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Bank of India grows African trade A new smartphone for Africa Massmart move into Kenya Country Profile: Angola Controlled Distribution UK & RSA Issue 04 \ October 2012

SILICON CAPE Can South Africa’s technology start-ups ignite the continent?

Business | Entrepreneurship | Innovation | Investment | Lifestyle

4 \ Contents \ October 2012




18 Indian Summer

10 Jeremy Kuper, Editor of

6 News and Analysis

The Bank of India’s new Johannesburg branch is a symbol of the growth in trade between India and Africa.

Gateway to Africa Magazine

Recent developments from South Africa and around the continent.

20 Massmart’s Kenyan Adventure

With the retail sector back home struggling with falling demand, Massmart is looking to expand in East Africa.

“Mining is not the only game in town and big business will need to diversify.”

12 Alan Winde, Western Cape Finance Minister

28 Country Profile: Angola National elections have returned Jose dos Santos to power for a further term, as the country continues its post-financial crisis recovery.

Business 24 A Phone for Africa Samsung has released a phone - the Samsung Chief Hero - specifically designed for price-sensitive markets. GTA looks at the features that make a cell phone ideal for the continent.

26 Is SA the Gateway to Africa? “The question is how does South Africa use their geographic advantage to become the gateway to Africa?” - Zille

“It’s also about your individual problem, whatever it may be. We’ve got someone who will take that problem and drive it right through until we find a solution.”

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October 2012 \ Contents \ 5 is a multi-platform title for businesses looking to take part in expansion opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa Editor: Jeremy Kuper Publisher: Gordon Glyn-Jones Art Director: Morgan Spicer Sub-Editor: Paul Christopher Daniels Contributors: Washington Gikunju, Pete Guest Illustrator: Morgan Spicer Directors: P Atherton, J Durrant, N Durrant and R Phillips

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Cover Story 14 Silicon Cape - Is it Africa’s future IT powerhouse? As Africa’s technology opportunity becomes ever clearer and, as centres of innovation such as Nairobi’s Ngong Road take on a bigger global profile, is South Africa’s nascent ICT development hub ‘Silicon Cape’ ready to become a regional leader?

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6 \ News \ October 2012


NEWS IN BRIEF Recent developments from Sub-Saharan Africa South Africa downgraded by Moody’s The rating agency Moody’s downgraded the South African government’s bond rating from A3 to Baa1. This bad news compounds the gloomy outlook for South Africa as the country struggles to contain the wave of strikes which have hit the mining sector during September. Moody’s said this downgrade was as a result of a “reassessment of a decline in the government’s institutional strength amidst increased socio-economic stresses” as well as a “more negative investment climate.” “Investors’ awareness of the country’s long-standing socio-economic challenges, in particular the high unemployment rate and continuing wide income disparities nearly 20 years after the democratic transition, have been heightened following recent developments in the mining sector.” Moody’s said in their report.

The impact of Moody’s downgrade on the Rand The Rand has fallen against both the US Dollar and the Pound, following the downgrade of South Africa’s rating by Moody’s in September. According to Adriaan du Toit, a fixedincome analyst at Standard Bank Group in Johannesburg, “this was not unexpected; Moody’s changed the outlook to negative roughly 12 months ago so we were in that period where we knew that they would possibly look to follow through with the downgrade.” “Our sense was the probability of the downgrade was significantly greater than 50 percent”.

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October 2012 \ News \ 7

De Beers choose new CEO Diamond producer De Beers, announced that the Anglo American Chief Executive, Cynthia Carroll was to be the company’s new chairman. She replaced Nicky Oppenheimer who stood down from the board in August after the Oppenheimer family sold their 45 per cent share in the firm.

Expansion of Nigerian sovereign fund

Nigeria to increase share of offshore oil revenue

The Nigerian Federal government has ambitious plans to create a new sovereign wealth fund of US$1bn a year. The fund will protect oil revenues for future generations and protect the economy against external risks. Nigeria has never had a sovereign fund or any real savings despite years of oil production.

The Nigerian Federal government has revived controversial proposals to increase their share of offshore oil profits to 73 per cent, up from 61 per cent. The Petroleum Industry Bill was initially put before parliament three years ago, but has so far not been enacted. The previous rate of 61 per cent which was negotiated in 1993 was based on a price of crude oil of US$20 a barrel. But this was no longer realistic, according to Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke. This is because “crude prices have been on the upward swing,” she said.

Power privatisation on track The Nigerian government announced the five successful bidders for the country’s power generation plants at the end of September. This is part of a $1bn sell-off of Nigeria’s thermal and hydropower generation facilities. Bidders for the power generation plants included consortiums from Nigeria, Britain, USA, China and Russia. The sale of one further generation company has been delayed. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan had promised to upgrade the countries power sector when he was elected in 2010, and everything seems to be on track. Nigeria needs to upgrade their electrical generation infrastructure to avoid power outages which are hampering growth. Currently many consumers are forced to rely on generators.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

EU election monitors in Sierra Leone

Nigerian President Goodluck Johnathan Photo Credit: Ricardo Stuckert

As Sierra Leone gears up for elections, a team of EU monitors has been sent to the West African country to help ensure transparency in the presidential, parliamentary and local council elections due on November 17. This will be the third election since the end of the civil war ten years ago, and the smooth running of the elections are crucial to ensure Sierra Leone remains on the path to recovery.

8 \ News \ October 2012

Mass resignations on SAA board SOUTH AFRICAN Airways chairwoman Cheryl Carolus and six other board members dramatically resigned at the end of September. This development followed a decision by Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba to cancel SAA’s AGM. Gigaba had asked parliament to approve a 2-month postponement of the annual report. “There has been a breakdown in the relationship with the shareholder. I thought that we had agreed on a strategy. I’m finding it frustrating that this notion continues to exist that there is no strategic vision on the table at SAA,” Carolus said. “After careful thought I also decided to resign, along with other members of the board. These are just the people who indicated to me that they will resign”, added Carolus. This suggests that further resignations may follow. “The board has just become untenable, our reputation and professional integrity had just been dragged through the mud without any clarification or support and I believe this had reached a point where the relationship has been broken irretrievably,” SAA’s chairwoman Cheryl Carolus told SAFM. Public Enterprise Minister Malusi Gigaba said he only learned of the resignations through the media. “Our main focus is to ensure that SAA remains a national asset for both our economy and country,” said Mayihlome Tshwete, Gigaba’s spokesman. Tshwete added that new board members will be announced at SAA’s annual general meeting. Eight members of SAA’s board of 14 have resigned so far. The board members who told Carolus they were leaving with her are Bonang Mohale, David Lewis, Jabulani Ndlovu, Louis Rabbets, Magaret Whitehouse and Teddy Daka. Several months ago news emerged that SAA had been looking for a further R6bn (US$726m) loan from government.

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10 \ Views \ October 2012


WHEN THE DUST SETTLES Gateway to Africa’s new editor gives his analysis of the South African economy post Marikana

gripping South African mines can be seen in this context. But on the other hand, as the developed economies have been stagnating and even China start to lose momentum, most of Sub-Saharan Africa has been outperforming the developed economies in terms of GDP growth. This is finally Africa’s moment, there is a burgeoning middle class, which the African Development Bank Estimates to be around 313m people. Others put the figure closer to 50m, if compared with the global middle class. These are people who will be wanting to shop in malls, buy cars and property. Mining, the traditional economy in South Africa still makes up 60 per cent of

AS WILDCAT strikes grip South Africa and Moody’s downgrades the government’s bond rating from A3 to Baa1, the short-term economic outlook is not great. This crisis could in some ways be perceived as simply a power struggle between former ANC Youth League firebrand Julius “Juju” Malema and the ANC elders... but the reality is more complex. Malema is the self-styled voice of the poor and the disenfranchised, while Cyril Ramaphosa sits on “The mining sector remains the the board of directors of Lonmin, the mining company in the eye old industry and for South Africa of the political and economic to truly develop, it will need to storm. Ramaphosa is also one of the most high profile beneficiaries look beyond mining.” of black economic empowerment (BEE) that has been an important export earnings, but mining only accounts feature in the new South Africa. for 10 per cent of the economy. The effect Significant wage increases are of price stressing gold as a safe haven for being demanded and in some cases capital must be factored into this. given. Meanwhile the ANC speaks of Mining is highly capital intensive and beneficiation, in what seems like a new it is not a very easy market to enter. The version of BEE. But a recent World Bank mining sector remains the old industry report on South Africa concluded: “there and for South Africa to truly develop, are no simple, elegant policy solutions it will need to look beyond mining. in the quest for equity.” As South Africa For their part mining companies have grapples with these issues of inequality, been looking beyond South Africa for a capital will start to look around for number of years for new opportunities. other options. Mining is not the only game in town The global economic downturn has hit and big business will need to diversify. the urban poor in Africa’s developing There is significant slack outside of the economies particularly hard, inflating mining sector and the more sophisticated their main costs, food. The unrest

companies will seek out those other opportunities. Africa is open for business to entrepreneurs wanting to enter SubSaharan Africa. In the medium-term there is no chance that Malema can get any real power, having been expelled from the party for five years. According to Moody’s, South Africa remains a stable economy. Like much of Africa the difference between now and twenty years ago is that most of the region has democratic institutions. The point is, if your company doesn’t take advantage of the broader range of opportunities, your competitors will.

Photo Credit: Morgan Spicer

Jeremy Kuper is the editor of Gateway to Africa Magazine

12 \ Views \ October 2012


WESTERN CAPE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS “WE MAKE a good partner to do “Another growth sector is in oil and gas. business in Africa. If we’re not We’re seeing the gas finds in Mozambique, successful in some space, bypass South we’re seeing the oil finds on the west coast Africa and go directly to that market. that are already prominent. We believe But have a look at our region”, says that as the Western Cape we’ve got a huge Alan Winde, the Democratic Alliance opportunity in offering services, ship (DA) Minister of Finance, Economic repairs and logistics for the oil and gas Development and Tourism for the industry” he says. Western Cape Government. Winde estimates that logistics services Winde points out that in the three years and sales in oil and gas over the next five since coming to power in the Western Cape, “we’ve attracted “Have a look at those companies who ZAR 30.1bn worth of FDI (foreign direct investment), are doing business in Africa using South that’s a 27 per cent increase Africa. DHL have just chosen Cape Town on the previous three years… and this was achieved during a as their Sub-Saharan African head office.” recession.” years may be in the region of ZAR 250bn. “Have a look at those companies who “We’re busy with a project in Saldanha are doing business in Africa using South Bay. It’s a deep water port, and we’re Africa. DHL have just chosen Cape Town [creating] an industrial development zone as their Sub-Saharan African head office. (IDZ) for that specific industry.” Steinhoff have moved their international “We can start to service those rigs. And HQ to Stellenbosch.” it’s much closer to either Cape Town or “Google have set up an operation in Saldanha, or any of the ports in South Cape Town. We see a large number of Africa, rather than towing it all the way British companies investing in our region, either to Europe or to Singapore.” specifically in back office processing “Another area is the green economy. and call centres, and they’re seeing the The Western Cape is the ideal place, advantages that we have. Whether it be with our great universities. Three of our in the actual region and lifestyle, in our universities rate in the top ten in Africa ability to fit into the market.” and we’re really well placed to attract “Out of the UK we’re seeing a lot of investment into the green economy. We’ve investment into the BPOs (business seen huge interest of late in the renewable process outsourcing) coming into the economies, and there’s huge opportunities region,” says Winde, and he mentions opening up.” that the Western Cape has made a “There are also lots of opportunities in commitment to double trade with the UK.

agri processing. We’re actually starting to process a lot more of the product in our province, before it gets sent to market. And of course we can grow tourism enormously.” “We are busy rolling out broadband across our province, creating the opportunity for business to ride on the back of that broadband. It is a big strategy, we’re spending a lot of money on it, and it is going to be the big driver of the economy.” Winde has a programme, which he calls red tape to red carpet. “It’s about doing business and making it easier to do business. I’m available any time of the day.” “If ever you pick up difficulties in doing business with us in our region or in South Africa, I’ve got no problem in highlighting the red tape issues either in local government or in national government. But where we can make those changes, we will.” “It’s also about your individual problem, whatever it may be. We’ve got someone who will take that problem and drive it right through until we find a solution. So we’re open for business, and we really want to make it easier to do business.”

Photo Credit: Andrea Huisamen

Alan Winde, Minister of Finance, Economic development and tourism for the Western Cape.

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Contact: Jeff Watts +44 (0)20 7224 4455 Lion’s Head Africa, Suite 11, Accurist House, 44 Baker Street, LONDON W1U 7AZ

14 \ Cover Feature \ October 2012


SILICON CAPE As South Africa’s technology start-up scene sees its first headline exit, the country’s entrepreneurs are in a race with other African centres to create a hub for the continent’s leading incubator for talent.

By Staff Reporter SOUTH AFRICA’S nascent technology blogosphere was abuzz late September as the collection of entrepreneurs, journalists and investors who make up the ICT start-up scene saw Motribe, a mobile messaging platform, bought by social networking business Mxit. Motribe is one of the first - and few - start-up technology companies to be created, built, and in venture capital terms “exited” since the beginning of the Silicon Cape initiative, demonstrating that the tech start up scene is approaching some degree of maturity. Its buyer, Mxit, is one of the stars of a scene that has been gestating for some time but only emerged in the past half decade, when a group of entrepreneurs began the movement as a way of bringing together the country’s emerging technology start-ups under an umbrella to combine promotion and lobbying activities. “From a brand perspective, if you go back about five years I think the tech start-up scene in the country was almost nonexistent,” Tyler Reed, a serial entrepreneur based in Johannesburg, told Gateway to Africa. “I think the only successes that we could really ever brag about were Mark Shuttleworth and Vinny Lingham.” 33-year old Lingham, one of the Silicon Cape’s founders, is a South African entrepreneur based in the US, and CEO of Yola, a website building and hosting company, while Shuttleworth, famous for being the first African in space, created the Ubuntu operating system. Both have set examples that have proved hard to emulate. However, local entrepreneurs say that things are gathering pace, as networks of angel investors and venture capitalists emerge to back a new generation of start-ups. Groups such as AngelHub and

London: For better or for worse, some of the best technology businesses focused on African markets still have one foot in London. One of the more successful fundraisings in recent years was Iroko Partners’, which raised several million dollars from international venture capital funds to expand its platform, which offers Nollywood movies online. Its founder and CEO, Jason Njoku, of Nigerian heritage, was born in London and remains based in Farringdon. The founders of the growing pan-African social network, Afriterminal, are also in the capital, which maintains a base of finance and technology skills, as well as a large African Diaspora

Lagos: Nigeria’s commercial capital is home to eight million people, and is the gateway to a national population of 140 million, the largest in Africa. The country is booming, with its consumer markets rapidly developing. Online shopping, as well as social networking, are proving to be interesting opportunities. However, a notoriously difficult business environment means that there have been few big hits.

THE COMPETITION The Silicon Cape takes on the world

October 2012 \ Cover Feature \ 15

Nairobi: Kenya’s capital has perhaps the best case for calling itself the centre of the African technology world. The ubiquitous mobile money transfer system Mpesa, was developed in the country as a way of circumventing its lack of banking infrastructure. From there onwards it has been a hub of innovation in mobile technology. Banking, agriculture and media are all benefiting from a rapidly clustering scene along Ngong Road, and venture capitalists are following. Large technology companies, including Google, IBM, as well as telecoms players, including Bharti Airtel, have major facilities in the city, which is key, Njeri Rionge, one of the grandees of Kenya’s technology industry, said, to developing start-ups. Even though, Rionge said in a recent interview, more needs to be done to improve the transition from good ideas to businesses in the country. “I think there’s an information gap, in terms of how do we onboard all of these great ideas that are happening in this melting pot on Ngong Road into the things that we need for business?” she said. “A lot of the techies I know, they’re still sitting on their grand idea and it hasn’t gone to market successfully. If you sit down, one on one, you can actually see it’s going somewhere. But if it’s not picked up by Google or Safaricom or Nokia, it hasn’t gone. It’s still a great idea, but there’s no uptake in the market.”

16 \ Cover Feature \ October 2012

World of Avatar, under which Mxit was developed, are lending support to turn good ideas into businesses. However, finance has not come easily, and the traditional venture capital industry still focuses more on growth businesses - i.e. those that already have some revenue - than true start-ups. That will need to change if the industry is to develop, Reed said. He also echoed issues that have been raised by a number of analysts looking at the environment for innovation in the country, that the government’s outdated laws covering intellectual property, as well as more general issues around the ease of starting and running businesses, are standing in the way of progress. It was a sentiment expressed forcefully by Lingham, who in a recent online discussion - posted on YouTube - about the environment for South African entrepreneurs working in the global technology space, lamented that he is unable to set up South African subsidiaries for his US companies. “It’s so

business unfriendly,” he said, in a scathing statement. “If I want to create jobs, hire people there or move employees from the Cape Town Office to the US, I can’t... because South Africa has a silly law from 1960 from back in the apartheid days when people were leaving the country and they didn’t want you to externalise any IP. The unintended consequences are that if you are already outside South Africa we can’t help the country.” He went on to worry about the depth in capacity within government. “They themselves are not smart enough to understand the impact this is having on the economy. There’s very few people in government who have ever built businesses,” he said. “They’ve spent more time in prison than in business.” Over the past year, the country has has improved its World Bank Doing Business report rank by one place, and within that ranking the specific indicators for starting businesses and registering property were significantly better. Even so, entrepreneurs, including Reed, say that

not enough has been done by government to get out of the way of businesses in their early stages. “[When you are] registering a company, there are just too many minor complexities,” he said. “As you do it the second, third, fourth time it gets easier, but the first time is really important. It’s allowing new people into that space. It’s overwhelming.” Across the technology industry more broadly, confidence appears to be low. Research from IDG Connect, which polled 130 IT professionals, found that 69 per cent of those surveyed believed that there is a “severe shortage” of skills in the industry. 62 per cent do not believe that the industry as a whole is investing wisely in its next generation, while 81 per cent worry that the country is losing its best talent overseas. “These findings suggest the South African IT market has reached a crisis point,” Kathryn Cave, the report’s editor, said in a press release.

October 2012 \ Cover Feature \ 17

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Global or Regional The country’s technology industry, as with other sectors, has to make a decision between focusing on competing with developed world companies to service the global markets and looking north to Africa, where booming telecoms markets have created a new demand for applications and technology solutions to a wide range of domestic challenges. Whole new industries have built up around to solve the problems of money transfer in the absence of banks, online payments where there are few credit cards and other similar challenges of infrastructure. When Silicon Valley looked to Africa, it was to Nairobi, not Cape Town, where the Savannah Fund went. When IBM opened its new technology research centre in Africa, it was in Kenya, not South Africa. Although

Google does have an incubator on the Cape, its head of sub-Saharan Africa, Joe Mucheru, is based in its office in the Nairobi suburb of Westlands. Nigeria’s commercial capital, too, is emerging as a major hub for innovation, if only due to the sheer size of its opportunity. The city has at least eight million people in a growing, thriving metropolis who are also consuming technology. Down the West African coast, Accra is also finding favour amongst international players. The challenge of these emerging centres is great, but so too are the weight of the developed world hubs in Israel, Scandinavia and Central Europe. “Some people [in South Africa] really understand that it’s a mobile, African opportunity, whereas some guys will try to do the fancy stuff. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with either,” Reed said. “If you build something first world it might appeal to a niche here, but then it will be harder to compete on a global scale against companies from the Valley or from Europe, who are just better

positioned from a developed economy point of view.” It is a dichotomy that remains for many in South Africa’s business world, but as Reed said: “We’re a first world economy where people drive around in BMWs and have the luxuries of suburban life, and then we have a below the line, poverty stricken population, which is what most people would see Africa as from the outside world. There are some really good stories there, and we need to focus on solving those. I think that’s where the game changing stuff is.”

The Silicon Cape initiative, a non-profit, private sector community movement is leading a trade mission of 10 local start ups to London from 19-24 November. See for more information. Email

18 \ Feature \ October 2012


INDIAN SUMMER Bank of India’s creation of a branch in Johannesburg shows that growing trade and investment between India and Africa remains a lucrative potential source of revenue for global banks By Staff Reporter

THE BANK of India has established a branch in Johannesburg as it positions itself to take a piece of the growing trade links between India and Africa. The bank, which already has a representative presence in South Africa, as well as locations in East Africa, plans further expansions in the region, according to reports in the Indian press. The move is indicative of an increased awareness by Indian corporates of the potential of African markets for their goods and services. “Speed-dating” events, matching Indian businesses with local partners are a frequent occurence in hotels around the continent, often under the auspices of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, or the Confederation of Indian Industry, the large trade associations which have become so important in the country’s engagement with African economies. “These are the drivers of India’s Africa strategy. It’s very much a commercial process linked to trade, investment, loans by the Indian Eximbank, setting up of what they call significant actors at a

regional level,” Sanusha Naidoo, research director at the South African Foreign Policy Institute, said in an interview. Earlier this year, Indian business, backed by government, held a conclave in Ethiopia. These meetings, unlike other summits organised between BRIC countries and Africa, focused far less on intergovernmental relations and far more on bringing together investors and projects. “What is interesting is that it is a platform that does not distinguish between private sector and public sector. So it will bring in governments, it will host African governments and invite them to share the platform with the private sector, but from the Indian side, it’s very much driven by the private sector,” Naidoo said. “You’re looking at big companies like Tata, Mahindra, Bharti, Reliance Industries, Colusco Pumps. And of course power generation companies as well, and oil and gas. In the oil and gas sector you have an interesting mix of private and public sector actors.” The government, too, has worked to promote this mercantilist, private sector-led approach, helping to broker deals between investors and governments, particularly in friendly countries, such as Ethiopia, where India is the largest investor. In many cases, Indian businesses have a lot to offer African countries, and vice versa. India’s development, in particular in the agricultural sector, came from a similar base of demographic opportunity and economic hardships as many places on the continent are now experiencing. The market structures that are there to be tapped in Africa are not dissimilar

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

October 2012 \ Feature \ 19

to the conditions at the birth of many Indian enterprises. Entrepreneurs who grew up or began their businesses in post-Green Revolution India have had the opportunity to commercialise the innovations in Indian agriculture that saw India emerge from near-starvation to become first selfsufficient, and then a net exporter of food. In the main, this was down to a combination of subsidies and market policies, irrigation and the dissemination of new seed types to the mass of smallholder farmers that made up - and still make up - a large swathe of Indian society. These farmers complement a growing commercial scale sector, but have not yet been replaced by it. Alongside this revolution grew new players that were experts in small-scale irrigation systems, seed production and distribution and in farm machinery specially adapted to a developing world context. The Indian seed industry has created businesses, such as Vibha Seeds, based in Andhra Pradesh, which rival Monsanto and Syngenta on the domestic stage, and which are actively seeking to take market share in African markets. In a similar vein, Indian construction companies and power generation businesses, who have built and continue to build the infrastructure driving the Indian domestic economy, need to find alternative sources of revenue as they grow. With experience in the emerging market context that they were born in, they are often quite quick to adapt to African markets. It is this kind of business that Bank of India will hope to intermediate in, as well as to provide services for entrepreneurs in the Diaspora.

20 \ Business Life \ October 2012


RACE TO THE BOTTOM South African retail chain Massmart plans to enter the Kenyan market with a low-cost offering, but it will face a tough challenge from the country’s incumbent stores.

Mr Leroni said Massmart is in talks with a property developer from whom it plans to lease out a reported 50,000 square feet of space, making it the biggest shopping mall in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. The outlet will be housed at the Garden City shopping complex, which is set to be the latest multi-million dollar real estate development along Nairobi’s newly built By Washington Gikunju – in Nairobi Thika Super Highway. Actis, a private equity firm behind the $150 million Garden City complex, has estimated that SOUTH AFRICA’S retail giant, Massmart, is banking on its low-price model winning construction will be completed by May 2014. over shoppers in the fiercely competitive Massmart’s entry is expected to raise Kenyan market, where it has announced stakes in the sector currently dominated plans to open its first store. by three indigenous players; Nakumatt, Massmart’s entry into Kenya will give it Uchumi and Tuskeys. All the three access to East Africa’s biggest economy, already have operations across East Africa putting its competitive acumen to where they are locked in an expansion test against three of the country’s well race. established brands. In a sign of the unfolding competitive The South African retail chain already landscape, Kenya’s biggest retailer by both has operations in neighbouring countries turnover and branch network, Nakumatt, Tanzania and Uganda, and its entry into has already erected billboards announcing Kenya will complete its presence in the its opening of a new outlet less than two regions’ three biggest economies. However, unlike in Tanzania and Uganda kilometres from Massmart’s designated location. - where Massmart did not have to fight The third largest retail chain, Uchumi, for turf with firms of international stature already has a smaller outlet less than a - Kenya already has relatively big retailers kilometre from Massmart’s planned site that are tipped to give the South African along the busy Thika Super Highway. firm a run for its money.   The low price model that Massmart is “From a consumer perspective we counting on is a hallmark of American recognise that Kenyans, like their South African counterparts, are very brand loyal,” retail giant, Wal Mart, which acquired 51 per cent of Massmart in July. said Brian Leroni, the group corporate By buying goods in bulk and relying affairs executive for Massmart in an on an established, cost effective global interview. “We will focus our efforts on exceeding customer expectations of service, network of distributors, Walmart has established itself as the retailer of choice price and quality,” he added, giving a glimpse into the firm’s strategy for drawing for price conscious shoppers. Kenyan retailers may find it hard to go in Kenyan shoppers. head-to-head against Walmart’s News that Massmart was angling for tested systems, but they are a piece of the $3.8 billion Kenyan retail promising to put up a worthy market first broke in July, when the supermarket chain confirmed that it would fight. “We have already carved a niche be opening a Game store in the country.

Photo Credit: Massmart

October 2012 \ Business Life \ 21

22 \ Business Life \ October 2012

for ourselves in the Kenyan market, the low price model they are talking about is in fact what has been our strategy all along,” said the general manager of Tuskeys Supermarket, Frank Kamau. Tuskeys is Kenya’s second biggest retail chain by turnover. Massmart’s operations span 12 major cities in about eleven Sub-Saharan African cities. The retailer has stores in Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Swaziland, Nigeria, Namibia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Ghana and Botswana in addition to its South African operations. The experience gathered in these diverse markets is expected to count in favour of the South African firm, but Mr Kamau says Kenya will still be a hard nut to crack. With the exception of Uchumi, which is listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, Nakumatt, Tuskeys and Naivas, the fourth biggest retailer, are all family-owned businesses. Mr Kamau says the management experience handed over to successive

Massmart’s Brian Leroni

family generations has helped to preserve important organisation values that have endeared each of the supermarket brands to its customers. “It might have to take experience for us to gauge what Massmart’s entry will mean for us but we don’t expect that we won’t cope,” said Mr Kamau. Consistent economic growth in the past decade has created relatively well paying jobs for millions of Kenyans, whose shopping tastes have changed with their rising levels of income. Discoveries of minerals such as coal, gold, oil and natural gas have also brightened growth prospects for the $40 billion economy, making it a favourite destination for frontier investors. Economic survey figures by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics show that valuation of the sector, classified as the wholesale and retail trade and repairs, has grown by 82 per cent from $2.1 billion in 2007 to last year’s value of $3.8 billion. Only about 30 per cent of the retail

Who’s in and out?

South Africa Kenya connection On The Rise

Left Already

Tiger Brands, Truworths, Woolworths, Mr Price, Multi Choice

Castle Breweries, Nu Metro, Nandos, Supreme Furniture, Media24, Metro Cash and Carry

market is however formalised, presenting a huge growth potential for operators who manage to position themselves for the rapidly urbanising population. Nearly 70 per cent of Kenya’s 40 million people still live in the rural areas, where they buy their groceries from informal roadside shops and small townships. Massmart’s choice of Nairobi for its first store was however an easy one, given the attractive demographics that favour dealers in fast moving consumer goods. “Nairobi meets Massmart’s market assessment criteria that include, but are not limited to factors such as size and concentration of urban consumer market, application of the rule of law and availability of retail sites,” said Mr Leroni. The Kenyan market has been a mixed bag for South African businesses, where some have prospered and others have been forced to take hasty and costly retreats. Successful entrants include consumer goods dealer Tiger Brands—which acquired a local company, Truworths Woolworths and Mr Price; which have a franchise arrangement with a Kenyan firm and pay TV provider, Multi Choice. Those that have exited prematurely include beer maker Castle Breweries, cinema group Nu Metro, fast foods company Nandos, Supreme Furniture, publishing firm Media24 and Metro Cash and Carry. In a research note on Kenya’s retail sector released in July, Citigroup analysts said acquisition appeared to be the best entry strategy for South African retailers eyeing the Kenyan market due to the already well established local brands. Mr Leroni declined to say why Massmart opted for a Greenfield entry. What is almost certain, however, is that increased competition among retailers will be for the benefit of Kenyan consumers. “We anticipate that our presence in Nairobi will further improve competition to the benefit of all consumers. Our approach to all markets is to respect and to not under-estimate competitors, this is equally relevant in the Kenyan market,” said Mr Leroni.

African Mall Opportunities AS AFRICA’S consumer market opportunity grows in step with its demographic and economic growth, investors are waking up to the potential of commercial real estate to service the needs of the expanding retail chains. Major cities, such as Lagos and Nairobi, are far from saturated with high quality retail space, which creates a compelling business case. Simon Hopkins, an investor and advisor based in Singapore, was among those raising funds to build the Grand Towers Abuja shopping mall in Nigeria. “It was a greenfield site, but we built it and pre-let the units to retailers and banks, and so on... largely from South Africa, which are the companies that are expanding into Nigeria because they see it as the country where all the growth is going to come from,” he said in an interview. “There are opportunities to invest in very high return projects. The anticipated [rate of return on investment] of... the shopping malls that we are building in sub-Saharan Africa, is in excess of 40 percent, and the counterparty risk is rather modest. The people who are building them are Group 5, the largest construction company in South Africa. The quantity surveyors are CBRE and Broll. These are reputable companies. And the tenants are Shoprite, which is the largest retailer in Africa, Mr Price, which is one of the largest apparel retailers in sub-Saharan Africa. Vodacom, Standard Bank, Yum! Brands. So it’s not as if we are letting the units to fly-by-night tenants.”

Other Mall Projects in the pipeline for Sub-Saharan Africa • The planned Mall of Kenya in Tatu City will be the largest leisure and retail centre in East Africa • A US$100m mall is being planned for the Harare suburb of Borrowdale. • Other malls planned in DRC, Ghana and Nigeria

October 2012 \ Feature \ 23

SOUTH AFRICAN AUCTIONS Opportunities Abound The South African auction industry is a vibrant, multi-billion rand business that offers both local and international buyers the opportunity to purchase anything from real estate, commercial concerns, vehicles, livestock and antiques, live or online - very often at bargain prices. Auctions also offer sellers a means to turn around assets quickly, which saves time, holding costs and circumvents the deterioration of assets. Currently, the largest sectors in terms of turnover are commercial and industrial real estate, vehicles and livestock. The auction industry is represented by the South African Institute of Auctioneers (SAIA), presently a voluntary organisation, with a membership base of 175 auction houses. However, under the leadership of industry stalwart, Tirhani Mabunda, the chairperson of SAIA, and executive board members John Cowing and Nico Maree, the auction industry is currently being radically transformed. A draft industry code has recently been finalised aimed at regulating the activities of the industry, ultimately ensuring professionalism, ethics and compliance, as well as benchmarking the industry internationally. Once the industry code is ratified, it will be unlawful for any person to advertise or act as an auctioneer, auction







to auctions!




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In line with the global trend, many South African auction houses have added an online platform to their businesses, with some online auctions occurring in real-time and others over a set period, such as a week. Strict security measures are in place, including payment gateways to bank-approved vendors, as well as obligatory deposits or registration fees to ensure the elimination of issues such as ‘ghost bidding’ driving up prices. SAIA and its members also have a strong online presence. With PCW New Media as media partner, a very successful website called was launched, which offers its registered membership base the opportunity for brand exposure and online promotion of auctions to an ever-expanding database of registered buyers. Additional marketing, public relations and design services have been added, all of which have grown the members’ buyer base significantly. To view some of the exciting upcoming auctions in South Africa, go to or for more information email



Global online access


bidders to auction


company, auction house, or hold himself out as an auctioneer in South Africa without a minimum educational qualification and a license issued by a professional body, such as SAIA.


ght A ttracting the ri

bidders to auc

Tirhani Mabunda, Chairperson of SAIA

24 \ Feature \ October 2012



1) Price While income levels in many African cities are rising quickly, many markets remain very price sensitive. Handsets are not necessarily just competing with the latest device - secondhand Nokia phones are still widely available, and more rugged models survive for years. The price point on any new handset has to be compelling enough to compete in a market flooded with older devices and counterfeits.

New ideas are being developed to create a more convenient mobile phone for the African market By Staff Reporter WHILE THE internet is rife with discussion about Apple’s fifth iteration of its iPhone handset, another launch at the other end of the market shows that there remains huge potential in lowcost devices that bring new customers to telecommunications products. With less fanfare, Samsung launched its Chief Hero handset, specifically designed for African markets. Its range of features shows a very different set of requirements from Apple’s latest model, whose 10 hour battery life alone would disqualify it from competition, were its £500 price tag not out of the reach of many of the continent’s customers. Getting the right mix of function and affordability could be a lucrative proposition. Mobile phone penetration has been rising consistently for the past five years, and there are still hundreds of millions of consumers set to enter the market in the next decade. Several of the major manufacturers have released stripped-down or low-cost models to appeal to a low-income mass market. Voice and SMS are still massive opportunities in African markets, where cellphones have taken the place of moribund - or nonexistent - fixed line services. As operators invest in more advanced networks, the market for smartphones is also taking off. Chinese manufacturer HTC is among the companies aiming to grab market share with low-cost handsets that offer African consumers data services on the move. Nokia also released its “Asha” range of smartphones into some markets this summer. With the attention around Apple, it is easy to forget that its early competitor in the smartphone market, Research In Motion - maker of the Blackberry - is still a major player in Africa. In September, the firm opened its first branded store in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, and announced a range of initiatives aimed at cementing its place in the country’s expanding entrepreneurial class.

October 2012 \ Feature \ 25

2) Brand Counterfeit products remain a serious problem for importers and manufacturers across the continent, and today fake versions of mainstream handsets are available in major markets. In September the Kenyan government took a stand against the problem, making it illegal for network operators to activate counterfeit devices from October. The government estimates that as many as 3 million fake handsets are in the market, and companies, including Nokia, are backing drives to filter them out. A phone for African markets needs a strong brand and ways to guarantee its authenticity.

3) Languages The Chief Hero supports African languages, including Swahili, Igbo and Yoruba, an important sign that the manufacturer considers the individual markets of the continent to be significant enough to justify investment in tailoring its offering. This will increasingly be important - making sure that products are designed and customised specifically for African markets, rather than being the next best product that fits the opportunity.

4) Dual SIMs Calling across networks without attracting additional charges is commonplace in developed markets, but in some African countries it continues to be expensive. That, along with bargainhunting consumers picking up cheap deals offered by networks that are fighting for customers in high-churn markets, means that many people have two or more SIM cards. Typically, they have switched the SIMs manually, but, wise to this quirk of the market, several manufacturers, including Samsung, have equipped their handsets with two slots.

5) Battery Life The notoriously short battery life of the iPhone would not wash in Africa. The new Samsung Chief Hero can stay on standby for a massive 550 hours, or 11 hours of talk time. This is an important feature for a phone which is to be sold into markets with weak power infrastructure. With many businesses and homes relying on generators in urban areas, and few households connected at all in rural regions, the ability for a phone to work without the need for constant recharging is vital.

26 \ Business Life \ October 2012


CAN SA CEMENT ITS PLACE AS THE GATEWAY? “We’re improving our infrastructure, we’re improving the ports and we’re developing all of that capacity,” Helen Zille By Staff Reporter IT SEEMS clear from anecdotal evidence that not all of South African business is looking north and thinking about how to develop opportunities for their companies in Sub-Saharan Africa’s booming economies. Most of the region, outside of South Africa, is outperforming the developing world, something which must be unprecedented. The question is how does South Africa use their geographic advantage to become the gateway to Africa? Tim Harris Democratic Alliance (DA) MP, recently said, “South Africa should be part of Africa’s success story rather than a bystander,” sitting on the side lines. Harris pointed out that South Africa is experiencing increasingly tough competition from other countries in the region “many of which are showing stronger signs of growth than we are.” This is a sentiment with which Helen Zille, Premier of the Western Cape wholeheartedly agrees, “absolutely”, she told Gateway to Africa. “What we can do to facilitate that growth is to ensure that all our expertise

is available in Africa and that our services sector leads the way. Retailing, financial services and a whole range of other exports. So we dramatically need to develop our manufacturing sector,” Zille said. “We also have an extractive economy, which Africa has as well. We can’t really sell our minerals to eachother, because we’re all producing similar things. But what we can do is develop a huge manufacturing hub and service all of the extractive industries across Africa.” “We’ve got very good institutions, we’ve got very good infrastructure. We’re improving our infrastructure, we’re improving the ports and we’re developing all of that capacity,” Zille told Gateway to Africa. Zille and the DA are not alone in looking to Africa for growth. South Africa’s Mail and Guardian reported that Malusi Gigaba, the ANC’s Public Enterprises Minister was looking to African markets to grow the country’s parastatals. At the time of writing the minister was leading a delegation to Ghana to drum up business.

Easier said than done?

Organisations like South Africa Airways (SAA), SAA Express, Transnet, Denel and Broadband Infraco desperately need to find new markets for their services. Minister Gigaba said in an interview that he saw SAA Express as a possible feeder airline to the region. But this could be a bridge too far, with South Africa just

Helen Zille

as far from West Africa as European airlines are. Recent difficulties on the boards of both SAA and SAA Express demonstrate that these organisations need to sort out their internal problems before they have any chance of competing with the rest of the world. As Gigaba admitted, “I wouldn’t want to be presumptions…I see it more as a business opportunity.”

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28 \ Destination \ October 2012



Angola Economy

Currency: Kwanza (approx. 0.09 ZAR) Population: 19.6 million GDP based on PPP: $101 billion GDP growth 2012 (2011): 9.7% (3.4%) Head of Government: Jose Eduardo dos Santos Finance Minister: Carlos Alberto Lopes Central Bank Governor: José de Lima Massano

Angolan Business Fresh elections have returned Jose Eduardo dos Santos to power in Angola, as high growth rates attract expatriate workers. By Staff Reporter AUGUST 31 saw one of the least surprising electoral results in African politics, with Jose Eduardo dos Santos once again winning in a landslide to take a five-year term in the country’s second elections in more than 30 years. Angola’s president has been in power since 1979, and the ruling MPLA has once again opted for continuity, maintaining largely the same economic team that has seen it grow consistently for the past decade. Driven by high oil prices, the country’s economy expanded by more than 20 per cent in three years. Despite a slump in the midst of the financial crisis that saw growth slip significantly, the country is

back on track, with an expected 9.7 per cent growth in 2012. With the crisis in the eurozone causing prolonged economic pain in the country’s former colonial power, Portugal, the international media has picked up on the flood of economic migrants from Europe to the crane-filled capital of Luanda. What they find there is one of the most expensive cities in the world for expats, with property prices, rent and basic goods massively inflated by the dependence on exports and the flow of oil money. However, Angola still remains very heavily exposed to international oil prices, and the lack of elasticity in its political environment are also concerning investors, who have noted the challenges to the integrity of the election results made by the main opposition party and former opponents of the MPLA in the civil war - UNITA. These have been dismissed, but the tension over the legitimacy of the government does not bode well.

Language: Portuguese World Bank Doing Business rank: 172 World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness rank: 139 Investment agency: Agencia Nacional de Investimento Privado ( Public sector opening hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1700 Private sector opening hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1700 Legal system: Angolan / Portuguese System Law

Getting There

Airlines: South African Airlines, British Airways, Ethiopia Airlines, Air France, Lufthansa, TAP Air Portugal Visas: South African and UK citizens require a visa for entry. Hotels: approx. £200-280 per night (based on 6-night stay in September)

Photo Credit: African Arguements

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30 \ Sponsored Feature \ October 2012

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Gateway to Africa, Issue 4, September 2012  

Silicon Cape - Is it Africa’s future IT powerhouse?; Massmart’s Kenyan Adventure; Country Profile: Angola