Issue 81

Twiga Foods

Taking Food FurtherTwiga Foods has become a critical part of Kenya’s economy, having helped to formalise the country’s informal agriculture sector by backing 17,000 smallholder farmers Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Matthew SelbyAgriculture is more than just farming and food. It is jobs, security, economy, society and development, and for Africa it is, therefore, crucial.The sector has a massive continental footprint, with more than 60 percent of the population in the Sub-Saharan region working as smallholder farmers and 23 percent of regional GDP being derived from agrarian activities. Agriculture is the continent’s greatest employer, helping individuals from all backgrounds to overcome poverty and enjoy healthy, active working lives.To only look at the positives, however, would be naïve. According to McKinsey, Africa in fact has the potential to produce two, maybe even three times more cereals and grains than current output, while similar increases might also be seen in horticultural crops and livestock. Indeed, with this in mind, the potential for organisations to make a meaningful impact is tremendous.Enter Twiga Foods, a company mandated to turn the tide on lagging agricultural productivity and output in Kenya by assisting smallholder farmers and tackling issues at source.The company’s model is simple. Local farmers opt to sign up to its network, at which point Twigavisits and assesses those prospecting farms and adds them to its system should they be successful. After that, it will issue a purchase order to each individual smallholder, indicate a date of harvest, and then harvest and weigh its farmers’ produce before paying them.All produce is gathered at the

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Tiber Construction

Built to LastDespite a challenging industry backdrop, Tiber Construction continues to deliver striking developments across Gauteng, the central business hub of South Africa - its approach to knowledge sharing and mentorship key to its longevity Writer: Tom Wadlow | Project Manager: Eddie Clinton Few people spend more than 25 years at the same company without good reason.  Either they are a glutton for punishment, or they continue to gain enjoyment and reward from their work as time has progressed. Jose Correia, Managing Director of South Africa’s Tiber Construction, falls into the latter category. “I have always been fascinated by construction and started down the civil engineering route,” he says. “Joining Tiber was very much a word a mouth exercise back then, it was about relationships and people you knew.  Fast forward 25 years and I am still here, it has been a very rewarding learning curve and that I would say is the reason I will always be part of the company. “You should never stay long at a job you don’t enjoy.  For me, the best reward comes from showing people the constructs you have worked on – your CV is like no other, made up of physical structures that are there to last.” Such lengthy tenures are also an increasingly rare occurrence. Though exact figures vary, the average length an employee spends at a company is thought to be around three to five years, a far cry from the quarter century Correia has served at Tiber. He made it the hard way, working through the ranks from a site engineer in 1994 up and

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Keeping Kenya ConnectedAs the coronavirus outbreak continues to escalate, the Technology Service Providers Association of Kenya is ensuring the country remains online and able to communicate key information   Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Sam Love When the city of Wuhan in the Hubei province of China reported its first cases of coronavirus, few would have foreseen the escalation that continues to sweep across almost all parts of the world. At the time of writing, more than 441,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported, with 111,000 of those having recovered and over 20,000 people losing their lives. While the vast majority of the infected populous will make a full recovery, the ease at which the virus is transmitting is cause for tremendous concern, especially given the strain it is already placing on some of the most advanced healthcare systems in the world. In Africa, the number of confirmed cases has passed the 1,000-mark, South Africa alone registering more than 400. While the region appears to be behind other parts of the world such as Europe, fear is spreading that the continent will soon catch up, leading many governments to issue measures to curb the progress of the virus. Kenya is one such country. Despite recording a handful of cases so far (25), the country is headed towards a period of lockdown with public venues closed and international flights grounded. Healthcare workers are on standby to handle an influx of patients and are rightly being admired around the world for their brave, professional and selfless commitment to the cause, often risking their own lives

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Reload Logistics

Built to Back African BusinessWith a fully integrated approach to freight, Reload Logistics is inspiring integration and driving development across borders with its best-in-class service offering   Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Lewis Bush  Africa – a land brimming with untapped potential. While roughly 16 percent of the global population can be found on the continent, current figures suggest its 54 countries account for just two percent of global trade. But 2020 marks a new decade and a new era. Africa is on the brink of transition; its leaders having realised the continent’s potential and the crucial role it can play in the global commodity supply chain.  Of course, the success of this transition will be highly dependent on the continued development of transport infrastructure, investment into which is on the up. GlobalData forecasts that $69 billion will be spent across 448 large-scale African transport construction projects during 2020, a rise on the $47.1 billion spent in 2019.  Combined, these projects will create an additional 75,297 kilometres of newly constructed roads, bridges and railways upon completion – a web of physical links that will pave the way for regional trade to blossom. “Logistics in Africa is super exciting with many challenges and many opportunities,” explains Ruud Walgaard, CEO of Reload Logistics – one company for which the future looks incredibly bright given the transport-focussed emphasis enrolling across the region. “It is for sure more exciting here than in Europe or elsewhere. The industry outlook in Southern Africa, for example, is very positive, with new mining projects coming online and bolstering the flow of goods within

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National Insurance Commission of Ghana

Inspiring insurance confidence in the face of COVID-19Ghana’s National Insurance Commission (NIC) is changing the negative perceptions around indemnity, ensuring providers are delivering meaningfully reliable services to policyholders and helping to develop a sense of trust as the underlying mission of every insurance entity in claims payment   Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Sam Love “The Ghanaian insurance landscape has become more exciting as there is a new wind of change regarding our approach to the regulation, supervision and general operational standards of industry players. “We are making insurance a matter of importance to people rather than a matter of compulsion, and have gathered adequate momentum in our exponential drive to achieving an improved insurance penetration rate.  We are poised to stop at nothing with the resolve to ensuring that we make greater inroads within the insurance space.” It’s been 18 months since I last spoke with Justice Ofori, Commissioner of Insurance at Ghana’s insurance regulatory body, and it’s refreshing to say a lot has changed for the better over the period. The country’s insurance industry has experienced what can only be described as a drastic transformation, Ofori hinting to recent strides and achievements chalked up by the Commission in collaboration with other key stakeholders. “We have created and continue to improve on an environment where insurance companies no longer compete on pricing but on the quality of their services, which is remarkable,” he states. “We’ve been promoting a sound system, thus shaping the needed element of insurance – trust!” Trust is everything when it comes to the financial services sector; it has

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NAS Airport Services Ltd

Going the Extra MileNAS Airport Services Ltd is a company dedicated to delivering the highest quality inflight and corporate catering solutions and associated activities, forever going above and beyond when it comes to customer expectations   Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Matthew Selby  “Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship so keep moving, keep growing, keep learning. See you at work!” For Stephane Lopez, this famous quote from Denzel Washington has become something of a personal mantra – that hard work pays off. An individual with 24 years’ experience in inflight catering, cabin cleaning, maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) across Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Seychelles, Reunion Island, French Antilles, the UAE and now Kenya, he today stands as the General Manager of NAS Airport Services Ltd – a company that’s become crucial to the operational success of over 30 international airlines at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi and Moi International Airport (MIA) in Mombasa. Why? Well, mirroring the GM’s own philosophy, NAS demonstrates consistent dedication to delivering the highest quality products and services. “We are proud to say that NAS is a one-stop shop for all of its customers,” Lopez states. “Our scope covers inflight catering, corporate catering, airport bars and restaurants, lounge operations, train services, laundry services, quality assurance services and laboratory services. “What differentiates us is our people. Our team members are the greatest asset we have with their depth of knowledge, wide experience, trying mindset and progressive spirit and dedication. They remain agile and focussed on a daily basis in order to exceed our customers’ expectations. “Going

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Metro Express Limited

Mobilising MauritiusHow Metro Express Limited is delivering the country’s first ever light rail system, a game-changing new network which is already opening up opportunities for Mauritian people  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Lewis Bush There is no doubt that Mauritius represents a tremendous economic success story since independence in 1968. Now an upper-middle income country, the island state is home to 1.3 million people who continue to drive strong GDP growth, 2018 recording a 3.8 percent increase with a similar level of expansion expected to be confirmed for 2019. Indeed, Mauritius is well on its way to becoming a high-income nation as it transitions to a knowledge-based, innovation-driven economy, although such rapid progression has brought some less desirable side effects. Once of the most visible is the proliferation of cars on the island’s road network. Today there are around 550,000, almost one for every two citizens on what is a relatively small landmass, and the figure is rising by around five percent a year. And there are economic costs too, with traffic congestion expected to cost the Mauritian economy around MUR 10 billion ($260 million) annually by 2030. The solution? Encourage more citizens to make use of alternative, sustainable forms of transport. This is where Metro Express comes in. Under construction since 2017, it is the country’s first ever light rail transit (LRT) system and marks the first investment in train travel since the old lines were closed in the 1960s. Spanning 26 kilometres, once finished it will connect major urban centres from Curepipe to Port Louis via 19 new stations, six of which

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Mediguide International

Improving Outcomes with Alternate OpinionsMediGuide is removing the geographical limitations of healthcare, its global network of partners and employees helping to bring on-demand diagnoses to patients in 152 countries around the world   Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Callam Waller “I was always intrigued by the idea of people living longer and longer.  In every year since 1983 – the year I entered the insurance industry – the average life expectancy of an individual living in our part of the world has extended by about three months. “People are living longer, but the question is are they living healthier? When I started in the health insurance sector, it was a known fact that around 80 percent of the medical expenses spent on one person would come in the last 12-18 months of their life. If you lived until 78, fourth fifths of your medical expenditure would occur between 76.5 and end of life. “What we don’t know, however, is that if we now live until 85, does this same 80 percent come between 83.5 and 85, or are we still suffering from conditions at the age of 76.5 and now have treatments sophisticated enough to treat those conditions and continue living?” Paul Vermeulen, CEO of MediGuide International, is well aware of the challenging landscape facing health insurance companies. Much like its fellow subsectors, health insurance has always been evidence-based, where a statistical analysis of what has gone before is used to predict what will happen now and into the future. However, owing to the ongoing and rapid advances being made in medicine and

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Matus : High-Class Hardware

Matus is a cut above when it comes to wholesale hardware quality, the company continually striving to improve on its products, customer engagement and technological proficiency

Editor Josh Hyland By Editor Josh Hyland


Driven by DataThrough its specialised Fleet Analytics division, Macrocomm is empowering fleet operators with invaluable insight into their daily transportation operations    Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Sam Love Data, as is widely accepted, has become the world’s most abundant and arguably valuable commodity.  Today, we talk about data volumes in quantities most have never heard of, with one zettabyte equating to around a trillion gigabytes, and the numbers continuously growing.  At the end of 2018, the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicted some 33 zettabytes of data made up what is now commonly called the world’s ‘datasphere’, a body of information which IDC believes will expand to 175 zettabytes by as early as 2025.  This translates into an average annual rise of more than 61 percent.  Interestingly, by 2025 some 90 zettabytes of data will be created on IoT devices, while nearly a third of all data generated will be consumed in real time.  Such is its universal usefulness, data is commonly dubbed the new oil.  In a transportation context, it has the power to transform the fortunes of enterprises reliant on fleets of vehicles moving on roads daily. So much so, the gathering, analysing and presenting of such data – known as fleet analytics – is now recognised as a profession in its own right.  Enter South Africa’s Macrocomm. A Level 1 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment entity established in 2005, the firm helps organisations address critical technological challenges through a comprehensive portfolio of products and services.  Their mission is to become a leader in smart solutions across Southern Africa, developing and deploying turnkey solutions that

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Murray & Dickson Construction

Curating a Khula Nathi CultureMurray & Dickson Construction is continuing to successfully navigate a tough industry environment thanks to its ‘grow with us’ way of working     Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Eddie Clinton Major project shortages, non-payment from state entities, hijacking of construction sites – these are all challenges that continue to face South Africa’s building industry. Indeed, the year 2019 was another challenging one, with many companies collapsing and thousands of skilled workers left without employment, a trend which is showing little sign of reversing in the immediate future unless a concerted, coordinated response from government and enterprise takes place. However, among the troubles there are some uplifting success stories. Homegrown Murray & Dickson Construction (M&D) continues to operate successfully and on a sustainable footing, the company increasing its share of a declining national market. “This bears testament to the skills and capabilities of the group,” comments CEO Rukesh Raghubir, catching up on the last time we spoke with him towards the end of 2018.  “Certainly, being an entrepreneurial owner-led business that can respond swiftly to provide solutions is a significant competitive edge. “Moreover, our focus on only partnering with companies and people with whom we have synergies to achieve our mission of ‘growing a great company with great people and great partnerships’ is also working.” This latter point is critical, one which is entwined with M&D’s motto of Khula Nathi – grow with us. It is applied to both employees and the firm’s network of subcontractors and suppliers, a unifying bond which Raghubir says has been crucial in allowing the organisation (and

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Laurus Development Partners

Redefining DevelopmentLaurus Development Partners is setting the standard in real estate development and management in Africa with its first-class team, strategic partners, successful track-record in project delivery and a highly progressive, impactful ethos  Project Manager: Eddie Clinton  “Africa is probably the last true emerging market.  "One in four customers worldwide will be African in 10 years’ time, and estimates suggest that $1.6 billion in additional infrastructure investment will be required annually during this period to accommodate such growth. “Existing built stock, in the main, is not appropriate in terms of quality or quantity in most asset classes.  "Yet with that as a backcloth, the opportunities here are rather amazing for development companies, particularly when compared to more established markets for which all needs are already relatively satisfied.” For Peter Young, the opportunity to help address Africa’s growing infrastructure and new-build gap was something of a dream come true. A love of real estate has seen him enjoy an illustrious career spanning more than 35 years to date, specialising in retail-led, large-scale, mixed-use development and regeneration. Today he stands as the CEO of Laurus Development Partners – a leading West African property developer. “Laurus has a great track record,” he explains. “We develop high quality, efficiently designed, environmentally sustainable projects that deliver value to our investors, occupiers and communities.  We’re a full spectrum developer offering a holistic range of specialisms from preparing client briefs through master planning, built design development, property marketing, leasing, sales and tendering to tenant coordination, AM&FM. “With a completed development portfolio valued at $1.2 billion, it is our goal to change how real estate development

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Greendoor Group

Bridging the Gap Greendoor Group is not merely helping to meet the demand for logistics across the rapidly advancing African continent – it is doing so by delivering the highest quality transport services which always put the customer first   Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Lewis Bush May 2019 was a landmark month in the scheme of Africa’s heightening development ambitions. It marked the inauguration of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the world’s largest free trade area since the WTO, that promises to accentuate the opportunities made available by the region’s rapidly expanding infrastructure, growing supply chains, broadening distribution networks and advancing mobility. Indeed, owing to the continent’s widespread emphasis on economic integration, these opportunities are now plentiful.  According to the IMF, intraregional imports as a share of total imports has almost tripled in the past two decades, now valued at approximately $100 billion. And that number is expected rise further against the backdrop of the AfCFTA, meaning the future for local logistics players like Greendoor Group looks incredibly bright. “Logistics is ever changing; no day is ever the same,” explains Richard Hall, the company’s Chief Operating Officer. “It certainly keeps us on our toes. Back when we first started going into the DRC in 2008, there were long stretches of dirt and even one climb where trucks had to be towed by a wrecker. “Fast forward 12 years, and the roads are now mostly tarred. Challenges remain of course, but trade has become much easier.” Founded in 2006 by Ken Hall (Richard’s father), Greendoor Group set out to bridge the gap in

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For the Love of NatureCOMACO is a not-for-profit built to incentivise conservation, improve social security and turn the tide on poaching and deforestation. We speak with Dale Lewis, the man behind its philanthropic model   Writer: Jonathan Dyble | Project Manager: Matthew Selby The wet faces of relaxed hippos glisten in the morning sun along the waterways of the Luangwa River.  Elephants wade through the nearby marshland, playfully jetting water from their trunks as they pause to bathe.  A leopard lies sprawled across a thick branch of the riverbank’s dense forest, enjoying a snooze after a hard-earned hunt. A gunshot is heard, the serenity spoiled. During the 1980s, poaching tragically became a necessity for many locals living in eastern Zambia. Poor farming practices had led to exhausted soils and dwindling crop yields, resulting in food shortages and rising poverty. Thousands of animals were killed and their habitats decimated as communities went in search of food and new fertile farmland in order to survive.  The situation had reached a crisis point as poverty and conservation became embroiled in a constant, worsening conflict. “I had completed some of my PhD work in Zambia,” recalls Dale Lewis, CEO and Founder of Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO). “I was based in a beautiful, wild, natural area, but witnessed some horrific scenes of elephant poaching. “Beyond law enforcement tactics, it didn’t seem like anyone was trying to find a viable solution to the problem.  I couldn’t put that out of my mind and decided to return to the country with a limited research budget to see what I could do. “I ate the

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CMC Motors Group

Keeping Industry MovingCMC Motors Group continues to distribute leading brands of trucks, tractors and pickups across East Africa, its new Ford showroom in Nairobi delivering an enhanced customer experience   Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Lewis Bush For every direct job created in the automotive industry, at least another five indirect jobs are supported. According to International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, the sector continues to serve as a vital employer and economic stimulator in every region of the world. In East Africa, Kenya’s National Automotive Policy is seeking to transform the automotive industry into a significant GDP contributor by 2023, helping to generate employment and upskill large numbers of people across the country at the same time. Indeed, if existing assembly capacity is maximised to 100 percent output, almost 80,000 jobs can be created by commercial vehicle assembly alone. Enter CMC Motors Group Limited, part of the Al-Futtaim Group since 2014. Present across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania through a network of showrooms and assembly facilities, the company serves as the customer-facing distributor of several global automotive brands, including Ford, Mazda, Suzuki, Renault, UD, Eicher and New Holland. Noel Mabuma is CMC’s CEO, and responsible for leading the firm towards its mission to provide exceptional customer experience by supplying an outstanding range of automotive cars and products with superior levels of sales and aftersales support. And it is a service which he is determined to continue providing through challenging times surrounding the outbreak of the coronavirus. “In response to the global outbreak of COVID-19, and in line with our commitment to the health and safety

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Alexander Forbes Botswana

Alexander Forbes continues to impart financial and social benefit to the people of Botswana through a customer-centric approach, diversified products and extensive social responsibility initiatives.

Staff Writer Joshua Mann By Staff Writer Joshua Mann