Issue 83

Yara Côte d’Ivoire

Keeping it Green in Côte d’IvoireYara Côte d’Ivoire is working with local farmers to ensure sustainable growth, through high-quality fertiliser and agronomic education Writer: Dani Redd  |  Project Manager: Vivek Valmiki Historically, Côte d’Ivoire has been economically dependent on farming.  Back in 1960, agriculture accounted for 48 percent of the country’s GDP, predominantly thanks to its exports of cocoa. Fast forward to the present day and Côte d’Ivoire has also become one of the world’s biggest exporters of cashew nuts – palm oil, tropical fruits, cotton and rubber are also important agricultural exports.  However, according to World Bank, despite the country’s economic situation improving, since 2012 agriculture has contributed just 14 percent of GDP growth.  There are several reasons why Côte d’Ivoire’s agricultural sector has been constrained. Unpredictable weather patterns caused by climate change and deforestation have led to low crop yields in previous years. Another reason is that agriculture is mainly conducted on a small scale, and smallholders often lack access to products that can increase yields, such as fertilisers. But Kanigui Yeo, General Manager of Yara Côte d’Ivoire, doesn’t just see problems – he also sees potential for growth and change. “Agriculture is a challenging but exciting space to be working in,” he says. “When you look at all the agri value chain in Côte d’Ivoire you will see problems and opportunities as well. The infrastructure is poor, and more than 95 percent of farmers are smallholders with limited literacy, growing mainly cash crops for the direct export market. “Most of them don’t apply the basic good agricultural practices and don’t have

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Xylem Africa

Let’s Solve WaterWith a vast portfolio of leading-edge solutions, Xylem’s recently unified Africa division is united in its ambition to safeguard the continent’s most precious (and scarce) resource  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Donovan Smith Soaring human demand for water has created a crisis.   Despite covering almost 70 percent of the earth, we rely on the 2.5 percent of water which is fresh, and 99 percent of that is not easily accessible, the majority being trapped in glaciers and snowfields.   Indeed, it is fascinating to consider that the water we drink today has likely existed in one form or another for hundreds of millions of years, a resource once consumed by dinosaurs who roamed the earth. Since then the amount of freshwater on our planet has remained fairly constant, recycled through the atmosphere and back onto earth countless times to fuel and feed all forms of life.  Innovation through the ages, from Archimedes’ Screw and Roman aqueducts to turbines and distillation techniques, have enabled humans to make the most out of water, the leveraging of which has fuelled industrial and agrarian revolutions all over the world.    But there is a problem. The last two centuries have witnessed a population explosion unlike anything seen in civilizational history – in 1800 there were a little under 990 million people on earth, whereas today that figure reads closer to 7.8 billion.   Africa is home to around 1.33 billion people, or 16.7 percent of the global population. Most estimates agree that at current growth rates (around 2.5 percent a year), the continent

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Tiger Animal Feeds and Tiger Chicks

Nourishing GrowthTiger Animal Feeds and Tiger Chicks contribute to the growth and profitability of Zambian farmers with its high-quality animal feed, world class broiler genetics and technical support  Writer: Dani Redd  |  Project Manager: David Knott Across the world, demand for protein is growing in line with the world’s population. What this means, of course, is that demand for animal feed is growing alongside it. In Africa, there is a growing requirement for animal feed. Maize – which is the main ingredient in animal feed – is also a staple food to feed the human population. This means there can be a significant requirement for these commodities, placing strain on the resources to produce them. But one company has been doing its best to ensure farmers are able to purchase high-quality, cost-efficient animal feed. Enter Tiger Animal Feeds, which has been one of the leading animal feed manufacturers and suppliers in Zambia since 1996. It provides pet food as well as various types of livestock feed and nutritional supplements to Zambia and the region. “Our world-class range of feeds, strong distribution network and on-site nutritional service has greatly contributed to the growth and the profitability of farmers and the establishment of new farmers through training and aftersales support programmes,” explains Herman Nienaber, Chief Operating Officer at Tiger Animal Feeds.Supporting local farmersNienaber started working at Tiger Animal Feeds in 2009, becoming COO in 2013, and brings his long-held passions for agriculture and nutrition to the role.  “I was raised on a maize farm in South Africa and as a result I developed a

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Rocksure International

Ghana’s Gold StandardRocksure International has been providing the full value chain of mining services for more than a decade, rising from humble beginnings into a 1,000-strong, Ghanaian-led enterprise Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Josh Mann Gold mining has long been a staple economic activity in Ghana. Historical sources show that gold was mined in West Africa as early as the fifth century, well before European settlers began to monopolise the trade during the colonial era. And while it is uncertain when exactly gold mining began in Ghana specifically, it continues to be the nation’s most significant domestic revenue generator. In 2017, for instance, total mining fiscal receipts paid to the Ghana Revenue Authority stood at around $370 million, up 31 percent on the previous year. This illustrious history and relative stability of the current marketplace make Ghanaian mining an attractive proposition for organisations and individuals to pursue opportunities.For instance, Rocksure International established itself as a provider of mining services in the country just over 10 years ago. Through execution of a local-oriented strategy, the company has built up considerable capacity and flexibility for implementing measures to meet the challenges of planning, equipping and staffing various mining sites, with operations also in Mali. For Fabian Limberger, Chief Commercial Officer and one of very few expatriates managing the company, the chance to explore this industry was too good to turn down. With a background in finance and investment (in particular with mergers and acquisitions), Limberger worked for civil and mechanical engineering companies before joining Rocksure International nine years ago, his previous role being in Ghana

Tom Wadlow Joshua Mann By Tom Wadlow Joshua Mann

Mainstreet Microfinance Bank

Driving Financial Inclusion in NigeriaAdegoke Adegbami, CEO of Mainstreet Microfinance Bank, discusses how digitisation and a customer-centric attitude are critical to extending financial access to all  Writer: Dani Redd  |  Project Manager: Sam LoveIn Nigeria, financial inclusion has always been a challenge.An estimated 60 million Nigerians (out of a 200 million population) do not have bank accounts. There are several main reasons for this. First, many Nigerians work in private and informal sector jobs and receive wages in cash. What’s more, many live in areas where financial services such as ATMs and banks aren’t provided, so have historically been denied the opportunity to open accounts. According to The Africa Report, the sector’s strict mobile money regulations also initially hindered growth, as until 2018 only licensed banks (or fintech companies in partnership with them) were permitted to operate forms of mobile money services.However, Mainstreet Microfinance Bank has a goal: to open up access to financial services, thereby helping develop Nigerian communities and businesses.“Increasing access to financial services is our mission,” proclaims Adegoke Adegbami, the bank’s CEO. “It is financial inclusion that drives and guarantees economic inclusion. It is financial inclusion that drives social and political inclusion.“And these are the factors that drive equality in our world. These are the things that make the world a better place to live. Access to finance drives access to other good things in life like quality health services, political participation and human dignity.”Adegbami has been interested in microfinance since leaving school in 1993. A decade later, he trained as a chartered accountant.

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Londani Coal

Powered by more than CoalNot only is Londani Coal ambitiously expanding operations, it is also determined to continue empowering staff and engaging the local community   Writer: Dani Redd  |  Project Manager: Josh Mann South Africa is a country powered by coal. Last year it produced 258.9 million tonnes, around 70 percent of which was used domestically (taking care of 80 percent of the country’s needs), with the rest being exported, activity which accounts for nine percent of the world’s supply.  Needless to say, coal mining is a major contributor to the country’s GDP, also providing around 100,000 direct jobs.  But that’s not to say the mining industry is without its challenges. According to Selim Kaymak, Chief Executive Officer of Londani Coal, net investment in the industry has declined by 15 percent in the past eight years, while major energy producers face their own difficulties – high debt levels and operating costs, capacity constraints and aging equipment. And then, of course, there’s the ongoing impact of COVID-19. “The demand for electricity and liquid fuel products is dropping and the producing entities have limited stockpiling space for stock feed or end products,” Kaymak says. “This will in turn impact or disrupt current coal supply streams which will have an adverse effect on a market already under pressure.” It is hard to imagine how companies can survive, let alone thrive, in such challenging conditions, but Londoni Coal is doing just that.A young and dynamic companyThe firm was established in 2006 in the South African province of Mpumalanga. In January 2017 it re-commissioned a processing plant

Dani Redd Joshua Mann By Dani Redd Joshua Mann

Lerexcom Petroleum : Fuelling Development in the DRC

Thanks to its young, dynamic team and ambitious leadership, LEREXCOM PETROLEUM is ready to supply fuel to enterprises across the Democratic Republic of Congo

Editor Donovan Smith By Editor Donovan Smith

Dangote Cement Congo

Bringing the Dangote Way to Congo Dangote Cement’s operations in Congo are a vital economic and social contributor, the firm’s plant near Mfila being the largest ever opened in the country   Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Josh Mann Despite facing political and economic instability in recent years, the Republic of Congo’s economy appears to be heading in the right direction.  According to the World Bank, GDP growth for 2019 is expected to be recorded at 5.4 percent, an upward curve predicted to continue into 2020 and 2021, gaining an average of 1.8 percent per year for the next two-year period.  This outlook is based on a strong oil and resource sector and a growth in investments – in 2018, around 17 percent of GDP derived from investment, a figure which is forecast to rise to 22.7 percent during 2019 to 21, assuming favourable oil prices and budget surpluses. It also requires a stable political picture. November 2017 proved to be a significant turning point, after a ceasefire agreement was signed between the Congolese Government and representatives of the former rebel leader Frédéric Bintsamou. Since then the country has benefitted from a period of peace and security, a status quo which is gradually seeing investors return to the country.  Indeed, the non-oil sector also has its role to play, and 2017 also marked the entry of Dangote Cement, West Africa’s leading cement producer, into the Congolese market. “Operating as a business unit of Dangote Group in Congo, the largest conglomerate in West Africa and one of the largest in the African continent, it is

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Cimentos de Moçambique

The Virtuous Cement Cycle Cimentos de Moçambique continues to create prosperity for the country, not only by supplying major infrastructure with high quality cement, but through generating opportunities for people and communities   Writer: Tom Wadlow | Project Manager: Josh Mann For a building material that traces back to ancient Greece and Rome, cement, it is fair to suggest, has stood the ultimate test of time.  Around 2,000 years ago, human ingenuity deduced a reaction between lime and volcanic ash when mixed with water, a cementing material which formed the basis of huge swathes of construction work in Western Europe, the classic pozzolana cement gaining its name from the Italian city Pozzuoli.  The Portland cement we are familiar with today was first developed in England by John Smeaton before being patented by Joseph Aspdin in 1824, who produced the material from a synthetic mixture of limestone and clay, a move which sparked an enormous spread of cement manufacturing worldwide throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.  Worldwide production is still on the rise today, the 4.1 billion tonnes made in 2019 markedly higher than the 3.3 billion tonnes recorded in 2010, although slightly under the 4.18 billion-tonne peak witnessed in 2014.  The wider point, however, is that modern-day construction is still reliant on the production of cement in enormous volumes all over the world.  In Mozambique, almost all of its 20th and 21st century infrastructure carries the cement stamp of just one organisation.  For almost 100 years, state-run and now privately owned Cimentos de Moçambique has been producing this vital building material all over the country,

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Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ)

Making Healthcare AccessibleThe Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia continues to work towards its mission of making quality healthcare a reality for a greater number of Zambians    Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Callam Waller To say that public health is in the spotlight right now would be something of an understatement.  Not only has the COVID-19 pandemic brought into focus the importance of basic hygiene standards and threat of transmissible viruses, it has underlined just how critical a population’s good health is to the social and economic prospects of a nation.   Economies have ground to a halt as labour forces are confined to their homes or restrictions in how they would normally work – indeed, the very meaning of the term normal is changing before us.  In Africa, while the impact of the virus has not reached levels of the likes seen in Europe and the United States, the coronavirus outbreak has still led to a number of deaths and restrictions on economic and social activity, once more highlighting the importance of healthy societies and functioning health systems.  Improving access to such medical provision is thus paramount, and the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) has made this its mission in its home country. Founded in 2001, it is a non-governmental organisation focussing on three pillars – direct service delivery, research and training – by spearheading innovative capacity development, exceptional implementation of science and research, and impactful and sustainable public health programmes. Its research into major health threats such as HIV continues to be lifechanging for many Zambians,

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Cemza

Made to LastHaving started production of precision engineered cement in 2018, Cemza has brought some much-needed home-grown capacity and quality to the South African market   Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager:  Josh Mann The Coega Industrial Development Zone – nestled in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality of South Africa not far from Port Elizabeth, it has served as an export hub and industry-friendly operating environment for more than 20 years. A duty-free zone with tax incentives and rebates, Coega IDZ is also adjacent to the modern deep-water Port of Ngqura, a vital South African gateway to global markets. In 2010, Cemza, with the backing of German powerhouse HeidelbergCement as part-owner, saw an opportunity. “Prior to our entry, there had been no investment in the cement sector in Eastern Cape for many decades, and the only existing plant was out of date in terms of technology,” comments Managing Director Tushar Agrawal. “The market was being supplied from other regions involving transport over long distances combined with import of cement from Asia. We saw this as being a suboptimal approach to the market that was not in line with the current technology and trends. “This motivated us to work on the opportunity, to deliver a value proposition to cement consumers by putting up an investment to fill the supply gap,” the Managing Director enthusiastically explains.  Eight years of careful planning and construction later, Cemza began production at Coega IDZ and has never looked back.     Today it stands as a regional supplier of high-quality, precision-engineered cement to Eastern and Western Cape markets, offering a locally sourced alternative

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Black Royalty Minerals : A Beacon for Quality and Responsibility

A Beacon for Quality and Responsibility Black Royalty Minerals is showing that coal mining continues to be a vital socioeconomic contributor in South Africa.

Joshua Mann By Joshua Mann

Africa Logistics Properties

The Dawn of New Age LogisticsAfrica Logistics Properties is at the forefront of an infrastructure revolution in Nairobi, its state-of-the-art warehouses to the north of the city already winning over local, regional and global tenants, with another hub on the way  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Lewis Bush  Nairobi – described as East Africa’s most cosmopolitan city and the beating industrial heart of Kenya. Nestled in the central highlands around 480 kilometres from the port city of Mombasa, Nairobi is responsible for more than a fifth of national GDP and home to around 6.5 million people, or one in eight Kenyans. Indeed, the city’s rise has been a remarkable one given its relatively young age. Established in the late 1890s as a colonial railway settlement, the ‘green city in the sun’ became Kenya’s capital in 1907 and enjoyed a period of turbocharged growth post-independence. But there was a problem. Nairobi, when designed by British colonialists, was only ever supposed to house around 500,000 people, a fraction of the several million that reside here today. “The infrastructure cannot accommodate the needs of the population and various real estate sub-sectors that are now in the city,” explains Dean Shillaw, Chief Commercial Officer at Africa Logistics Properties (ALP).   “Even prior to independence in 1963, Nairobi was growing at such a rapid rate that the infrastructure was left behind. Instead, things were being retrofitted and quick fixes were being applied – it’s like building a LEGO house with the wrong pieces.” However, the picture is changing once again. Governing authorities have realised the boom in industrial activity

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