services.” Steadily expanding through the market, Berco Express would go on to establish its branches in several main centres of commerce as well as key second tier centres such as Rustenburg and Kimberley. It was then in 2011 that it was acquired by the Dubai listed global organisation, Aramex. Founded in 1982, Aramex today employs more than 12,300 people in 353 locations, across 60 countries. A leading global provider of comprehensive logistics and transportation solutions, the range of services offered by

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BERCOCompany EXPRESS Berco - an Aramex

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RBS Berco Express and RBS have enjoyed a longstanding business relationship spanning more than ten years. Berco’s clients rely on them to deliver their goods on time and accordingly, Berco, relies on RBS to ensure that the appropriate coverage is in place and sound risk management is implemented to avoid interruption to their business processes. This means a meticulous approach to managing their insured items and a quick turnaround time on claims that they may have. Having a strategic insurance business partner like RBS is key to Berco’s on-going success. RBS is one of the largest insurance brokerages in South Africa. They specialise in personal and commercial insurance products including a number of specialist products that they have designed specifically for marine,

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property, financial lines and construction insurance. RBS insures a number of South Africa’s Top 300 companies. Their competitive advantage stems from developing complete, scalable solutions for clients, rather than finding the ‘next best thing’. “It has been our core value since we first opened, says CEO Michael Petersen.” We started this business because we saw a need for custom solutions as every business and individual is different.” RBS’s clients can choose from a large stable of insurance and insurance related products and services, managed by a carefully selected team of 130 people that include a number of industry experts. E.

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Berco - an Aramex Company

An Aramex courier

Aramex includes international and domestic along the way to become what we are now, express delivery, freight forwarding, logistics which is a fully fledged logistics provider, and warehousing, records and information linked to a big global player that itself has management solutions, e-business solutions, the fifth largest worldwide network.” and online shopping services. The expansion of various industry sectors in A founding member, and chair, of the Africa may no longer be breaking news, but it Global Distribution Alliance (GDA), Aramex remains the core driver for growth in the region leads a strong alliance of over 40 express and and is the biggest contributing factor towards logistics providers from around the world, each Berco – an Aramex Company’s on-going success. specialising in their own region and together “In addition to the fact that today you have an ever increasing number of covering the world with the same, unified quality standards companies looking to sell their and technology of Aramex. goods or services in Africa,” “We have certainly come van der Velde states, “you also a very long way from being have a booming mining sector a small family business,” on the continent that is having The year the company an extremely positive impact van der Velde continues, was acquired by Aramex on companies like us.” “transforming ourselves


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Contact us today and put your company in the spotlight! 172 | BE Africa

Where the company also excels is in the e-commerce sector, where Berco – an Aramex Company is recognised as the leading courier company. “We certainly have a strong focus on this part of our business, which continues to gather pace at an extraordinary rate,” van der Velde says. Increasing at a similar rate is the movement within South Africa to outsource warehousing. “We have definitely seen a big rise in demand for this type of service,” van der Velde enthuses, “in fact, we are at a stage today where just as quickly as we get a new warehouse up and running, we have it filled to capacity. The reason for this is very simple and that is that people don’t have a desire to manage their own warehouses. What they do want is to outsource this service and do so to experts who possess

Berco - an Aramex Company

An Aramex delivery vehicle

“The company has always maintained a core belief that in order to prosper one has to have the right people in the right positions� the right software and equipment, who are proficient at maintaining stock controls and who have a proven track record when it comes to high quality pick and pack operations.� While much has changed in the 20-plus years that Berco has been around, it has always maintained a core belief that in order to prosper one has to have the right people in the right positions. This belief is shared in Aramex and the company considers several core factors when

it comes to recruitment, focusing specifically on bringing on board individuals with energy, passion and the desire to stretch their wings. Each year the company makes a concerted effort to recruit a number of individuals fresh from completing honours degrees in logistics. This past year the company brought eight people into the business following a lengthy, near six-month selection process. These eight people, like many before them, were then

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Fork lift driver in the logistics centre

Berco - an Aramex Company given a single mission and that was to take the company’s business model and turn it on its head, by coming up with new ideas, new ways of bringing added value to its customers and ways to improve the company’s own internal operations. “These young graduates,” van der Velde highlights, “come into the business with fresh, innovative ideas and we provide them with the platform and the opportunity to make an impact on how this business works.” Determined to make 2013 as profitable a year as the last several before it, the company is particularly excited about its upcoming launch of a new portal that will allow customers to transact with international e-commerce companies. This solution will allow these people and businesses to shop in places like Dubai, China, the US and Europe, while at the same time allowing companies to bring their goods and services into South Africa in a much more effective way than previously available. June 2013 will also see the company adopt the new name Aramex South Africa. “Something that is very important for us,” van der Velde concludes, “is that in little over two decades we have not only managed to establish a very healthy footprint in South Africa, but now, with Aramex, we have established offices throughout Africa. Our plan now is to continue to build on our previous successes and expand further across Southern Africa in the very near future.” For more information about Berco – an Aramex Company visit:

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Forward thin

Pradeep Kumaar, head of the Commercial division and sa SSF is expanding to meet the needs of its multi-national c

written by: Will Daynes | research by: Paul Bradley

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Super Star Forwarders (SSF)


ales, discusses how corporate clients

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rom its head office in Dar-esSalaam, Tanzania, Super Star Forwarders (SSF), has been an ever present within the transportation sector since its establishment in 1991. Initially a small general cargo haulage business, the company has grown considerably in the 22 years since, to the point where it is today recognised as being a major transport logistics solution provider and among the leading hauliers of containers, equipment, fuel and general cargo in the East, Central and Southern Africa regions. One of the things that sets SSF apart as being leaders in its field is the sheer size of its fleet of trucks that operate primarily within Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and DRC, and are at the heart of the company’s ability to provide customised transport solutions to a host of multi-national companies including Total, Puma Energy and Trafigura. “While our fleet is already large in size,” explains Pradeep Kumaar, head of the commercial division and sales, “it continues to grow, with new additions in the coming weeks set to take it in excess of 180 vehicles.” The fact of the matter, as Kumaar goes on to highlight, is that as market segments throughout the region continue to grow so too does the demands for accomplished, proven vehicle operators. “The market at present is, for a lack of a better word, somewhat unorganised. The increase in demand for vehicles and transport providers has led to an influx of older trucks entering the market. While these companies are attracting some business, the larger corporate organisations are unable to work with them because they

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Super Star Forwarders (SSF)

Specialised Services for Specialised Brands Southern Cross Motors was Launched in August 2005 taking over from the trading name Marunauchi Motors. Southern Cross Motors is the only authorised distributor of Mercedes Benz, Chrysler / Jeep, Mitsubishi Vehicles / Fuso Trucks and GWM Vehicles in Zambia. Tel: +260 211 214778 +260 211 214287/8 Email:

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STAR FORWARDERS SuperSUPER Star Forwarders (SSF) Super Star Forwarders tempor incididunt uttolabore lack the required operational and safety means the company has been witness those et have dolorepromoted magna aliqua. Ut featire text go here... standards. Thattois where we come in, offering core drivers that increased Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, enim ad minim veniam, quis the type of service and quality assurances business opportunities. consectetur adipisicing elit, ullamco that corporate clients demand.” “Fuel, be it oilnostrud or gas,exercitation and the demand for ut aliquip ex sedToday, do eiusmod tempor SSF’s fleet provides transport it is arguably thelaboris biggest nisi motivator of growth incididunt labore et dolorein a number of in this part of the ea world commodo consequat. services ofuttransit goods at present,” Kumaar magna aliqua. Ut enim ad Duisif aute irure dolor in Tanzania’s landlocked neighbouring countries states. “Meanwhile, you look at particular minim veniam, quisKenya, nostrud reprehenderit voluptate including Zambia, Malawi, Uganda, countries, Zambia and DRC for in example, the exercitation ullamco laboris velit esse cillum dolore Rwanda, Burundi and DRC. This presence growth in mining has contributed significantly nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo eu fugiat nulla pariatur. consequat. Duis aute irure Excepteur sint occaecat dolor in reprehenderit in This is a caption this is a caption cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur mollit anim id est laborum. Lorem ipsum dolor sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore est laborum. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris

“One of the things that sets SSF apart as being leaders in its field is the sheer size of its fleet of trucks”

SOUTHERN CROSS MOTORS Southern Cross Motors Limited (formerly Marunouchi Motors) is a motor vehicle distributor that specializes in supply of reliable and affordable vehicles.Southern Cross Motors is the official franchise holder of Mitsubishi, GWM, Mercedes Benz, Freightliner, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Fuso Trucks and Buses in Zambia. We offer comprehensive back up for all our products through the spares department and workshops located on our premises. We have a team of highly competent, qualified and experienced staff. Southern Cross Motors limited has full after sales support facilities with technicians/ mechanics that undergo regular refresher

training courses by brand manufacturers. Our Service workshops are recognized as the market leaders in the country. To meet our customer’s service requirement, we have a mobile service workshop; a fully equipped service van that travels throughout Zambia, providing mobile service. We also have a recovery vehicle van that attends to any of our clients at a moment’s notice. E.

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Scania Tanzania Ltd.

SCANIA VEHICLES Transport solution in Tanzania In Tanzania, the presence of Scania products takes us back to the 1970’s, when 200 units of Scania tipping trucks were brought in the country by the Chinese constructors of the Tazara railway. Soon thereafter the population of Scania vehicles grew significantly and it become necessary to set up a sufficiently dimensioned service company with well equipped workshop and proper spare parts supply. In 1973 Scania Tanzania was established as a wholly owned subsidiary of Scania CV AB with headquarters in Sweden and was made a sole authorized importer and distributor of the full range of Scania products in Tanzania. Scania Tanzania Ltd offers you the widest range of services connected to your Scania product, from financing to fully equipped workshops with trained technicians. The company head office is in Nyerere road Dar es Salaam with branches currently at Arusha, Mwanza and Dar es Salaam and Parts outlets in Tanga, Mbeya, Tabata and Ubungo at the corner of Sam Nujoma road and Morogoro road. Scania operates in some 100 countries and has 37,500 employees. Of these, 3,300 work with research and development – mainly in Sweden, close to the company’s production units. Scania’s corporate purchasing department is supplemented by local procurement offices in Poland, the Czech Republic, the United States and China. Production takes place in Europe and Latin America. In addition, about 20,000 people work in Scania’s independent sales and service organisation. Scania should contribute to sustainable economic growth, for the company, our customers and society at large. As an industry leader in sustainable efforts, Scania works together with governments, customers and organisations to provide reliable energy-efficient products and solutions that increase customer efficiency and contribute to a more sustainable society.

mix telematics A performance-driven strategy for fleet owners in Africa – as proposed by MiX Telematics and Superdoll According to a Frost & Sullivan report on green telematics in May 2009, up to 62% of operating costs can be influenced by the implementation of an effective fleet management system. MiX Telematics – in collaboration with partners like Superdoll in Tanzania – aims to help fleet owners take advantage of this notable opportunity. “Together, we place a priceless offer on the table,” says Steven Sutherland, Sales Director of MiX Telematics (Africa Fleet Solutions). “While MiX Telematics is a global leader in fleet management, driver safety and vehicle tracking solutions, Superdoll is one of the largest trailer manufacturers and automotive product distributors in East, Central and Southern Africa.” By providing customers with real-time information on where their mobile assets are, where they have been and how they are being driven, MiX Telematics enables them to make

informed and timely decisions that affect the performance of their fleets. A huge breakthrough was the launch of Trailer Tracking by MiX Telematics, which enables customers to be fully aware of the locations and activities of their trailers – whether they’re stationary or on the move. “Not being in control of their trailers and the attached high-value or highrisk loads has always presented a huge risk to fleet owners,” says Sutherland. “Whether it’s a bus, truck, van or trailer, we help our customers to improve vehicle utilisation, optimise route planning and efficiently manage service and licencing schedules. Functionality like this helps them to lower their costs and increase vehicle uptime,” he says. MiX Telematics customers also achieve an average saving of 10% on their fuel costs. This is partly done through the identification and correction of poor driving habits like harsh acceleration, over-speeding and excessive idling.

Super Star Forwarders (SSF)

Defensive training in progress

to the rise in demand for transportation and logistics services. Due to its port facilities, Tanzania is very much an export gateway for a number of African countries and as market sectors such as mining grows in our landlocked neighbours we are seeing a great deal of demand for services that can help take a company’s products away to the port in order to be shipped out to overseas customers.” One of the more recent developments to

occur within the company is its move to expand its presence in Zambia. “Our plans for Zambia,” Kumaar says, “represent the next phase of our aim to grow throughout Central Africa. For its part, Zambia knows that in order to grow in needs to be able to export to places like Mozambique and South Africa, and recognises that the best way to do so is through Tanzania. As copper production levels and copper values continue to increase so too does the importance

“SSF has been responsible for introducing some of the industry’s most innovative and important technical solutions to the African market” BE Africa | 187

bank of africa - tanzania BANK OF AFRICA - TANZANIA is delighted and honored to be recognized by Superstar Forwarders as one of their key partners in business and a contributor to their ’ growth. The Bank has played a significant role in Superstar Forwarders’ growth over the last 10 years. This partnership is expected to become even stronger following their regional expansion to Zambia. BANK OF AFRICA - TANZANIA has a suite of financial solutions for medium, large and multinational corporate clients and individuals. The offerings for corporate clients are based on complete corporate banking packages which cover our customers’ needs with much emphasis placed on building healthy and longlasting business relationships that result into potential growth of balance sheets and profitability for the customers. Other corporate offering include Cash and liquidity management services, various credity facilities and international trade finance which enhances trade potentials. The Bank

also delivers highly structured and multi currency syndicated investments deals for enormous projects and Asset financing BANK OF AFRICA – TANZANIA is part of the BANK OF AFRICA Group which has grown significantly over the last 30 years. The group’s strength and big size in the sub-Saharan banking sector is a key characteristic. Our consolidated figures as at December 2011 show a balance sheet size of approximately EUR 3.8 billion and deposits higher than EUR 2.9 billion. BANK OF AFRICA, started from “scratch” in 1982 in Mali, now consists of a network of 20 companies involved in banking and financial activities and is operational in 16 countries in Africa and France. The Group has a strong network of more than 4,500 staff at your service, 450 automated teller machines and approximately 1.2 million bank accounts.

Super Star Forwarders (SSF)

Safety training

of doing business with and in Zambia. This help create a greater degree of transparency, presents an excellent business opportunity on which allows our customers to see just how which we wish to capitalise on.” it is we handle their goods.” In recent times SSF has gradually built itself SSF has made considerable efforts to a reputation for being an industry pioneer. establish responsible standards throughout From its very first few years in existence its operations. These include the scheduling the company had Global Positioning System of allocated 30 minute breaks for all drivers technology placed within all of its vehicles, who have been on the road for four hours in something that was upgraded in 2005 when order to combat the effects of fatigue. The company also has in place a it embarked on a programme of installing on-board maximum driver speed limit computers into its trucks. of 80 kilometres per hour. “T hese on-board Both of these important measures can be monitored compute r s,” Ku m a a r by its on-board computers, enthuses, “provide both meaning that any violation of ourselves and our clients Vehicles that make the rules can be dealt with in with all manner of safety up SSF’s fleet a timely manner. and efficiency reports, and


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Super Star Forwarders (SSF) SSF has been responsible for introducing some of the industry’s most innovative and important technical solutions to the African market. The most recent being the Alcolock system, an ergonomically designed breathalyser that must be breathed into prior to a driver starting the engine of a vehicle. Should an alcohol level over an agreed amount be detected the vehicle will not start. While such devices are widely available in Europe they are still relatively rare in Africa, so it is testament to SSF that it is one of the first companies to bring them to market. In conjunction to its embracing of technology and innovation, SSF also delivers comprehensive in-house training to all of its employees, particularly its drivers, mechanics and engineers. This training is provided by a department headed up by a Swedish expert who has been certified by APTH France, an institute endorsed by a consortium of fuel companies including Total, BP and Shell. As SSF continues to pursue its own expansion targets, Kumaar is clear what the company has to do to retain its leading position within its field. “It is important for us to maintain the highest possible level of service, while at the same time embracing new technologies and innovations. The market around us continues to change on an almost daily basis, yet I am sure that what we have achieved over the years as a business has put us in the best position to grow alongside it.� For more information about Super Star Forwarders (SSF) visit:

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OF TEN The TCRA has overseen revolutions in broadcasting, postal services and telecommunications over the last decade, today’s revolution is a digital one

written by: John O’Hanlon research by: David Brogan

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Aerial view of Dar es Salaam



ccording to the most recent World Bank economic update published late in 2012, “Tanzania stands out as a model of sound economic performance with a growth rate of over six percent in 2011 and 2012.” Tanzania’s economic prospects look positive over the period for 2012-14, the report goes on to say, when its GDP is forecast to grow at a rate of 6.5 to 7 percent. In economic terms Tanzania was a rock of stability in 2011/12, recording solid growth and strengthened fiscal discipline despite increases in the rate of inflation. A rock of stability, a model of sound economic performance, and politically stable to boot – Tanzania’s situation is a tribute to the great governance it has enjoyed since independence and thanks in no small measure to the wisdom of the late Julius Nyerere. Whatever you think of his brand of Ujamaa socialism it has given Tanzania a level of stability that is the envy of its neighbours. It’s true that the country developed slowly and that its growth has largely failed to impact those who make up 80 percent of the country’s poorest people. As the World Bank puts it: “Tanzania’s macroeconomic success has not been felt by the majority of the rural population that is still living in extreme poverty.” But this just serves to emphasise the potential for giving these citizens access to the agricultural commercialisation, diversification and urbanisation that has so far barely started to happen. If you had to choose a single factor driving social and economic change in Tanzania it

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Mobile users in Tanzania are fast adopting mobile money services

might well be communications. Prof John Tanzania so it can further grow its telecoms Nkoma certainly thinks so. A physicist might and realise its full potential. “As a by profession Dr Nkoma spent most of his regulatory body we ensure that licenses are career abroad doing research in the UK and of reasonable duration and regulations are Botswana where he held the chair of physics enforceable. We use the funds we receive at the University of Botswana. However he responsibly – so I tell them to come and invest returned to Tanzania in 2004 to head up in Tanzania’s thriving telecoms industry.” He the newly founded TCRA, successor to two also believes that electronic communications former bodies, the Tanzania Communications of all kinds, now united under his overview, Commission (TCC), which formerly regulated must be allowed to play their full part in telecoms and the Tanzania Broadcasting education and healthcare. If you want to talk to Commission (TBC) which regulated broadcasting. someone in Tanzania, get Professor N koma their mobile number or their believes that developing the e-mail address or use a VOIP telecommunications network connection like Skype. The has been vital to Tanzania’s number of wire connections Tanzania’s current economy and encourages in the country is small, fibre network investors to partner with and has remained largely

7,500 KM

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Half the population of Tanzania is under 15

“I tell them to come and invest in Tanzania’s thriving telecoms industry” constant over the last decade. Compare that to the number of mobile subscribers, which, from fewer than a million ten years ago, has now topped 26 million – that in a country with a total population of 45 million, half of them under 15! The mobile phone serves a different purpose in Africa than in other communities where the bulk of consumers use it for tweeting, chatting and finding a restaurant. Here it is a tool. Financial services are the most talked about, Nkoma agrees, and Vodacom’s wellknown M-Pesa is paralleled by the other

major players. Tigo has Tigo Pesa; AirTel offers airtel money and ZanTel Ezy Pesa. Each of these allows users to transfer without the need for a bank account, which so many people wouldn’t qualify for. The fees are typically low. To transfer up to the equivalent of $600 Ezy Pesa charges just 12c. Tanzanians have been among the fastest adopters of mobile money services in the world, just behind Kenya. In agriculture, a growing number of agricultural information service providers offer technical advice and market information to farmers through

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The Dar es Salaam waterfront

bulk SMS, call centres we have 3G networks therefore data transfer is becoming very or specialised apps. In important.” However when it the health sector, mobile comes to stimulating business phones have opened up growth, the regulator can opportunities for remote leave much of the development diagnosis so that health workers in remote facilities to the ingenuity of the private mobile providers. Larger are supported to treat their Tanzanian mobile capital projects require patients by medical experts subscribers more attention. Tanzania’s further away via telephone. This can potentially improve principal city Dar es Salaam is service delivery in light of understaffing in fortunate in being the landing point for three international fibre optic ‘pipes’, the East African rural health centres. Facilitating these services is just one of the Submarine Cable System (EASSy), Seacom things TCRA is interested in doing. “We have and Teams. To create an inland network seen exponential growth in subscriptions, Tanzania borrowed $170 million from China and that has been paralleled by the growth in and raised a further $80 million to build a services – in the earliest years there were just vast fibre-optic cable network, stretching simple platforms, basically just voice; but now 7,500 kilometres in a ring around the country.



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The fibre-optic network cost $250 million to create

Actually, there are three rings radiating out of Dar es Salaam and managed by the incumbent fixed network operator Tanzania Telecommunications Co Ltd (TTCL) Nkoma explains. The eastern ring links Dar with Arusha and Moshi to the north, and thence to Kenya; the western ring takes the network into Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and the eastern DRC, while a southern ring goes into Malawi and Zambia. “For this part of the world fibre optic is a necessity – it is doing what the copper network did many years ago, and so much more, bringing fast broadband to populations that need it to develop business as well as healthcare and education.” Long term evolution (LTE) will eventually

allow remote access to high speed mobile broadband but it will never challenge fibre optic, he thinks. In any case any 4G spectrum offering is some way ahead. Meanwhile he is pleased with the spectrum management programme that TCRA has been able to deliver to date. Much of TCRA’s effort recently has been in managing a broadcasting revolution – the roll out of digital TV. The analogue signal was switched off in Dar es Salaam on December 31 last year, in Dodoma and Tanga at the end of January, in Mwanza in February followed by Moshi and Arusha in March. The switch-off in Mbeya on April 30 will mark the completion of Phase one digitalisation.

“We have already compiled the postcode database for the whole country” BE Africa | 203

TCRA Phase two will repeat the process as the remaining population centres are equipped with digital transmitters. “The cost of set-top boxes has not been a major problem, as the government waived tax on that equipment,” says Nkoma. An entry level STB costs around 40,000 shillings – about $25’ While most of TCRA’s work is concerned with electronic communications, it regulates postal services as well. Here the big project has been to introduce postcodes throughout the country. Tanzania leads the continent in introducing postcodes: “We have completed the basic planning, and have already compiled the postcode database for the whole country. Now it is just a question of implementation.” TCRA is coming up to its tenth anniversary. Prof Nkoma takes a broad view of its achievements, pointing to its part in ensuring a sound and credible legislative framework for communications platforms in Tanzania, with. This, he emphasises, is vital to attract inward investment. “Investors need to feel protected against unfair competition.” Following the passing of the 2010 Electronic and Postal Communications Act, new regulations published in 2011 brought in an up to date regime for the long term. “We now have a well articulated structural strategic plan which spells out our vision, our mission, strategic goals and core values of the organisation,” he concludes. For more information about TCRA visit:

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The digital revolution is now approaching phase two

Bringing technology to Tanzania Vodacom managing director for Tanzania, Rene Meza, discusses how Vodacom Tanzania is continually evolving its product and service offerings in order to remain the country’s leading cellular network

written by: Will Daynes research by: Dave Brogan

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Vodacom Tanzania

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t was in 1993 that, with the passing of the Communications Act, the government of Tanzania began to plot a course to liberalise the communications sector within the country. In the years since competition has gradually increased in the fields of mobile cellular services, radio paging, internet and data communication services, helping to affirm the communications sector as one of pillars of Tanzania’s social and economic development. Today the title of leading cellular network in the country belongs to Vodacom Tanzania, a subsidiary of the Vodacom Group that was created in the aftermath of Vodacom securing the winning bid to operate a GSM cellular network and provide Public Land Mobile Network (PLMN) services in December 1999. Having gone live on 14 August, 2000, the company had connected 50,000 subscribers with its first four months of operation, before taking this number past the one million mark by the end of September 2004. In January 2007, Vodacom Tanzania reached another milestone when it brought its connected subscriber base up to three million, becoming the first mobile network in the country to do so. Today, it serves more than 10 million customers and counting. As the company has grown, so too has its commitment to supporting the community in which it does business. The Vodacom Foundation has supported over 120 projects in the country in the areas of health, education and social welfare. From building classrooms to spearheading the fight to eradicate fistula, a complication of child birth, in Tanzania by 2016, Vodacom Tanzania is committed to

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Vodacom Tanzania

using its technology to augment government efforts to achieve its Millennium Development Goals so as create a better life for all. “In recent years,” explains Vodacom managing director for Tanzania, Rene Meza, “the telecommunications sector in Tanzania has been driven by a gradual merging of technology. Not long ago, a fixed line telephone was a luxury item enjoyed by the vast minority of people and this too was the

case when it came to mobile phones. Fastforward to today and the mobile phone has completely transcended the action of simply making and receiving calls, allowing users to carry out financial transactions, access the internet, watch movies and so forth.” In order to meet this ever growing list of consumer demands and requirements, Vodacom Tanzania has brought a number of innovations and first to the market. Perhaps

“The Vodacom Foundation has supported over 120 projects in the country in the areas of health, education and social welfare”

Head of Vodacom Foundation, Yessaya Mwakifulefule (right) hands over medicines to Dr. Haruna Mhina, the Chief Medical Officer at Nyamisati Medical Center, Rufiji District, Pwani Region

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Vodacom Tanzania

Salim Mwalim, External Affairs Manager, Vodacom Tanzania (right) speaks to bank customers in Dar es Salaam recently, when Vodacom conducted an M-Pesa education day

the service that stands out the comfort of their homes. Today we have 40,000 active most is its M-PESA money transfer service. agents and 4.5 million active “This is a total payment M-PESA users, while more than 200 organizations accept solution,” Meza continues, bill payment via M-PESA” “which does not require users to have bank accounts. Given the vast majority’s This was an important inability to meet banking Active M-PESA users in the country today consideration when it comes condition in Tanzania, mobile money transfer is a major to Tanzania as it is home to literally millions of people driver of the sector. A youthful who do not operate bank accounts and can and educated population which is constantly barely meet the minimum qualifications seeking to be at par with the rest of the world to open account. With M-PESA, Vodacom demands services that will enable it to get there. Indeed, Vodacom Tanzania sees itself customers can deposit up to TSH 5m/- for free, send and receive money and withdraw today as being much more than simply a cash from any agent in the country. They mobile phone company, transforming itself can also access their bank accounts from over the years into a total solutions provider.



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Vodacom Tanzania Managing Director, Rene Meza, addresses guests during the launch of LTE trial in Dar es Salaam recently

Kelvin Twissa, Head of Brand receives certificate at 20

“Vodacom customers can meet all of their communication requirements with a single service provider” In an effort to cater for ever growing corporate needs in the country, Vodacom recently established its Vodacom Business division, a leading provider of converged communication solutions that are customercentric, technology-driven, cost-effective, and innovative and generate sustainable value. “Vodacom customers,” Meza says, “can now meet all their communication requirements,

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from mobile telephony through internet access to hosted applications, with a single service provider. Through the division, we are able to offer a comprehensive portfolio of access technologies and data solutions to help organisations of all sizes achieve the agility they need to compete successfully in a connected world. Despite the considerable progress that the

Vodacom Tanzania

d Marketing and Communication, 012’s Employer of the Year Awards

Vodacom Tanzania is opening up customer shops across the country in order to serve its customers effectively

company has made in Tanzania, challenges do still remain. Limited spectrum resources, for example, continues to hinder the implementation of certain technologies that require the use of spectrum in specific bands. This often results in delays in, or failure to, implement innovative services or programmes that are seen as very much needed in order to place Tanzania on par with other countries in terms of technology. Nevertheless, Vodacom Tanzania is buoyed by the fact that the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), through various administrative actions, has been able to minimise the impact of this challenge and is continuing in its efforts to optimise the utilisation of spectrum resources.

As he looks to the immediate future, Meza has a pretty good idea of where the industry is heading and the role Vodacom Tanzania has to play. “I believe that we will continue to see a merging of technologies driving market trends and growth, with virtually anything that can be connected, being connected via Vodacom technology. With the distinction between communication services and broadcasting for example becoming increasingly blurred, this is certainly an exciting time for this industry.� For more information about Vodacom Tanzania visit:

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written by: Will Daynes research by: James Boyle


the dots

The mobile broadband network that will not only benefit thousands of people in Tanzania, but potentially millions across Africa

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Rural Netco Ltd.

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Rural Netco Ltd.


echnology today moves at such a fast pace that it is easy for us to sometimes take for granted what we have now compared to what we had only a few years ago. Take for instance the fact, in a world where one can download a whole movie in a matter of minutes, that before the first cable modem was introduced in 1997 it would have taken the average computer user over 28 hours to download the same sized file using a dial-up internet connection. As with most new technologies, mobile broadband was initially something of a luxury item, yet within a matter of years prices had stabilised to make it affordable to the masses in developed economies throughout the world. Nevertheless, while people in these economies have grown to accept super-fast internet speeds as the norm, significant work continues to be undertaken to bring this technology to rural, and underserviced, areas and their populations. Rural Netco is a Tanzanian based communications company, working to implement a high speed mobile broadband access network, on which the other mobile operators in the country can connect in order to provide and affordable end-to-end service in areas that thus far have not been covered by such service. The Rural Netco business model can be best described with the word “wholesaler�. This is because the company is only selling the capacity of its network to the other mobile operators who will be responsible for providing the service to their customers as they do today. This is a new business model, which in all likelihood will go on to attract considerable

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demand from other African countries looking to enable future ICT development in rural and underserviced areas. “While such a concept does exist in several developed nations across the world,” explains managing director, Frode Dyrdal, “the idea of a shared broadband network represents a completely new way of doing business in Africa, and one that has taken a great amount of time and effort to conceive and establish. It is through this hard work and commitment that we are now in a position where we believe we have a business model and a solution that will enable operators to extend the reach of their internet offering much further than had previously been possible on a purely commercial basis.” This hard work has allowed Rural Netco to successfully negotiate the regulatory environment of Tanzania. “From the authority’s point of view,” states chairman, Pekka Kokko, “this is truly a fantastic concept in the sense that by utilising shared infrastructure it will reduce the cost base, both in terms of capital expenditure and operational cost, encountered by the operators and provide them with a more efficient way of doing business. From an operator’s perspective, it will allow them to refocus more of their efforts on their core business

which is providing added value services to their customers, instead of building and managing their own infrastructure in the underserviced areas. This concept is also environmentally friendly because by sharing and/or re-using towers the impact on the environment is significantly reduced.” In bringing this concept to life the company has received a great deal of assistance and support from the Tanzania Communications

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Rural Netco Ltd.

Reg ulator y Aut hor it y Vodacom, the largest in the country. Rural Netco is very (TCRA). “TCRA has been satisfied with the current very forward looking by strongly supporting the idea volume of traffic that is of sharing for many years passing through the network Regions in rural Tanzania and the management of the now,” Kokko says, “and we that Rural Netco now are proud that we are able to company is confident that provides coverage to business continues to develop help bring it to fruition.” Kokko is equally keen to well. Since the plan is for this praise the assistance provided to be a shared network the by Ericsson. “They are very much the know- company is now embarking on a mission to how partner, in that they initially conceived get other operators on board. Negotiations the concept and supplied the technology that are currently at an advanced stage to the makes the network possible. Their assistance extent that the company has been carrying throughout our existence has been nothing out a series of interconnection tests while also short of invaluable.” discussing various commercial agreements. Thus far the company has launched “From a technical point of view,” Dyrdal commercially with one operator, that being continues, “what we are focusing on is


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Rural Netco Ltd. providing consistently high quality broadband coverage in order to create the best possible end user experience. By utilising shared, existing infrastructure between operators we hope to provide coverage to people based in locations where it would previously have been unobtainable or uneconomical. That is the core objective of our work, generating greater levels of service that what currently exists in these rural or underserviced areas.” The short-term target for Rural Netco, particularly over the course of the next 12 months, is to roll out, and in some cases tighten up, its shared broadband network concept throughout the regions of Tanzania in which it is present. In doing so it aims to double its network in terms of size in order to provide more service opportunities for the operators, which will inevitably result in greater broadband access to subscribers. “Rather than being exclusively tailored for use within Tanzania,” Kokko concludes, “we view this as being very much a universally applicable concept and one that will hopefully go on to fit into a number of different countries throughout Africa that possess similar geographical and demographic features, or indeed shortcomings that need to be remedied. It is an idea that has continued to meet our initial goals and that means having the ability to save everybody money in the long run and ultimately provide cheaper internet access, and more value added services, to the masses.” For more information about Rural Netco Ltd. visit:

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A gateway to the world Technical Support Service Manager for International Business Development, Feisal Aden Darar discusses the progress Djibouti Telecom has made in becoming a telecommunications gateway to the rest of the world

written by: Will Daynes research by: James Boyle

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Djibouti Telecom

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Djibouti Telecom


ver the course of the last 18 months,” explains Technical Support Service Manager for International Business Development, Feisal Aden Darar, “we have been focusing on local and international trends to materialise our core goals. We have improved our Internet transit solutions by deploying Level 3 PoP, a world class Tier 1 and Saudi Telecommunication Company’s POP, with strong presence in the Middle East. In addition we have upgraded our existing Telecom Italia Sparkle node in terms of capacity and diversity. “As a result of our gradual improvement we have 20 operators from 13 countries in East Africa that are currently transiting through the IP nodes in Djibouti with live traffic volumes of about 10 Gbps. In addition to all these PoPs we have developed Djibouti Telecom‘s Pop that is sourced not only from all these IP transit providers but also from FT and Etisalat. With the combination of these advantages we can deliver premium service over diverse and redundant networks. Djibouti Telecom puts customer satisfaction first by anticipating its need and targeting beyond his expectation. Furthermore, since 2012 we also serve as a restoration path to East African operators during outages due to cables cut or maintenance.” Founded in 1999, Djibouti Telecom’s primary target is to establish itself as a regional hub responsible for delivering a complete portfolio of voice, data/IP and capacity services over state-of-the-art network infrastructure that reaches out to eastern and southern Africa, the Middle East and Europe. This drive for

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The General Manager at an international forum

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international expansion comes on top of the fact that Djibouti Telecom remains the sole provider of telecommunications services in its home country. Djibouti Telecom is recognised as being the international carrier with the strongest presence in eastern Africa. The company’s customer base consists of telecommunications service providers and multinational organisations including international carriers, mobile and fixed telephony operators, internet service providers and major government and private sector clients. At present the company has a total of five submarine cables running into the East of Africa and, as Feisal goes on to explain, plans are afoot for more infrastructure to be added in the very near future. “We are looking at introducing two additional cables, which we hope to have up and operational by the end of 2014. The presence of these new cables will further provide us with the ability to deliver to our customers the services that they require and to do so on a reliable basis, while also providing optimum availability.” The introduction of the newest cables will further cement Djibouti Telecom as having the highest number in East Africa. They also represent the company’s continued progress towards becoming a gateway from East Africa to the rest of the world. “With the help of our geographical position and intercontinental submarine cable investments,” Feisal says, “we have become the optimum gateway to Europe and Asia. We have a direct connectivity with almost 50 countries from Asia, Europe, Africa, New Zealand and Australia through our regional

Djibouti Telecom

Technical staff

and international infrastructures. Apart from the five international cables landing in Djibouti, two more are expected to be live by the last quarter of 2014, AAE1 and SMW-5. These upcoming cables will be equipped with latest technology and will further improve our diversity and redundancy.” Djibouti is an ideal location for satellite service given the low average rainfall. The Djibouti Telecom Teleport can be found within a five kilometre radius of the country’s US

Army Base, the US Embassy and the DjiboutiAmbouli International airport. Located on Djibouti Telecom’s fiber network the Djibouti fiber system also allows for connectivity to four submarine cable systems, EASSy, SEAME-WE 3, EIG and SEACOM. Both Basic IP connectivity as well as international backhaul services are available from the teleport, while all critical systems are supported by redundant UPS power. The teleport also has redundant generators

“With the help of our geographical position and submarine cable investments, we have become the optimum gateway to Europe and Asia” BE Africa | 227

in the case of power outages. Additionally, an iDirect Chassis has been installed at the teleport and is capable of providing services on both existing antennas. The Teleport also offers both managed and hosting services, including space for hosting line cards. While the company’s own infrastructure has continued to grow and improve, the same cannot be said for several other countries in the East African region and this poses one of the biggest challenges to Djibouti Telecom. Take Djibouti’s neighbour Somalia for example. While it hugs a vast swath of coastline the country still lacks access to submarine cables, primarily due to the on-going political instability. To overcome this issue the company has commenced plans to provide terrestrial interconnectivity to the country, much like it does to landlocked neighbours such as Ethiopia. While terrestrial interconnectivity is much more susceptible to damage or incidents of sabotage, Djibouti Telecom has proven in Ethiopia that it is able to provide a stable service. Furthermore it hopes, in the near future, to roll out a similar offering to South Sudan. Back in December 2012, Djibouti Telecom successfully launched a new 3.5G mobile service in Djibouti, thus augmenting its existing 2G GSM and 2.5G EDGE platforms.

Going live on 27 December 2012, the new 3G+ network offers subscribers access to high speed mobile broadband, mobile as well as voice and SMS/MMS services. Djibouti Telecoms customers are also now able to access broadband on a range of devices including mobile phones, tablets and laptops. From an international perspective the

“Djibouti Telecom is recognised as being the international carrier with the strongest presence in eastern Africa” 228 | BE Africa

Djibouti Telecom

Djibouti Telecom’s Evatis sales agency

company has also recently launched a new tier-three data centre in East Africa to provide direct access to its undersea cable systems. The Djibouti Data Centre (DDC) offers undersea cable head access and backhaul, interconnection, collocation and internet access and is located just metres from the company’s new cable landing station. The DDC offers international telecommunications carriers and content delivery network providers neutral collocation facilities, internet exchange and other connectivity services. “It is part of our long term vision for the DDC,” Feisal continues, “to create a location from which we can provide all of the core services that our customers

require, thus making it a gateway to providing international services across Africa and into Asia and Europe. In doing so we also want to create a system that allows these customers to reduce their own costs while still ensuring the diversity and resiliency of what we provide.” Compared to its neighbours, Djibouti is a relatively small country with limited natural resources and a population of around one million people. As such national companies like Djibouti Telecom have grown up with a determination to help develop an economy that is funded almost exclusively by its port activities and telecommunications capabilities. This obligation, if you will, pushes companies like Djibouti Telecom

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to devise better services with the sole aim of attracting more customers to take advantage of the infrastructure that the country has to offer. Demand for Djibouti Telecom’s services continues to increase rapidly and this demand is the core influence behind its push to expand and deploy the amount of resources that are required to cater for the needs of its customers.

“In Ethiopia for instance,” Feisal enthuses, “we expect to experience an exponential demand for the sort of services that we provide as the country grows and becomes more dependent on the services it derives from surrounding countries like Sudan, Kenya and Djibouti. It is a country that is very much looking to diversify its interconnectivity and to do so it will require the assistance of a provider who can provide the most reliable

“Our investment in international infrastructure has played a major role in our success to date”

Backbone network being laid

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Djibouti Telecom

Entry of submarine cable

and readily available service and that can drive the most capacity. Not only do we believe that we can provide this, but we are also looking to further develop our premium offerings for this very purpose.” As the continent of Africa continues to develop and more and more nations begin to realise their social and economic potential it stands to reason that an industry as critical as telecommunications will only becoming more competitive in the years to come. “Our investment in international infrastructure has played a major role in our success to date,” Feisal highlights. “Going forward our customers will have even more options when it comes to diversity and restoration from Djibouti and that enables us to be an ideal gateway for East African countries.”

With that in mind Feisal is aware of what Djibouti Telecom has to do during this time period. “What is going to be fundamental for us going forward is our ability to meet both new and growing trends in the market by providing premium quality services. What we know about our customers is that they are most concerned about quality, availability and cost, and the way we succeed where others do not is by remaining the best provider of these qualities in the marketplace.” For more information about Djibouti Telecom visit:

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Change is in the air

Malichaba Lekhoaba explains how Harvest FM has helped achieve social freedom by exposing corruption, forging a strong working relationship with the incoming government and fighting for local communities

written by: gay sutton research by: james boyle

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Harvest FM

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Malichaba Lekhoaba broadcasting to the nation

Harvest FM


arvest FM has been broadcasting understanding that not only would the topical to the citizens of Lesotho content attract increased advertising revenue since May 2003. Registered in but that the station could have an important November 2002 as a charity by role to play in bringing political and social the current station manager issues to the public, and informing them. Malichaba Lekhoaba, Harvest broadcasts It was a brave move, and one that has had 24 hours a day producing a mixture of a formative effect on the country’s political spiritual and current affairs programmes landscape. At the time, Lesotho was going that rigorously tackle the nation’s leading through a period of what Lekhoaba describes social and political issues. Since 2007 as political instability. “We had really hard Harvest has earned international respect talk on some of these programmes, much of for its courage in daring to highlight and it about political corruption,” she explained. eradicate corruption in all its forms, and has As a result of this new content the received the prestigious PMR Africa award listenership increased dramatically and for best radio station three advertising revenue rose years running. correspondingly, but the “We have based the radio relationship with Government station on Christian principles,” and the national regulator, Lekhoaba explained, “and our Lesotho Communications Authority (LCA), deteriorated vision for Harvest is to inform Year Harvest FM people about the Christian rapidly. “The ruling party at began broadcasting that time was not comfortable faith, and their rights as citizens of this country.” with what we said about The station currently employs 19 salaried them, and they complained to the LCA.” staff, a mixture of journalists, presenters and The station was repeatedly shut down for a administrative workers. However, the road to few days in 2007, and then in 2008 Harvest such stability and success has not been easy. was suspended for a 12 month period. It was “We have been through some very difficult a catastrophic event. Advertising revenue, periods,” Lekhoaba continued. Launching the the station’s only source of income, ceased station was a triumph of determination and abruptly. Staff had to be sent home without dedication in itself. With no funding to cover pay. However the suspension was reduced expenses, she had to rely on the services of to 3 months on the understanding that the a group of volunteers to run the station, and station would not commit similar ‘offences’ worked to build up a portfolio of advertisers within the 12 month period. “Effectively we were closed for three to cover running costs. In 2007, following a review of the station’s months and during that time we lost our financial performance, she began to introduce listeners and advertisers. But that didn’t stop a series of current affairs programmes, us,” Lekhoaba asserted. “When we came


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back on air we worked very hard to win back our listenership and our advertisers, and we made it through.” Between 2009 and early this year Harvest has had a difficult tightrope to walk, bringing out programmes that highlighted and discussed important social and political issues, and yet did so in such a way that did not incur suspension. The station’s editorial policy demands that all stories are balanced, and yet there was such a climate of fear that the public were afraid to express opinions about Government, and the ruling party refused to provide information to journalists or the public. Throughout this period the Government consistently refused permission for Harvest

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to place its transmitters in the national network of transmission towers and as a result the programmes only reached people in the capital and a few outlying areas. However, the impact of those hard hitting programmes has been enormous. In the general election in early 2012 the old government was overturned. “And it was in the capital, where people were informed about the corruption, that the ruling party lost the election,” she said. In the regions – outside Harvest’s transmission footprint the ruling party continued to receive high numbers of votes. Today, the old regime has been replaced by a new one that is not only more media savvy but is running the country differently. Much

Harvest FM

“Today, the old regime has been replaced by a new one that is not only more media savvy but is running the country differently” has changed for Harvest. “We are able to talk freely about Government officials, and when we find evidence of corruption their doors are open for discussion,” Lekhoaba said. A great example of this is Harvest’s outreach programme, where journalists and presenters meet with communities and interview the public on local issues. “We tried this under the previous Government but people were too scared to talk. Now they are free to say what they want. And in many cases Government officials listen to the programme, respond on air and take action.” The relationship with LCA, which is no longer under political pressure to restrain Harvest, has also improved dramatically and is now fair and positive. “We do get complaints,” Lekhoaba admitted, although this is bound to happen with any media organisation that sets out to challenge the standards and performance of those in power. “But the complaints no longer come from LCA, they come through lawyers.” One of Harvest’s big challenges now is to extend its transmission footprint across the entire country, and it is currently in talks with Government to use the national transmission network. Lekhoaba also aims to establish an independent Harvest TV station and is in the process of applying for a licence.

The organisation continues to be run as a charity and all profits are reinvested into the community. Harvest has a range of ongoing community support programmes including sponsoring vulnerable children and orphans through high school. The latest community campaign has been to examine the management and financing of orphanages, to root out corruption and the misuse of funds. “We don’t want government to close these homes,” she pointed out. “We want to encourage them to run the homes properly and fairly. At the moment, it’s the children who are suffering.” Much has changed this year for Harvest. Journalists can now do their job freely, the relationship with Government and LCA is very good, and the station is no longer under threat. But Lekhoaba is aware that with this freedom comes great responsibility. “Now we have the freedom, we must ensure that we are always improving the way we work. We must continue doing our job without favour, and support the people of this country according to our Christian principles.” For more information about Harvest FM contact:

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Changing the for better Director General of ZICTA, Margaret K ChalweMudenda discusses the role the Authority has played during this exciting period of change

written by: Will Daynes research by: David Brogan

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t was in 1994 that the Telecommunications Act gave rise to what was at the time dubbed the Communications Authority of Zambia. While it was mandated to regulate and monitor almost every aspect of the country’s telecommunication sector, the Authority was somewhat hampered by the restrictiveness of the Telecommunications Act, which did not give it the power to regulate competition amongst telecoms operators, provide cyber security regulations or even regulate the postal sector. This situation would remain the same until 2009, when the passing of three Acts, the Postal Services, the Electronic Communications and Transactions (ECT) and the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Act numbers 22, 21 and 15 of 2009 respectively, brought about monumental changes to the sector as whole. The events of 2009 also saw the Communications Authority of Zambia renamed the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA). “The fundamental idea behind the passing of the three Acts in 2009, and the rebranding of ZICTA,” explains Director General, Margaret K Chalwe-Mudenda, “was to broaden the Authority’s scope of work to encompass all elements of ICT, ECT and the postal sector.” Today, ZICTA’s strategic goals include promoting competition within the market, being the catalyst for delivering universal access, being the source of protection for consumers, ensuring that operators, and the nation at large, efficiently manage scarce resources and that ZICTA itself

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Realtime Zambia pioneered national point to point fibre connectivity and has consequently become the preferred optic fibre communications provider for financial and other corporate entities in Zambia.

Plot 1234 Kalembwe Close (Off Great East Road) / Rhodespark P.O.Box 38688 / Lusaka, Zambia Tel: +260-211-255037/8 Fax: +260-211-254202


Zambia’s internet penetration is in a stage of steady growth

continues to enhance its developments that mean that as of today the country own capacity to deliver what it is mandated to do. has three mobile operators, “As a result of the Acts that one fixed-line service were passed in 2009, and the provide and approximately Mobile penetration subsequent efforts that have 18 registered Internet Service rate in Zambia been made by those within Providers (ISP’s) operating ZICTA,” Chalwe-Mudenda within its borders. continues, “what we are “Our most recent mobile in 2013 is a more empowered body that data,” Chalwe-Mudenda states, “suggest possesses greater powers to regulate the that there are over ten million registered sector, to penalise and prosecute those that SIM cards today in Zambia, a figure which abuse their positions and monopoly power, we believe equates to a mobile penetration and to negotiate, mentor and arbitrate.” rate of around 55 percent in a country of When the Authority began life back in almost 13.5 million people. Nevertheless, 1994, it is estimated that there were less than with internet penetration still as low as 100,000 mobile and telephone subscribers two percent, the country is clearly still very present in Zambia. The near two decades that much in a phase of gradual growth.” followed have played host to a myriad of major One of ZICTA’s most important undertakings


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came in 2010 when it released an extensive Cost of Service Study, the results of which brought about a landmark shift in how tariffs were regulated in Zambia. “In the lead up to 2010,” Chalwe-Mudenda says, “we brought in an independent consultant to conduct a highly detailed study focusing on the tariff rates that operators were charging consumers for voice services for the telecommunications market as a whole.” What this consultant found was a clear trend that saw operators setting prices at a much higher rate than they could rightly justify. “Based on the results we received,” Chalwe-Mudenda reveals, “we were able to use the powers we have as set in law to introduce a proposed range of pricing options for the operators, while also installing a price cap which no tariff can exceed.” The result of these actions soon became clear, with the cost of making a call dropping dramatically. This in turn meant that owning a cell-phone was no longer seen as a luxury afforded only by the privileged few. Perhaps just as importantly it also helped spur real competition in the marketplace with rival operators battling to offer the cheapest call rates and the most attractive promotions to entice subscribers. In addition to discussing the work of

ZICTA, Chalwe-Mudenda also takes the time to highlight the importance of the Authority’s membership status with The Communications Regulators’ Association of Southern Africa (CRASA). “The creation of CRASA really helped us as regulators by giving us a forum in which we could come together and share common experiences and resolve issues such as cross border roaming. We see CRASA as being a neat family of industry bodies

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A farmer on the phone

Satellite dish in a remote village

who are working to remove on is developing a scenario the barriers between where the ICT industry can reach a point where it is one countries and make things of the top contributors to this better for the region as a whole from a communications country’s GDP and a leading perspective.” source of employment, To a great many people, technological progress and Registered SIM cards innovation. While there will Africa represents the next today in Zambia always be things that we can’t frontier for business and predict, I can personally see economic prosperity and a lot of progress being made this is a statement that Chalwe-Mudenda very much agrees with. here and it makes me excited that there are “The continent of Africa to this day retains a lots of good things to come in the future.” great deal of unexploited value and potential, potential that we can capitalise on if we all For more information about work together to ensure that no sector or ZICTA visit: regulator is left behind. When it comes to Zambia specifically, what we are working



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Grafton Everest


DIAMONDS South Africa’s leading manufacturer of lounge suites Grafton Everest innovates to grow and is currently planning to capture the increasing demand for fine furniture in the vibrant economies in other parts of the continent

written by: John O’Hanlon research by: David Brogen

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Grafton Everest


urban based Grafton Everest was formed in 1953 when two South African furniture brands – Grafton Art Furnishers and Everest Upholsterers merged. That means that Grafton Everest is celebrating its diamond jubilee this year, and it is definitely not failing to make the most of its opportunity. There is a lot to celebrate. Make no mistake, the market for luxury furniture has been in decline lately, not just in South Africa but world wide. “It has been tough, and it is getting tougher,” says Marketing Executive Jeff Fivelman. “We have a lot of competition from China, and our consumers are as much affected by the global recession as anywhere else in the world.” But Grafton Everest has countered the negative trends by stepping up its core qualities of design and quality manufacture, together with its understanding of the needs of its customer base, to maintain sales volumes and keep its 600-strong workforce busy. Grafton Everest belongs to the Bravo Group, South Africa’s largest bedding and furniture manufacturer and supplier with eight factories and household names like Slumberland, Sealy, the distribution company Global Sourcing and fellow furniture brands Alpine Lounge and Gommagomma. However Grafton Everest is probably the best known of all the sofa or lounge suite brands in the country, says Fivelman. Having recently restructured its retail showroom in Durban, this jubilee year is a good time to be drawing attention to the products. The way is being prepared with an event

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GRAFTON Everest EVEREST Grafton Grafton text place to go elit, sed do eiusmod tempor that wouldfeature have taken incididunt ut labore et dolore anyway, the ipsum annual trade here....Lorem dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing magna aliqua. Ut enim ad show at its Johannesburg elit, sed do eiusmod tempor minim veniam, quis nostrud showroom. It’s a bit like incididunt ut labore exercitation ullamco laboris the unveiling of etadolore new magna aliqua. Ut enim ad nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo collection by a Paris fashion minim veniam, quis week nostrud consequat. Duis aute irure house. In the third of exercitationGrafton ullamcoEverest laboris February dolor in reprehenderit in nisi ut aliquip ex eaits commodo together with sister voluptate velit esse cillum consequat. Alpine Duis aute irure company Lounge dolore eu fugiat nulla dolor in reprehenderit in welcomed dealers from pariatur. Excepteur sint voluptate velit esse cillum across southern Africa to This is a caption this is a caption occaecat cupidatat non preview 2013 ranges. dolore their eu fugiat nulla proident, sunt in culpa qui pariatur. cupidatat officia deserunt id est laborum. “We put a Excepteur lot of effortsint intooccaecat the show,” he says. promotions we mollit have anim planned through to non proident, sunt injubilee culpayear qui we officia Lorem dolor sit amet, consectetur “And in the diamond are the endipsum of July.” deserunt mollit anim id est into laborum. Lorem adipisicing The mostelit, striking of these is entirely sed do eiusmod tempor also putting a lot of effort the special ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

TEXSTYLES Douglas Bornman first entered the fabric business in 1985 when he joined a textile weaving company in Johannesburg, a company whose aim was to be the office/ contract furnishing specifier of choice. The people Douglas worked with were office/ contract manufacturers, as well as the design teams at corporate companies such as the banking groups, mining houses and cinema groups. During his time with the company it was successful in assisting in developing the corporate images of companies such as Standard Bank, the ABSA Banking Group and many others. In 1998 Douglas joined Court Fabrics, which specialised in the weaving and supply of domestic and home furnishing fabrics, as well as fabrics for the automotive manufacturers

in South Africa. In 2005 he joined forces with Raffles Agencies, which were manufacturer’s representatives, and became an agent, sourcing fabrics from Europe and China and Genuine Leather from local South African Tanneries, for his customers. Two years ago, Douglas’ partner Peter decided to retire from the textile business and “TEXSTYLES IMPORT & EXPORT” was born. Over the intervening years Douglas and his company have travelled extensively to European as well as Chinese Trade fairs to source the latest ranges for our markets in Southern Africa, appearing at Chinese fairs and textile factories twice a year. E.

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Hanni fine quality leathers since 1724 We at Hannitan are proud to be associated with Grafton and would like to congratulate them on reaching their 60th Anniversary

Hannitan Leather, under the management of Rudolf Hanni, has been hailed by many as

one of the cleanest and efficient tanneries in the world. Starting from very humble beginnings Hannitan has expanded into the largest supplier of furniture leather in South Africa, producing an average of 1,200 hides daily. The tannery produces a wide variety of upholstery leathers including, aniline leathers, semi-aniline, full grain, corrected grain, buffed leathers and oil pull-ups in a huge selection of colours. Hannitan manufactures a HANNI range of leather goods including travel bags, hand bags, leather cushions, leather folders and slippers to various outlets . It also offers a customized service manufacturing for various other well known labels and brands. All products are individually cut by hand to ensure the finest quality and craftsmanship.Hannitan supplies its own range of leather care products including waxes, silicones and hydrophobic products.

Tel: +27 (0)11 817 2150 | Fax: +27 (0)11 817 5259 | Email:

Grafton Everest

Machinist at work

appropriate for a company celebrating TV – everywhere that will reach the loyal its 60th birthday in a country built on Grafton Everest customer base in fact. its diamond mines. “We are giving away If that doesn’t catch their attention maybe diamond jewellery to the tune of about nothing will, but there are plenty of other 160,000 Rand, or nearly $20,000, to advertising initiatives going on to make sure customers. Anyone purchasing one of the company’s market share doesn’t slip in these difficult times. “We our lounge suites will are finding that the best be entered into a draw way to stimulate sales is to win some fantastic with promotion and more diamond jewellery.” It’s a advertising: it costs money supercampaign, publicised but it’s worth it.” But these across the retail trade, in Value of 2013 diamond customers are discerning. women’s and household promotion The promotions have to be magazines as well as on


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Care is taken when cutting the materials

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backed up with innovation, so at a time when some brands are retrenching Grafton Everest customers will notice a lot of exciting new product designs, fresh colours and fabrics, and value added through technology. “We are very much in a fashion industry,” he admits. In better market conditions manufacturers can perhaps be satisfied with static ranges but when times are hard the winners will be the ones who can really catch the eye of the consumer. Grafton Everest’s export market died about ten years ago when the Rand became a stronger international currency. In recent years the challenge has come from the east. Gone are the days when Chinese furniture was either entry-level or, frankly, poor quality. But recently the Rand has weakened against the dollar, bringing down the gap between home made and imported furniture. Customers are again willing to pay a little more to access the satisfaction of owning a South African product backed by strong and dependable warranties. And the younger, upwardly mobile customers whose lives are ‘connected’ can find Grafton Everest on Twitter or Facebook. “Social Media are on the up here,” he says. “And as well as in the magazines, we are doing regular advertising on TV and radio.” TV being an expensive medium, Grafton Everest ads tend to be short, frequent, shortterm campaigns put out in off-peak time. Radio is a new departure. A 30-second plug highlight’s Grafton Everest’s recent move from its former premises in central Durban to a new 1,200 square metre showroom in Umhlanga, a pleasant beachside suburb only 15 minutes

Grafton Everest

Work begins on upholstering the suite

away by car but a lot more accessible and with much better car parking. Here customers can browse 40 different lounge settings with trained consultants to hand, something they could never do at a dealership, so the dealers send their customers to Umhlanga to make their choice before placing an order. It so happens that the building is shared with East Coast Radio, ‘Durban’s No 1’ so Fivelman and

his team decided this would be a great way to tell people the move had happened. The growth of the middle class in South Africa has been exponential. Trusted brands have benefited accordingly – BMW or Audi for the car, and Grafton Everest for the furniture! The older traditional designs incorporating ‘show wood’ are still popular among older buyers but more and more people want

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Grafton Everest

The Grafton Everest factory floor

contemporary sofas with a the way by using leather on sleek European look to them. the seats and backs and using Another trend is that matching matching PVC on the low suites are becoming slightly wear areas: it is just another less sought after as customers way to make leather furniture Area of new Umhlanga opt for individual pieces and more affordable, he says. showroom express their individual taste At the same time, Fivelman with a mix of styles. would like Grafton Everest to To support that they need a good range pioneer a resurgence in the use of fabrics, of coverings. Leather, he says, is extremely bringing in more vibrant colours like turquoise popular, accounting for 60 percent of today’s and red. He keeps a close watch on what is sales whereas it five years ago that would done in the UK, Europe and the USA and is have been 40 percent. “Again, leather is an a little weary of the drab monochromes that aspirational choice, and its cost has come are so common. It is time to brighten up the down with the introduction of ‘leather whole scene he says. uppers’. The up-market car industry has led The biggest growth market in recent years

1,200 M2

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Constructing a motion furniture frame

“Two years ago motion furniture accounted for less than ten percent of our business: now it accounts for more than 30 percent” has been in so called ‘motion furniture’, which when you think about it has revolutionised the business. More and more people want lounge furniture that will adopt different positions, recline, and give leg support as they watch TV. “Two years ago motion furniture accounted for less than ten percent of our business: now it accounts for more than 30 percent, and it is still rising.” Individual chairs and entire suites are now designed with reclining actions – you

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could have five separate actions in a single three-piece suite. That has big implications for manufacturing. Making furniture use to call for joinery and upholstery skills: now it needs mechanical and electronic know how to assemble and fit the mechanisms and controls. “It takes a lot longer in the production facility to assemble a suite with recliners – twice as long,” he says.” That comes at a cost, as more labour has to

Grafton Everest

CAD drawing of a corner suite

be brought in to keep throughput up. The Grafton Everest factory moved to an area of Umhlanga called Canelands as long ago as 1986. It now covers 24,000 square metres – it is not expanding at present but the company is proud to have been able to keep it going through the hard times without layoffs or short time working. Over the last three years it has invested in automation including CNC laser leather cutting machinery and even automated fabric cutters to minimise waste. “We have brought in technology where it is appropriate because we sell time,” says Jeff Fivelman. Any spare capacity at Canelands could be mopped up if the company’s plans to expand into new African markets are successful. It already sells well in neighbouring countries, particularly Namibia and Botswana, where

Finishing a leather suite

employment levels are high. Zambia and Zimbabwe are important markets too as is Angola where the Bravo Group has formed a joint venture with a local partner to capture the demand created by that country’s new oil wealth and its large expatriate population. He would love the chance to sell Grafton Everest furniture in the growing economies of east and central Africa too and is just looking for the right partner – a like-minded, go-ahead local business that understands the quality furniture trade and the fundamentals of distribution and import. For more information about Grafton Everest visit:

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Models of development As Zimbabwe emerges from a challenging decade Tarcon Private Limited is finding inventive ways to keep its business, and the country’s economy, in growth

written by: John O’Hanlon research by: Abi Abagun

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Tarcon Africa

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Tarcon Grader at work at Ngezi Mine

Tarcon Africa


arcon is a private Hararebased company with operations throughout southern Africa, active in Mozambique and Zambia as well as its home market in Zimbabwe. It employs over 800 people. Although the company formally began operations in its present form in 2001, its foundations go back to 1981 and Tarcon was the result of the merger of a number of earthmoving, plant hire and later, civil contracting companies. Over the years Tarcon has built an impressive portfolio of civil engineering projects in the region including many roads, dams, sewers, water reticulation systems and bridges. A separate division focuses on mining activities. “We do not own mines, but we have been very successful in contract mining,” says CEO Lawrence Gudo. “We offer specialised services to the mining companies. Between 2009 and 2012, the mining sector has been a very significant contributor to Zimbabwe’s GDP accounting for around 17 percent, with sector-average growth of 30 percent over the period.” The mining division generates around 20 percent of Tarcon’s annual turnover, he adds. The work Tarcon does for mining major mining houses, is typified by its long-standing engagement with Rio Tinto, which contracts out the heavy earth works at its Murowa diamond mine located near Zvishavane in South Central Zimbabwe. “Tarcon does a lot of work for RT particularly where the scope of work involves excavation, loading and hauling,” Gudo explains. The company has been involved since 2004. Tarcon’s

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Tarcon Africa input includes extraction BELL PTA of kimberlite, removing Since the mid 1980’s, TARCON Africa have been associated overburden, and hauling the with the ‘yellow metal’ business, initially in the ‘plantore and waste from the pits. hire’ sector, then diversifying into ‘civil engineering’ and In addition it maintains access ‘contract mining’. roads, dumps, access ramps, TARCON’s fleet of equipment grew steadily with their haul roads, ore stockpiles successes throughout the Southern African region undertaking major projects in Mozambique, Zambia and and waste dumps. Since the Zimbabwe. BELL Equipment’s ‘regional support network’ resource has the potential to set the platform in the formation of BELL equipment being be expanded to six or seven the backbone of their fleet. Today TARCON Africa currently times its current production operates 38 units, supplied and serviced by BELL PTA. The level, this is work that could ‘partnership’ continues to grow today. go on for a very long time. BELL PTA congratulates TARCON Africa for their Tarcon has just completed ‘excellence in Africa’. its most recent infrastructure and roads project for platinum miner Zimplats at its mine on the Zimbabwean Great Dyke approximately 150 kilometres south-west of Harare. Currently it is involved in putting up infrastructure for the mine housing project at Anglo American’s Unki mine, also on the Great Dyke. However the activity that has underpinned Tarcon throughout its life, and is certain to do so in the future, is infrastructure development. Apart from the need for publicly funded roads, dams, water pipelines and reticulation and sewerage infrastructure in central southern Africa, these services are greatly demanded

$450 million Estimated FDI in Zimbabwe in 2012 Tarcon workers in front of a Reclaimer

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by the mining sector as these tend to form fully fledged communities in the proximity of their operations, he points out. Mining projects always need some level of access infrastructure and in remote areas, this could be considerable. Civil roads account for 50 percent of Tarcon’s turnover, though this is a challenging and highly competitive market. The region is in dire need of road, water and energy infrastructure, says Lawrence Gudo. “Like Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique provide huge opportunities because historically these countries have lagged behind in implementing developmental projects due to political and economic reasons.” The struggles of these economies, Zimbabwe’s in particular, are well documented. At this moment there’s pressure to find ways to upgrade road networks as fast as possible in order to cater for industry and social developmental demands. Infrastructure plays a critical role in attracting investor into the market: it allows easy of access and movement of products. Zambia’s Road Development Agency recently launched its Link Zambia 8000 road project, also known as the Accelerated National Roads Construction Programme. A total of 8,201 kilometres of roads will be built or upgraded over a period of five years.

“Zambia has been on a fast growth path,” comments Gudo. Its $750 million euro bond was oversubscribed signifying indications of investor trust on the economy. This presents exciting opportunities.” Under his leadership, however, Tarcon has adopted a cautious policy, not wanting to get its fingers burnt by taking on every opportunity. “We are trying to reorganise, and create a very lean structure that is cost

“We are trying to reorganise, and create a very lean structure that is cost conscious and operationally viable for us” 266 | BE Africa

Tarcon Africa

Island dam core trench excavation

conscious and operationally But on the positive side, viable for us. We are focusing the lean years did create on improving customer major opportunities, he experience through service continues. “Now that the country is coming out of the delivery enhancement as Of Tarcon’s turnover woods major projects are we continue to build the comes from the getting unlocked and soon right levels of capacity.” mining sector opportunities to revamp Zimbabwe in particular and build our roads,dams, has been a very difficult water facilities among others environment to sustain businesses over the last ten years, given the will open up.” But the greatest challenge still hyperinflationary conditions. Companies remains that of funding. An essential part of that survived had resources and ingenuity any new infrastructure project is how it will to sustain them, otherwise many fell by the be financed. The way forward, he suggests wayside. “Unfortunately our government did is the PPP model, where the financial risk is not have the financial muscle and resources shared between the public and private sector. to undertake major public infrastructure This model works well for road construction projects over that period.” as exemplified by a recent domestic highway


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project the government has partnered the private sector (local and foreign) to fund and implement road rehabilitation projects such as the Plumtree-Harare-Mutare Highway. Would the road users accept having to pay toll fees? “Road users are already paying toll fees, but the tolling system has very basic infrastructure and is inefficient. Major concerns from road users have been the lack of improvement in the state of the roads despite the toll fees

being collected. They have paid their money but witness no improvements or even repairs – rather they continue to experience potholes on the roads. In fact the roads are deplorable. Road users want to see new and improved roads – and they will be happy to pay toll fees!” says Gudo with confidence. PPP and BOT (build, operate, transfer) models have worked well elsewhere, even in neighbouring South Africa, he says. In

“Now that the country is coming out of the woods major projects are getting unlocked”

Vibrator at work

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Tarcon Africa

Island dand trench

general such projects will have a pay-back period of about 15 years, depending with the level of investment and thereafter they continue to generate funds for maintenance and repairs. Disrepair in the road network is mirrored in the water supply, sewage and energy infrastructure. The opportunities for civil engineering companies like Tarcon are limitless. But foreign direct investment (FDI) is an essential ingredient to get these projects moving. Though levels of FDI are currently low, indications of potential growth are there and will most likely happen in the next few years to come if certainty is created around the political environment and our economic policies.. Despite its political instability Zimbabwe succeeded in increasing FDI nearly

eightfold over four years from just $51.6 million in 2008 to $387 million in 2011. In 2012 it is estimated that FDI continued to grow, reaching $450 million. China does present some options for the economic recovery suggests Gudo. “We have gone into strategic alliances with Chinese equipment manufactures in order to address challenges faced in accessing equipment to resource major projects. Access to meaningful credit lines in Zimbabwe is limited at the moment. Another opportunity he sees, heavily disguised as a problem, is Zimbabwe’s brain drain. More than four million highly qualified people, accountants, engineers and managers among them, have been lost to neighbouring countries or departed for the

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“Our own staff and the communities around us, have sustained us through the difficult times” UK. “We want to target those people in the diaspora and bring them back.” Most will come back better equipped with enhanced skills sets, he adds, from his experience of working in first world organisations. This approach has given Tarcon the chance to re-evaluate its skill base, plan future requirements and reorganise its operations. Tarcon depends very much on its people, and as an organisation, we value our

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employees, Lawrence Gudo emphasises. “Our own staff and the communities around us, have sustained us through the difficult times,” he says. “We have operated in some hash and remote environments, where we interact with some of the most disadvantaged members of society. As a way of giving back and empowering communities we have embarked on very successful HIV and Aids campaign programmes to educate

Tarcon Africa

Unki Works

communities which are otherwise totally excluded from any form of media coverage and have no access to formal education.” Tarcon employees give their time after hours to talk about HIV and how to prevent it as well as demystifying the myth and stigma that goes with it. The recipients of these programmes are really appreciative, he says, since these programmes impact their lives positively. “These social integration programmes are very close to our heart and we will continue with them, especially in the remote areas we operate in. Further still, the local community members we employ are integrated into our Tarcon ‘on the job training’ programmes which impart formal skills.” Lawrence Gudo has other plans for the

company once the restructuring is complete. Among the entities that made it up originally was a property development enterprise. Though this remained dormant over recent years, Tarcon land banked packages suitable for commercial, industrial and residential development. The group has immediate plans to embark on property development which will commence during the course of 2013.The first phase will be targeting high income residential housing market. It’s all part of the green shoots of a recovery that Zimbabweans truly deserve. For more information about Tarcon Africa visit:

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Les Gaz Industriels Limited (LGI)

The desire to diversify Managing Director, Jérôme Commins discusses LGI’s diversification over the years and its plan to expand into Africa’s emerging markets

written by: Will Daynes research by: Vince Kielty

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es Gaz Industriels Limited (LGI) was originally incorporated as a private company in 1952, with 100 percent Mauritian equity and the core aim of producing oxygen and acetylene for metal cutting and welding purposes. Eleven years later a majority stake in the business was acquired by leading South African gas company African Oxygen Ltd (Afrox). This significant development helped shape the future of LGI, transforming it into a business that has diversified hugely throughout the years into a wide range of products, specifically the manufacture, sales and delivery of medical and industrial gases in bulk and in cylinders, the manufacture, sales and delivery of welding electrodes, installation of gas reticulation, project management, maintenance contracts as well as water treatment, with a growing market share in the Mauritian market and abroad. It was on 5 April 2008 that Jérôme Commins was employed by LGI, taking on the role of Finance and Administrative Manager. In December 2009 he took on the position of acting Managing Director, before taking full lead of the business in February 2010. “In the time since,” Jérôme states, “we have undergone massive developments as a business and today find ourselves in the midst of a huge investment programme where we are putting significant capital into new technologies for the production of liquid oxygen, liquid nitrogen, liquid carbon dioxide, liquid argon and all types of gases that we produce locally,”

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Les Gaz Industriels Limited

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1952 The year that LGI was incorporated as a private company

One of Jérôme’s most personal, and challenging, undertakings since he took on the role of Managing Director was to convince the board of LGI to invest massively in the acquisition of a new state-of-theart production plant at the company’s site in Mauritius. Having put his case forward successfully the company is now looking forward to taking delivery of the plant no later than September of this year. “This new plant will open up a whole new world of possibility for us,” Jérôme enthuses. “While our existing facilities have served us well it has been obvious for some time that we needed to modernise, upgrade our capabilities and increase our stock and storage capacities in order to grow not just on a local level, but also in terms of regional and international expansion, while remaining competitive.” “One of LGI’s proudest achievements” Jérôme states “is the fact that we have among our Partners, the largest fleet of IMO Type 7 ISO Tankers in the region.” Jérôme is also confident and more than happy that the tanks the company supplies are well-maintained, marine certified and regularly recertified in accordance to class requirements, making LGI a preferred lessor

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Les Gaz Industriels Limited

If we placed all our industrial gas cylinders in a line, they would cover the surface, and even more, of a football ground

to its customers. One most important aspect that Jérôme highlights is that the tanks can be refilled on LGI’s site in Mauritius and re-forwarded throughout the world. Having been established in Mauritius for well over 60 years, LGI finds itself in as good a position as anybody to offer its support to international and multi-national companies

looking to set up operations in the Indian Ocean or on the African continent. This is particularly true when it comes to the company’s welding operations, for which it is perhaps best known for its production of the well-known Vitemax brand. “One of the things I am working on at the moment,” Jérôme explains, “is

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“Jérôme knows that despite LGI’s success to date, the company must continue to improve, and this all starts with the company’s most valued asset, its people”

There are no higher priorities than the health and safety of our employees, customers, suppliers and the community, and the protection of the environment

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Les Gaz Industriels Limited attracting investors from the welding sector to come and make things happen in Mauritius by importing the components and equipment needed to produce locally, before expor ting t he finished items back into core regional and African markets. In many ways I would like to see Mauritius become something of a hub for this sort of activity and we are already in discussion w it h severa l I ndia n a nd S out h A f r ic a n companies that share our long-term vision.” While Mauritius itself is currently experiencing strong organic growth, the company is well aware that Whenever anyone buys anything from LGI we always put 100 percent of enthusiasm behind it further opportunities await it in a host of surrounding markets, especially those in Africa. “Our and abroad in the very near future. strategy for expansion,” Jérôme says, “is Although LGI is a company based in a to first target other small markets before small country it still harbours a strong desire moving deeper into Africa. This is a goal to be involved in large projects in some of that we believe we are in a strong position the busiest markets in the world. Today it finds itself in a good position to achieve to accomplish.” In addition to its aforementioned aims, this thanks in part to its involvement with LGI is also looking to move into the supply the Ambatovy mining project, one of the of carbon dioxide to a number of large most ambitious industrial undertakings in multi-national players, including Coca-Cola the history of Madagascar. and PespiCo. Furthermore, the company “Our involvement in this project is has designs on expanding further into fascinating, not only because of the size and the healthcare and homecare markets, importance of the project but also in terms providing its services to clients both locally of the volumes of our products that we are

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Les Gaz Industriels Limited supplying to what is a logistically challenging island location,” Jérôme enthuses. “Indeed we have faced some minor obstacles in getting our products delivered on time and to specification to Madagascar, but we have succeeded in doing so and therefore have proven ourselves capable of taking on the most challenging of tasks and exceeding our customer’s requirements.” Not one to rest on his laurels, Jérôme knows that despite LGI’s success to date, there is more to be achieved and in order to do so the company must continue to improve, and this all starts with the company’s most valued asset, its people. “Our human capital is of vital importance to us and that is why we will continue to focus on their continuous development, providing them with the training needed.” To this end the company has a number of exciting training programmes that will continue throughout the course of 2013. Meanwhile it will continue to provide its employees with the opportunity to travel abroad to train in specific fields, with various Partners currently based in Italy, France, South Africa, Canada, Singapore and India. “As our people grow,” Jérôme concludes, “so too will our business as we work to rapidly develop our overall offering, while at all times retaining the efficiency, competitive prices and product quality that LGI has become synonymous for.” For more information about Les Gaz Industriels Limited (LGI) visit:

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The perfect package Managing director, Ketul Tanna, reveals the secret behind GPL’s success within the FMGC sector and its plans for imminent expansion across Africa

written by: Will Daynes research by: James Boyle

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General Printers Ltd (GPL)

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General Printers Ltd (GPL)


hen considering the extraordinary level of social and economic growth that has occurred in Africa over the last ten years it is easy to forget that for decades it suffered from being seen as little more than a poor continent that could only be sustained by the giving of aid. Today the complexion of Africa has changed dramatically thanks to considerable local and international investment. Founded in 1967, General Printers Ltd (GPL) has witnessed first-hand the evolution of the continent. Boasting three generations of experience and expertise as a family operated printing company in Nairobi, Kenya, GPL has grown to become the leading player in flexible packaging within the Eastern and Central African regions. “Having established ourselves in these regions,” explains managing director, Ketul Tanna, “we are now focused on becoming much more of a complete African player, an aim we have fully embraced with our new motto of being ‘Africa’s Packaging Professionals’. It was in the mid-1970s that GPL first began exploring the emerging area of flexible packaging, leading the company to create the world’s first flexible packaging production run on a UV offset web machine in 1978. In 1994, the company made the decision to focus exclusively on gravure printed flexible packaging, a decision that laid the foundations for its position today as a leading provider of cutting edge flexible packaging solutions. As it looks to cement itself across the continent GPL is focusing its attention on

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$5 million Investment being made towards the building of Africa’s first solvent-recovery plant

Five layer extrusion machine in operation

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the core markets of West Africa, Egypt, East Africa and South Africa. “When you join these four regions up they form something of a ‘Y’ axis,” Tanna continues. “Within this axis are the parts of Africa that both ourselves and our multi-national partners see as being the major areas of expansion and growth in the years ahead, and naturally we want to capitalise on that.” When he is asked about the evolution of GPL from those early, humble days in the late 1960s to its present day position as a market leader Tanna is certain of what it is that has led the company to where it is now in 2013. “Perhaps the biggest contributing factor to our success has been our constant dedication to what we call our ‘Four Ps’: Pride, Professionalism, Performance and Passion. These qualities are central to our corporate culture and form an ethos that runs through our company having been handed down from generation to generation.” Based in Nairobi’s Industrial Area, GPL’s facility possesses state of the art machinery with a capacity of 10,000 tonnes per annum, which allows it to provide quality, cost-effective packaging solutions that its customers require on a mass scale.

General Printers Ltd (GPL)

Online quality checks fresh off the press

“Throughout our history,” Tanna highlights, “we have strived to invest in cutting-edge, innovative technology and have shown on numerous occasions that we are not shy when it comes to making bold investments and bringing new ideas to market. Indeed those traits have helped to shape our corporate identity, to separate GPL from its competitors and to create efficient, cost-effective solutions to cater for our clients’ needs.” GPL’s dedication to innovation continues to this day, with the company currently investing approximately $5 million in what is the first

solvent-recovery plant of its kind in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. A core part of GPL’s desire to be 100 percent environmentally conscious, the plant allows it to recover and recycle some 98 percent of the solvents used in the printing and laminating process. In addition to immensely reducing the company’s environmental impact this investment is also set to translate into significant cost savings for the business. As Tanna enthuses, this attitude towards the environment also extends into the company’s corporate social responsibility work. “Our family has been in Kenya now

“GPL has grown to become the leading player in flexible packaging within the Eastern and Central African regions” BE Africa | 287

“our success has been our constant dedication to what we call our ‘Four Ps’: Pride, Professionalism, Performance and Passion”

Pouching machine in operation

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General Printers Ltd (GPL) for over 100 years and to celebrate such a milestone we decided to build a school where our forefathers first settled in Western Kenya. The school was built in 2008 and subsequently handed over to the local community at no cost to them whatsoever, and it remains open to this day. We also carried out a similar school building project in India where our forefathers originated from.” With the company very much embedded within the community in which it operates, and indeed throughout Africa, Tanna’s thoughts are understandably drawn towards what the future holds for GPL. “Consistent GDP growth continues to occur across Africa and one of the consequences of this is that consumers are becoming much more conscious of what they purchase. They are becoming more drawn to attractive, differential packaging and this is helping to spur further growth in the FMGC sector as manufacturers embrace new innovative ideas.” The investment that GPL has made over the years in new technology and innovation has already begun to bear fruit, with the company now expanding its capacity by some 45 percent in order to meet the demands of its existing customers within the region and its existing export clients. With its immediate focus revolving around achieving growth in the aforementioned

Fully robotic cylinder engraving plant

African ‘Y’ axis, while of course retaining the core ethos that has defined GPL since day one, Tanna is well aware of what the company’s biggest asset always has and always will be. “Without a doubt it is our people, without whom we couldn’t have achieved all we have as a business. We dedicate a great deal of time towards training our employees and motivating them to be leaner and meaner, and more efficient. This has allowed our business to grow in the way that it has, which in turn allows them to grow as individuals by being part of a company that is entering a very exciting time in its history.” For more information about General Printers Ltd (GPL) visit:

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a nation

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Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA)

Derek Smith, Chairman of the Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA), discusses the important role franchising has to play in the on-going development of the country’s economy

written by: Will Daynes research by: Candice Nice

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Derek Smith, Chairman of FASA

Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA)


ranchising itself in South Africa Some things do still require fine tuning continues to prove to be very however, with South Africa’s government resilient,” states the Chairman finding itself somewhat lacking at present of the Franchise Association of when it comes to having the capability to South Africa (FASA), Derek Smith. enforce all aspects of the new Act. In response “Analysis conducted by Bendita Gordon of to this it has begun the process of establishing Franchise Directors showed that between an alternative dispute resolution arm of the 2008 and 2010 in the aftermath of the global commission to which it can subcontract recession hitting the country showed that, disputes to be resolved. This is something while the rest of the economy lost well over that FASA is very keen to pursue and it is one million jobs, franchising actually created currently putting an industry code together 25,000 new opportunities for people.” in order to apply for that responsibility. Having held the position of Chairman Elect “If this is ultimately approved,” Smith for much of 2012, Smith is barely a month explains, “FASA would be able to provide into his new role as Chairman the National Consumer of FASA, however he has Commission with an arm unquestionably taken on the capable of adjudging any job at a very important and dispute within the franchising exciting time for franchising industry. We are hoping that we will get accreditation in South Africa. New jobs created by “A number of major within the next 12 months, franchises between developments have occurred at which point we would 2008 and 2010 in the last 24 months,” Smith be in a position to mediate continues, “the first being and arbitrate on industry the finalisation of the Consumer Protection disputes, help determine whether someone Act, which has now become law. Getting to is able to call themselves a franchise or not this point was a long process, and included and ultimately assist in pulling the industry a lot of work on our part to ensure that into line a bit more.” One of the highest priorities for South franchising was treated separately within the confines of the Act.” Africa’s government, like in many countries What this means today is that franchising across the world, is job creation. One of the in South Africa now carries with it specific ways they hope to achieve this is through definitions that a business needs to meet in the creation of the Jobs Fund, a R9 billion order to be deemed a franchise, something fund allocated by the Department of Finance that didn’t previously exist in the country. and administered by the Development Bank Having the technical definition in place of South Africa. “Due to the nature of South Africa’s is seen as only being a good thing for consumers in the long run. economy,” Smith says, “and the number of


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unskilled, unemployed people we have here, it is our belief that franchising presents a great opportunity when it comes to job creation. Mentorship is almost an inherent part of building a franchise, with businesses taking people in, training them and putting a network around them that encourages individual growth.” In 2012, Smith himself was placed in charge of getting the Jobs Fund to recognise franchising as a specific method of job creation. His efforts were rewarded in February 2013 with the approval of FASA’s first pilot project, while a second project is currently in the final stages of gaining approval.

Curves Africa is a member of FASA

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“Although we do refer to these as pilot projects,” Smith highlights,” if you put them into perspective, we are taking about funding up to 1,000 new jobs. While in contrast to the overall problem this may seem a small number, we see it as a starting point for what is yet to come, and that is a situation where the franchising industry plays a crucial part in solving the country’s unemployment problems.” In addition to its work with the Jobs Fund, FASA is also working alongside the Department of Trade and Industries on several initiatives, one being supporting the growth of black businesses. “A serious imbalance

Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA)

“Much of the work FASA is doing is about addressing the empowerment of people that are feeling un-empowered at this time” exists today between white and black business ownership,” Smith says, “and this is something that we realise needs addressing. What we want to do help more people to start smaller or medium sized enterprises in order to become self-sustainable in the future.” Much like the majority of the work FASA is doing, this is about addressing the empowerment of people that are feeling un-empowered at this time, trying to address job creation, to get stability back into society because of the high unemployment rates, and encourage the transfer of skills, which is a natural part of franchising. Another area of interest for FASA is the growing number of examples of what it calls social franchising, where the franchising concept is beginning to roll out into other parts of South Africa’s infrastructure such as the health care sector. This is a trend that FASA expects to see far greater movement towards in the not-too-distant future. Having spent the better part of ten years as part of FASA’s executive committee, Smith has first-hand knowledge of what its strengths, and indeed its weaknesses, are. It is this knowledge that has helped shape his vision for what he hopes to achieve during his tenure as Chairman. “We have made great strides in recent times when it comes

to improving our relevance to government,” he enthuses. “In addition, we have played our part in addressing the need to create jobs and have put our case forward as to how franchising can help achieve this.” Smith is under no illusions that this is a hugely important period of time for franchising in South Africa and as such he has set some fairly hard, yet realistic targets for the months ahead. Among these targets is getting FASA officially recognised as the alternative dispute resolution arm of the Consumer Protection Act, expanding its Jobs Fund project strategy further and getting FASA recognised throughout the country as a professional body. “What each of these main objectives have in common,” Smith concludes, “is that they all aim to achieve the same things, those being the creation of new jobs in South Africa, the successful transferring of skills to people and making more people realise that franchising can play a significant role in helping to determine the future prosperity of this country.” For more information about Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA) visit:

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Ahead of the curve From the day its first Franchise opened in South Africa, Curves Africa has gone from strength to strength. Master Franchisee senior representative, Clive Robinson, discusses the reasons behind this success and what the future holds for the brand

written by: Will Daynes research by: Candice Nice

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Curves Africa

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Coaching is part of the Curves complete program

Curves Africa


t was in 2006,” explains Clive Robinson, “that Curves first came to South Africa with a mission to launch the brand amongst the female population as an alternative to existing gyms and weight loss programmes. In 2007, the first Curves opened in Pietermaritzburg and within three years it had expanded to more than 100 franchises across the country, and ten franchises outside the borders of South Africa.” The growth in the first three years of what was the first woman’s only exercise provider was nothing short of phenomenal and led to Curves Africa immediately embarking on a strategy to create a vast network of gyms across South Africa, targeting the core middle-aged female market. In doing so successfully, the company went from zero to 35,000 members within its first three years. “Long before entering South Africa,” Robinson continues, “Curves was already a tried and tested global entity, present in more than 80 markets with over 10,000 outlets throughout the world. What this allowed us to do is take a proven business model and replicate it, with very few adjustments required, in a country where the market had been crying out for an alternative.” Curves Africa today remains the largest fitness business in South Africa by number of outlets, a fact that Robinson and other franchisees attribute to the several core pillars that Curves has built itself around. The first of these is the original, exercise-focused 30-minute workout programme that the company launched upon entering the country. While still a favourite amongst the vast majority of Curves Africa’s members, recent

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2007 The year the first Curves branch opened in South Africa

years have given rise to a mind-set in society that revolves much more around the concept of instant gratification. This in turn has resulted in the appearance of fresh market competition in the form of quick-fix instant weight loss and diet programmes. In response to this, Curves Africa decided to introduce an eating plan to run alongside its 30-minute workout programme. “Through a programmes called Curves Complete,” Robinson enthuses, “what we have done is combine the core elements of our exercise plan with a meal plan that can be personalised and individually tailored to suit each member’s own objectives, and is delivered through one platform, that being the member’s local Curves branch and the Curves Complete web site. In doing so we have opened up a whole new market for ourselves by attracting not only members who want to be fit and healthy, but also those who want to lose weight.” Another pillar of Curves Africa’s success is its commitment to providing the motivation that its members require in order to stick to their own programmes. To achieve this Curves Africa has adopted a philosophy that really holds its members accountable through the work of a trained Curves Complete Coach,

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Curves Africa

who meets with members on a weekly basis to provide the motivation needed for those individuals to stick to their respective programmes. When combined, these three pillars allow for the providing of a complete exercise and weight loss programme, delivered under one roof. “Curves,” Robinson highlights, “was developed primarily to be a community based business, positioned at the forefront of women’s health issues, driving home the positive benefits of its 30-minute workout and

how its use can combat certain health issues.” However, as Robinson goes on to state, that is not the only reason for its success. “I think what makes the brand so different is the fact that we recognise that not every woman in the world who goes to a gym is doing so because they wish to look like a supermodel. On the contrary, the vast majority actually most want to be healthy within the body that they are in. That is the very essence of what Curves is all about and why it has been so well received in all of the markets in which

“Curves Africa today remains the largest fitness business in South Africa by number of outlets” BE Africa | 301

“Africa is very much where the focus of Curves as a brand will be centred over the next decade�

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Curves Africa it has entered.” Over the last couple of years, under Robinson’s leadership, the primary focus of the company has been to ensure that existing Curves Africa franchisees have remained happy, profitable and able to deliver on their propositions properly. While it has made a concentred effort not to have a situation where there is a Curves branch on every street corner, this by no means is to say that further expansion is not on the horizon. “If you take a look at the statistics surrounding obesity, specifically when it comes to women in Africa,” Robinson says, “there is no doubt that in the years to come there will be an even greater focus from all sorts of brands to come up with solutions and programmes designed to address related health concerns. While we fully expect activity to increase in our market sector, we believe that the key to our continued prosperity will be to retain the community-based atmosphere that Curves has become synonymous with. We believe that weight loss and exercise should not be impersonal things, and as such we will continue to promote the fact that we build relationships with all of our members. This allows these individuals to embark on one of our programmes and ultimately come up better educated and informed about how to manage their own health.” Africa is very much where the focus of

Curves as a brand will be centred over the next decade. “The excellent growth of our business, not only in South Africa but also in countries such as Nigeria, Kenya and Zambia, gives us great belief that there are many growth opportunities for Curves all across the continent,” Robinson concludes. “Rather than rushing in, we will do what we have done in the past and that is lay the right amount of ground work and identify the right people to work with, however I don’t believe it is inconceivable that within the next five years or so we will have helped make Africa the leading market in the field of women’s health.” For more information about Curves Africa visit:

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Profile for Business Excellence Magazine


Issue No.6


Issue No.6