Latest 82 Corporate Stories

Société Africaine de Plantations d’Hévéas (SAPH)

The Rubber RevitaliserThrough its network of farmers, plantations and processing factories, SAPH is putting Côte d’Ivoire on the global rubber producing map, activity which is providing crucial incomes for communities across the country   Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Kyle Livingstone Vulcanised rubber, as with many inventions, was created by accident. In 1839 American inventor Charles Goodyear accidentally dropped some natural rubber mixed with sulphur on a hot stove, and so discovered vulcanisation, the chemical process by which the physical properties of natural rubber are improved. Goodyear, whose name inspired the well-known tyre manufacturer, had stumbled across a game-changing discovery, one which has aided the development of an industry now worth $30 billion a year. But while many companies made millions from his invention, he suffered for it. Not only did Goodyear have to fight numerous patent infringements in the courts, he was imprisoned in 1855 for debt in Paris and died with arrears of $200,000. Today, the natural rubber industry serves as a critical socioeconomic enabler in West Africa, especially in Côte d’Ivoire, which is the world’s fourth largest rubber producing nation, recording 780,000 tonnes of production in 2019. It is also a historically volatile industry, with the majority of natural rubber produced being sold to tyre manufacturers who appreciate its hysteresis, or capacity to diffuse heat, compared to synthetic counterparts. Prices are currently still low, but the Ivorian industry is starting to blossom at the right time – indeed, some 900,000 tonnes of natural rubber are expected to be produced during the course of 2020, a significant jump on last year’s

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Kenchic Ltd

Feeding a NationAn introduction to Kenchic, Kenya’s leading poultry enterprise is part of an industry with huge potential to transform the country’s agricultural fortunes     Project Manager: Ben Weaver The world is, undeniably, rearing and eating more and more meat.  In 2011 almost 300 million tonnes of meat were produced, a figure which is estimated to rise to around 465 million tonnes by the time we reach the midpoint of this century. And in the 40 years between 1977 and 2017, production tripled to 600 billion pounds, far outstripping population growth, which measured 81 percent during the same period.  Furthermore, approximately 70 billion domestic animals are raised for food consumption purposes every year, a process which accounts for a quarter of all water use in agriculture.  Meat production is then, in short, a massive business and critical source of nutrition for populations the world over.  According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), people in developing countries consume just over 70 pounds of meat annually; far less than the 176 pounds eaten by the average person in a developed nation.  Chicken is the second most popular meat consumed in the world, with 99.7 million tonnes consumed annually according to FAO figures (pork, the world’s most popular meat, stands at 121 million tonnes). In the USA, the average consumer eats some 43 kilos of poultry a year.  In Africa, poultry is an economical and vital source of protein for millions of people. Take Kenya. Its huge agriculture sector accounts for around a quarter of the East African nation’s entire gross domestic product,

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Kansai Plascon

Coated in TrustKansai Plascon has been producing industry leading paints and coatings across Africa for almost 130 years, a standing built on constant innovation and unwavering trust in the brand’s quality   Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Eddie Clinton  “I get my inspiration from those who adventure into the unknown and inspire change in our world. I love innovation and the constant drive to push boundaries and discover, with the aim of changing and improving people’s lives. “I am a naturally curious person and question everything, and chemistry is something that touches our everyday lives all the time and has many of the answers. “I also love brands, and Plascon is an iconic South African brand that is interwoven into our existence – the homes we live in, the buildings we work in and the roads we drive on. The combination of these two and a company that inspires possibilities and enables change made it an attractive proposition.” For Alan Cotton, there was a touch of fate about embarking on journey with Plascon. Joining the paints and coatings manufacturer in the mid-1990s, he now serves as a Director and Group Head of Marketing and Sales, his role being to help write the next chapter in its already illustrious story, a history which dates back almost 130 years to when Herbert Evans set up a paint production operation in Johannesburg. Plascon was officially formed in 1949 and renamed Kansai Plascon in 2012 after Kansai Paints bought the business from Freeworld Coatings the previous year. Today, the company operates through an extensive network of facilities

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Cimenterie de Lukala (CILU)

Building Country and CommunityHeidelbergCement’s Cimenterie de Lukala is investing in the future of not only its plant, but also the DRC and local community in Lukala, the company nearing 100 years in operation  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Josh Mann Around 566 million years ago, an enormous geological formation of Shisto-Limestone emerged in the territory of Mbanza-Ngungu, nestled in the west of modern-day Democratic Republic of Congo. Home to an immense limestone deposit, it wasn’t until 1892 when field studies were carried out in the region that geologists discovered the potential to mine the resource and create cement, a building material which was becoming mainstream having been discovered earlier in the 19th century. The nearest settlement is Lukala, 220 kilometres southwest of Kinshasa on the road to Matadi, near the Kinshasa-Matadi railway line. Today, the quarry remains the largest such reserve in the DRC, its clean and pure limestone perfectly suited to the manufacture of high-quality cement products. Enter Cimenterie de Lukala, commonly known as CILU and a division of Germany’s HeidelbergCement Group. Beginning exploration activities and operation of its plant in 1921, the company has emerged as one of the most emblematic organisations in the country, its reliable cement and social commitments playing a central role in the building of a nation and development of a local community. Indeed, the DRC’s economy as a whole appears to be heading in the right direction. In 2018, it emerged from economic recession and expanded by 4.1 percent, much of this down to increasing activity in the resources sector, which will continue to provide

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Dangote Cement Zambia

Delivering Excellence, Enabling EmpowermentBy continuing to supply the Zambian construction industry with industry-leading cement products, Dangote is able to build a lasting legacy in the country’s Copperbelt province   Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Josh Mann The year 2011 marked a major breakthrough in the development of Zambia. After several years of impressive economic growth, averaging 7.4 percent a year between 2004 and 2014, the World Bank declared it a middle-income country, its copper mining and construction sectors contributing enormously to national GDP. Indeed, investment in large-scale infrastructure projects is one of Zambia’s key strategies to fuel economic growth, the building sector witnessing something of a boom in recent years, despite overall economic growth slowing to four percent in 2018 and two percent in 2019 if estimates from the African Development Bank are proven correct. Since 2015, Dangote Cement Zambia has been a major supplier to the landlocked nation’s construction market. Part of the Dangote Cement family, the division is one of 10 country-based operations which between them form West Africa’s leading cement producer, turning over in excess of $2.2 billion and providing employment for 24,000 people. And the Zambia business hit the local market at just the right time, although the sector has reached an important crossroads according to Country Head and CEO Agostinho Henriques.“The cement industry in Zambia is going through a challenging period of time,” he says. “We have enjoyed a boom in the construction industry over the last two years that allowed the sector to work with high occupancy rates, but since the last quarter of 2019 we

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Cash Converters South Africa : Open for Business

Cash Converters continues to create sustainable wealth for its franchisees, the second-hand retail brand determined to keep the regional economy moving through challenging times.

Editor Josh Hyland By Editor Josh Hyland

Advent Construction

Construction, unparalleledAdvent Construction remains at the forefront of the Tanzanian civil and building industry thanks to its unwavering standards and staff empowerment programmes Written by: Dani Redd | Project Manager: Eddie Clinton The past decade has witnessed a dramatic growth in the Tanzanian construction sector. In 2008, it accounted for only 8.8 percent of the country’s GDP – a figure which rose to 15.6 percent in the first quarter of 2018. One reason for this growth is the Tanzanian government’s current economic strategy to modernise the country through building more infrastructure, housing and energy developments. However, Tanzanian companies are not always the beneficiaries of this growth. The construction sector has been dominated by foreign contractors, some of whom have better access to materials and state subsidies, and can therefore tender better budgets. A second challenge is a shortage of local skilled talent – an issue faced by many sectors within a developing economy. Despite these challenges, Dhruv Jog, Managing Director of Advent Construction, believes that the industry is a dynamic one to be involved in. “A strong population that incrementally grows into the middle class, a determined government that wants to expand the national infrastructure in every segment including roads, railways, water and airports, and a national strategy aimed at enabling the private sector to industrialise the nation – these are just some of the reasons why the Tanzanian construction sector is an exciting industry to be involved in at the moment,” he says. “All these goals – coupled with an overarching objective of increasing local capacity and developing skills within the country

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