Issue 27

Airtel Seychelles : Driving innovation, Affordability and Service

As the first venture into Africa, Airtel Seychelles has experienced double-digit growth year-on-year even through tough economic times.


West Africa’s Exploration GiantsWriter:Emily JarvisProject Manager:Nick NorrisThe West Africa region is rich with resources and an area where mining activity is guaranteed to have a bright future. In line with this, exploration and production companies operating here, such as the indigenous South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO) have witnessed an increase in oil & gas activity in recent years.Since establishing in 1995, the Company has been taking some of the biggest risks in the industry in searching for new oil fields, while seeking to create value in the pursuit of rewarding exploration throughout the value chain.With a balanced portfolio of six assets in five countries spanning the full cycle of exploration and production, the privately held Nigerian oil & gas company, SAPETRO is rapidly growing its operations in Nigeria, the Republic of Benin, Madagascar and the French Overseas territories.“With a net acreage position in excess of 74,890 square kilometres, SAPETRO is currently the second largest operated acreage holder in offshore East and Southern Africa and is well placed to play a leading role in one of the world’s major emerging hydrocarbon provinces,” said the Company, who added that its focus remains on continued strategic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa while building lasting and beneficial partnerships along the way.Partnering for successBack in 1998 during Nigeria’s first bid round, SAPETRO was awarded the deepwater frontier acreage OPL 246. The Company entered into a partnership with Total and Petrobras to undertake a very successful exploration programme leading to the discovery of the 500mmbbl (million oil barrel) Akpo field, and the similar size

Computer Warehouse Group : Starting a Business Revolution

Starting a Business RevolutionWriter:Matthew StaffProject Manager:Donovan SmithSince unveiling its 2.0 model three years ago, Computer Warehouse Group has continued to adapt and innovate as it strives to infiltrate as much of West, East and South Africa as possible with its business revolution.With the initial aim of embarking on a new adventure in 2010 with its more dynamic and profitable strategy for delivering cloud services and solutions to SMEs in Nigeria, the Company’s subsequent success has not always been achieved with a tailwind, but has been consistent and flexible enough to make it the dominant player across a range of sectors in the region.Over the course of the past 12 months, this ongoing success has been carried out in the face of a significant oil price drop in its historically oil-dependent home nation; a trend which has proven catastrophic for many significant enterprises in Nigeria, but one that has opened up a new opportunity for the entrepreneurial Computer Warehouse Group.“We believe that only the flexible survive and that has been our strength from five years ago when we decided we needed to become the dominant player in the cloud computing market,” recalls Austin Okere, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). “We knew that our previous model would not carry on being successful into the future, so in 2010 we looked at what we can provide in the cloud at a better value proposition to our customers, and to create better profit for ourselves.”This flexibility, coupled with its commitment to empowering SMEs with technology in Nigeria has been

Knight Frank Kenya

The Best Buildings in TownWriter:Matthew StaffProject Manager:Stuart ParkerKnight Frank’s 50-year tenure in Africa has seen the region become one of the linchpins in the global property consultancy’s international progression, with the east of the continent leading the way from its Kenyan hub.Nairobi is recognised not only as the country’s capital, but the capital of East Africa as a whole, forming an axis across the continent alongside Johannesburg in the south, Lagos in the west, and formerly Cairo in the north.With a presence in the region now spanning two decades, Knight Frank’s influence in this prosperous East African nation – offering the letting, sale, management and valuation of commercial and residential property – has reached new highs in recent years, with a sustainable long-term plan in place to cement its strong market position in the future.Knight Frank Kenya Managing Director (MD), Ben Woodhams explains: “With 160 employees and a significant turnover, Kenya is the company’s biggest operation in Africa, currently letting more retail space than the UK operation.“As the lead letting agent for numerous 50,000 square metre-plus malls in the region, we have around four million square feet of retail space either in the market now or about to come on to the market, with the company replicating its global business model as a multi-practice real estate consultancy, including carrying out market and feasibility studies across both residential and commercial development.”Being the largest property manager in the region with more than five million square feet of commercial space under management, Knight Frank Kenya has recently safeguarded its


Strengthening the Fibre Backbone of Sierra LeoneWriter:Emily JarvisProject Manager:Donovan Smith Sierra Leone Telecommunications Company (Sierratel) was Sierra Leone’s first and sole telecoms operator in the country to offer landline telephony services in the capital and provincial cities. Since the advent of mobile telephony services, the Company has spent the past few years focusing on reinstating its position as the go-to telecoms provider in the country, leveraging its unique market position which it still retains as the sole provider of fixed line, mobile data and voice services. “The rapid uptake of mobile telephony and associated services dramatically impacted our landline business and made us realise the importance of diversifying our portfolio to include these new mobile and data services,” explains Sierratel Managing Director (MD), Adel Taher.Through its enhanced offering of voice and data products aimed at both the corporate and consumer segments, including bundled voice and data packages tailored to meet the need of these different segments, Sierratel has been successful in strengthening its subscriber numbers, particularly those using data services at the corporate and SME levels.“In addition to our varied bouquet of fixed and mobile products and their available combinations, we feel on our way to answering Sierra Leone’s demand for reliable services. Given the ever-increasing demand for reliable data services and the completion of the ACE (Africa Coast to Europe) fibre cable, we have been able to re-launch our landline service as a combination package that offers ADSL internet and broadband via fibre. This is available in all the key provincial cities now,” highlights Taher. One-stop solutionsThe

Lithon Project Consultants : A One-Stop Shop on the Move

Lithon Project Consultants is strengthening its reputation on a continental scale as the early stages of international expansion pick up pace in South Africa.

Airtel Malawi : Financial Inclusion Drives Rural Coverage

Last year, Airtel Malawi reached one of its main objectives to establish its presence as an internet data provider across rural areas.

Rail2Rail (Pty) Ltd

Connecting People Through Indigenous EngineeringWriter:Emily JarvisProject Manager:Ben WiggerEstablished in 2007 as a home-grown, all-African solution designed to provide much needed upgrades to South Africa’s rail network, Rail2Rail (Pty) Ltd has provided more than three quarters of a million sleepers to Transnet Freight Rail in the country to date; proudly working with the reputable Company to maintain South Africa’s freight railways, consisting of a network which has 22,000 kilometres of track. In total, Rail2Rail has the capacity to produce approximately 350,000 sleepers a year.After searching the world for the right sleeper production methods, the Company eventually struck a lucrative licence agreement with Rail One GmbH, one of the largest sleeper producers in Germany and Europe. Comprising nine production plants all over the world, Rail2Rail was able to leverage European industry expertise and went on to establish a high-tech state-of-the-art production facility in Kimberley, South Africa two years later.One of the most impoverished provinces in South Africa, Kimberley’s location in the Northern Cape was strategically selected due to its central geographic location relative to the rest of the country; facilitating easier distribution of sleepers. But perhaps most vitally, Rail2Rail’s location means it can provide much-needed employment opportunities locally. The province has the highest unemployment rate in the country, which Rail2Rail is trying to overturn, now employing more than 80 employees while also contributing to local economic development via its corporate social responsibility activities spanning key impactful community improvement areas.“It is important that we adopt a localisation strategy where possible and as such, around 60 percent of our monthly

Aveng Manufacturing

A Leading Example in SafetyWriter:Emily JarvisProject Manager:Tom CullumAveng Manufacturing, part of the wider Aveng Group, has had a presence in Africa for more than 125 years. This South African consortium continues to make its mark across the globe as a renowned manufacturer and supplier of a diverse range of steel and concrete products, valves, services and engineered solutions in the mining, water, oil & gas, construction and infrastructure sectors. The Company also undertakes rail construction and maintenance projects in South Africa’s surrounding countries, including activities in Australia.The Group consists of six business units, namely Aveng Automation and Control Solutions (ACS); Aveng Infraset; Avent Duraset; Aveng DFC; Aveng Rail; and Aveng Facades. Throughout each division, quality and safety are the watchwords, which are supported by ISO9001 2008 and OHSAS 18001 accreditations. The safety of Aveng’s staff is of paramount importance and is just one of the vital aspects of the business that has led to its continued success and high level of industry respect.Aveng RailPreviously known as Aveng Manufacturing Lennings Rail Services up to 2013, Aveng Rail is southern Africa’s leading rail track construction and maintenance contractor. Boasting more than 50 years of experience, combined with a skilled team and state-of-the-art equipment, the Company is driven to providing world-class solutions for every project.Based just east of Johannesburg, Aveng Rail has been a major contributor to the railroad network, as a critical supporter of transport infrastructure across South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique.The division’s highly motivated team is led by specialist railway engineers who have

Kansai Plascon : Forward-Thinking Manufacturing

Kansai Plascon can look to the future assured by the strength of its past. Since 1889, Plascon has been the force behind the production of top quality coatings with innovative and ground-breaking technologies, making it southern Africa’s leading coatings manufacturer.

Pandrol South Africa

End-to-End Providers of Trusted Rail Track SolutionsWriter:Emily JarvisProject Manager:Tom CullumPandrol has been involved in the rail fastenings industry since 1917 and has supplied fastenings to more than 415 railroads, surpassing the supply of two billion clips worldwide. With an aim to deliver the world’s best rail track solutions to more than 100 countries worldwide, the Pandrol Group of Companies combine leading research and development (R&D) with specialisation in rail fastening products and installation; track engineering, maintenance and analysis; noise and vibration reduction; and rail electrification.As part of the DELACHAUX Group, Pandrol is able to take advantage of world-class R&D testing facilities and leverage synergies and methodologies for continuous improvement, with tried and tested production techniques to provide the best customer solution. This year, the Company will focus on investing money back into the production and quality control side of the business in order to remain a market leader.Compiled of three shareholders in South Africa – Sturrock & Robson, Pandrol Ltd and Sphere Holdings – Pandrol’s presence in the country has been a welcome support for the local mining industry since establishment in 1937. Originally manufacturing elastic rail spikes, the Company quickly developed the PRclip, which formed the building blocks for a whole range of further rail clips and fastenings, including the E clip and Fastclip. “After being acquired by DELACHAUX Group in 2003, Pandrol was able to significantly strengthen its market position and focus on an expansion strategy beyond South Africa,” says Guy Turner, Managing Director of Pandrol South Africa, adding that the Company has seen

Liebherr-Africa Maritime Cranes

Maritime Hub Supports Africa’s Growth MarketsWriter:Emily JarvisProject Manager:Tom Cullum As part of the internationally-renowned €9 billion Liebherr Group of Companies, Liebherr-Africa (LAF) began life on the continent in 1958 with contracts spanning across mining, construction and civil engineering. Through fruitful, longstanding business relationships, the Company was able to make its mark in one of the world’s fastest developing regions, with 2014 marking its best year ever for sale of its mobile harbour cranes and a record year for offshore and container cranes. The growing demand for cargo handling solutions in South Africa has allowed Liebherr-Africa’s Maritime Cranes division to prosper due to the rise of economies of scale, which is touted to continue throughout 2015 and has seen its staff compliment double in the past three years in line with this. “Africa is the rising star for us; it is the second biggest growth market behind Europe in terms of maritime cranes. We have witnessed significant growth on the continent as a whole which has led to increased activity at the ports,” says Henner Rodenwoldt, Liebherr-Africa Maritime Cranes Divisional Manager. Growing reachOut of its brand new maritime hub in one of the region’s major port cities, Liebherr-Africa operates from a central location that covers three main specialist divisions; port equipment, ship cranes and offshore cranes. “Our long-term collaboration with Transnet over the past few years has allowed us to build this hub and expand our capacities to support the rapid economic growth in Africa. Complete with a focus on training key personnel, this development will play an important role

Davis & Shirtliff Group : Winning Business Strategies

Kenya-based Davis & Shirtliff is East Africa’s largest water industry player focusing on pumps, water treatment, swimming pools, renewable energy and power products.

ZZ2 : Practices for Long-Term Value

ZZ2 is the brand name for a farming organisation which now supplies more than 40 percent of commercially traded tomatoes in South Africa.


Writer:Matthew StaffProject Manager:Josh HylandBrandActiv has brought some of the world’s most renowned household names to Mauritius over a time period which can be traced back centuries, and is now looking towards opportunities to replicate its success in mainland Africa in the future.As an importer and distributor of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), BrandActiv can be traced back 180 years within the island nation, with the Company’s evolution under different guises and brandings culminating in a restructuring and renaming in 2011; the platform for an entrepreneurial modernisation of its operations and ambitions ever since.Overseeing the rebranding was the Company’s General Manager (GM), Jean-Michel Rouillard who remains enthusiastic about how BrandActiv can move forward over the next stage of its development.“BrandActiv is a cluster of IBL Group and was formed in 2011, under my management, when IBL Consumer Goods and IBL Frozen Foods merged together,” he recalls. “We wanted to create something new, evocative and visionary with a rebranding exercise that was geared towards our clients, staff, customers and suppliers.”The business is now formed of three divisions – dry foods, frozen foods and non-food – each headed by a manager overseeing their own line managers and a pool of marketing and sales personnel.“Going back to 2011, we reviewed our mission and role as BrandActiv. As we have evolved over the years as an importer and distributor of FMCG, we now see ourselves as a complete provider of branded consumer goods to the entire Mauritian population.” RelationshipsThe aforementioned population may be small but the market is dense and competitive, comprising

Liquor City Retail Group

Family-Owned Business Shares Its Retail ExperienceWriter:Emily JarvisProject Manager:Josh HylandLiquor City has become a name synonymous with world-renowned brands and its concerted focus on people; by not only providing a smooth shopping process for customers frequenting its 300 stores, but looking after South Africa’s independent retailers by granting them a platform to grow.Out of these 300 stores, around half are franchise-owned, which demonstrates the need to recognise the country’s independent liquor scene as a successful growth market, and Liquor City plays a huge role in keeping these much smaller retailers from falling by the wayside in an ever-developing South Africa, where corporations strive to dominate.Last year marked two significant milestones for the Company and its committed CEO, the South African business icon Manny de Atouguia. The year marked his 70th birthday and 20 years since Liquor City opened its first store in Sofia Town in 1994.Within these past 20 years, South Africa has witnessed wholesale changes to the retail industry, in particular the marked increase in liquor licenses and subsequent demand for alcoholic beverages whose popularity are drawn from other parts of the globe. When Liquor City began trading just after the apartheid era in 1994, investment in the region was seen as too much of a risk for some.However, backed by the entrepreneurial attitude of its CEO, Liquor City continued to work hard to earn its place today as the country’s largest independent retailer for alcoholic goods, specialising in bringing some of the world’s biggest brewers and distillers into what became its signature house brands.Big retail


Moving Forward in the Local and Regional EconomiesWriter:Emily JarvisProject Manager:Callum PhilpArenel has achieved local and regional growth throughout its decades of continuous operational improvement in the manufacture of quality sweets and biscuits for Zimbabweans and its key export markets. Last year, the Company launched a new range of mini biscuits - known as ‘Yummies’ - in five exciting flavours, and a new flavour of Chocolate Zambezi Pops which serves to strengthen Arenel’s growth strategy and cement its position in the country’s confectionery industry. “The new product lines are designed to meet changing market demands and are in response to the ever-changing taste of the people. So far business has been positive and we are moving forward with that movement of positivity,” says Joshua Lepar, Managing Director of Arenel.With a footprint in virtually every corner of the country, Arenel boasts one of Zimbabwe’s most extensive distribution networks in the country.In line with this, the Company has been committed to increasing its service offering with the eventual aim to provide a more inclusive end-to-end service. 2015 is an exciting time for the Company as feasibility studies have been undertaken for the manufacture of a further three products and Lepar is eager to push for their production and inclusion in the Arenel product range. “This year, we will be launching our take on the traditional energy drink called Mahewu, made from maize. To achieve this objective, we have a special purpose-built factory in place for new state-of-the-art equipment, including new processing and bottling machinery which is being installed as

Langer Heinrich Uranium

Increasing Production in Line with Country ForecastsWriter:Matthew StaffProject Manager:Arron RamplingLanger Heinrich Uranium (Pty) Ltd, 100 percent owners of Langer Heinrich Mine (LHM) in Namibia, has successfully reached Stage Three expansion targets and is now operating in excess of the nameplate level 5.2Mlb pa (million pounds per annum) of U3O8 as it looks to complete the next stage of development at a time where higher uranium prices will dictate future expansion opportunities.“With a refocused mandate, Stage Four has presented a unique opportunity for improvement and optimisation, resulting in an expected future feasibility of increasing production to 8.7Mlb uranium ore and upgrading the plant’s facilities,” said the Company.Moreover, experts predict that the accelerated GDP growth levels, which currently stand at 5.3 percent, should continue to remain strong in the coming years, driven by increased mining activities as new mines start production and the export market grows.“Various piloting and testing programmes will continue in order to consider the available options and enhancements in preparation for the future expansion of our mine in line with economic development. Our goal will be to increase production with reduced unit costs and improve process efficiencies, while reducing feed grade into the plant to the reserve average of 520ppm uranium ore,” added the Company.As a result of the work undertaken, and its achievement of an ISO 14001:2004 environmental management system certification, the Langer Heinrich Uranium project is in an excellent position to respond to these market conditions and expand its operations as soon as the price is sufficient. “The certification applies to our entire

Vestas Southern Africa

Indigenous Renewable Expertise Drives Continent-wide GrowthWriter:Emily JarvisProject Manager:Nick NorrisGlobal wind turbine specialist, Vestas, is playing a crucial role in the continent’s renewable sector, retaining slightly less than a third of the market share for wind turbines in South Africa after round 4 REIPPPP (Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme) announcements earlier in 2015.Rapidly changing renewable energy support schemes in Africa are not only shaping the continent’s future sources of electricity, but they are also a source for local jobs and economic empowerment. Given that an increasing number of Sub-Saharan African countries are establishing their own policy frameworks, there are shared continent-wide goals to both reduce CO2 emissions and improve access to electricity infrastructure through least cost generation options such as renewable energy.Vestas has been present in South Africa for more than 10 years and officially established its local entity, Vestas Southern Africa in 2010 - the same year that the REIPPP Programme began. The Company has focused on expanding its presence across Sub-Saharan Africa in a bid to continue steady growth on the continent and share its significant knowledge and understanding of the African business landscape, and the application of renewable energy.“We have actively taken part in the bidding process in rounds 1-4 and established new divisions that cover East Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. Taking into account round 4 of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) REIPPPP, Vestas has won the supply of turbines to 10 utility scale wind power plants; five of which are fully installed, two of which have commercial operation dates and the