Issue 06

Airtel Nigeria

Taking a megabyte out of the competition Airtel is redefining the data experience in Nigeria and is reaping the rewards – including a 92 percent increase in its internet customer base. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Donovan Smith Our pages are littered with investment opportunities. Whether it is opportunities in Kenya's insurance market or new mines in Namibia, we've pretty much covered it all within the pages of Africa Outlook over the past six months. Investors are definitely excited by what Africa has to offer. And they are particularly excited about opportunities that exist within the telecoms sector. To quote the UK's BT, "it's good to talk". Nigeria is one market causing quite the stir and according to U.S-based research firm Pyramid Research, the rate of growth in Nigeria's telecommunications industry and a large population are parameters that will continue to make the country one of the most attractive markets to investors in Africa and the Middle East. Pyramid Research is a company that provides international market analysis and consulting services to the communications industry and its study took a five-year look at the country's telecommunications sector returns, saying that demand profile in the country, both for voice and data services, is high and by far, the largest in Africa. It also identified the sound regulatory regime put in place by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the industry regulator, as a key factor bringing about and sustaining the growth potential. One of the country's leading mobile telecommunication services providers is Airtel, a firm that has seen

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Marce Fire Fighting Technology

Marcé launches fire station turnkey solutions South Africa-based Marcé Fire Fighting Technology is changing the face of the fire fighting industry. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager James Mitchell With sirens ablaze and red lights flashing, a fire engine races through the streets of South Africa. Having arrived at its destination, the crews begin their rescue operation. Who supplied the fire engine they were driving? Marcé Fire Fighting Technology, a leading manufacturer, importer and exporter of fire fighting vehicles and emergency equipment. The firm was formed in 1998 and operates from premises near Pretoria. It started as an importer of fire fighting vehicles and equipment, but in 2001 management realised there was "potential" in manufacturing locally, providing that high quality standards were met. And this is what it has done. "We provide unparalleled customised solutions to the needs of emergency services and adding value to the industry," says Jan Steyn, commercial manager whose wife Danielle has been the driving force behind the business. Marcé moved into its current design, engineering and manufacturing base in Centurion last year to cater for the "rapidly growing demands for its vehicles" and after enjoying "exponential growth". The new building houses the head office and there is very tight control on quality. Virtually all the components are made on site, using the latest technology and modern equipment. This includes a large painting booth that delivers a very high quality level of finish. "Basically we have grown so fast over the last couple of years and we have had exponential growth of about

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De Keur Estate

Fruits of love De Keur Estate (Pty) Ltd is a long established family run agricultural business, producing first class agricultural produce and high quality customer service since 1934. Director Danell du Toit tells Africa Outlook more about how the business has adapted following the 'farmworker spring' last November. Writer Ian Armitage Project Manager Eleanor Watson A family run agricultural business, the De Keur Group has a long history - since 1934 in fact - of producing first class agricultural produce and there are currently two separate businesses under the De Keur umbrella: De Keur Estates, which produces a wide range of fruits and vegetables, and De Keur Packaging, the packaging facility. The group specialises in top "quality fruit with a short supply chain". "If you look at our production operation, we currently have five farms on which we produce," says Danell du Toit, whose grandfather founded the business. "Of those farms, De Keur itself is where the name of the company originates and it was purchased in 1934 by my grandfather Charl du Toit (Tippie). In 1973 we purchased a second farm, Leeuwrivier and in 1981 Rocklands. Both of these farms are also situated in the Koue Bokkeveld area." In 2008 De Keur purchased two additional farms – Môreson and De Hoop – in the Wolseley area. This was specifically designed to "add earlier varietals" and "expand the De Keur's product offering to meet customer demand," explains du Toit, who adds that the business is continually planning for the future. "If you look at a typical

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Coca-Cola Sabco Mozambique

The untouchables Despite its huge share of Mozambique's carbonated drinks market, Coca-Cola Sabco remains thirsty for growth. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Eleanor Watson With its huge 87 percent share of the carbonated drink market in Mozambique's burgeoning economy, Coca-Cola Sabco looks pretty untouchable. However Country Manager Simon Everest still has big plans to grow the brand - and expects double-digit growth in the next two to three years. Aware that new competitors are being drawn by Mozambique's increasingly attractive economy as oil, gas and mining operations grow, he is working to raise the company's game. One of the world's most recognised brands, Coca-Cola has clear advantages in Mozambique. It's been operating there since 1994 when restrictions on South African businesses operating in Africa were lifted and it's built up enormous brand loyalty, a big factor in Africa's markets. The company also has what Everest describes as "the best distribution system in Mozambique and 1,000 experienced staff members" and it's strategically placed throughout the elongated country with three plants – one in Nampula servicing the North, another in Chimoio servicing central regions and a plant in the capital Maputo servicing the Southern provinces. Everest says the locations were carefully chosen because of their geographic and strategic importance, with Nampula covering Northern provinces and Chimoio placed equidistantly between the port of Beira and the coal-producing Tete region. While the country's roads could "still do with some work" there is growing investment into its infrastructure to upgrade its railway connections, roads and ports. The company has committed itself

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T-Systems Healthcare

A healthy business T-Systems are part of a multinational company that spans the globe. However that doesn't stop them paying attention to the details when working with local communities in South Africa. Writer Chris Farnell Project manager: Eddie Clinton Deutsche Telekom AG is a telecommunications giant. The company behind, among other things, the T-mobile network, is well known for providing landlines, broadband Internet and digital television. In amongst all of that are T-Systems, a globally recognised ICTsolutions brand. "We have locations in more than 23 countries, we're constantly opening new offices," explains Ben Maree, head of Healthcare Sales and Solutions for T-Systems South Africa. "There are about 252,000 Deutsche telecom employees worldwide, with around 48,000 of those working for T-Systems. In South Africa T-Systems have around 2,500 employees in our two major centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town." T-Systems bring its global resources and local expertise to a whole range of environments in South Africa. "We work in a number of different market sectors but our main industry focus is on Energy, Healthcare as well as travel, transport & logistics, and we've just started investing in the Education sector," he explains. So what is the secret to T-Systems 'success? According to Maree it's the product of the wide range of knowledge and skills that the company has access to. "We can really provide an end to end solution, touching on all the ICT elements," Maree explains. "This, combined with our good geographical positioning, means we can get the right resources to locations across the country." One

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Lesira-Teq

Intelligent water metering Lesira-Teq sells and supports intelligent metering technology and equipment in South Africa. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Eddie Clinton Lesira-Teq has established itself as a leader in South Africa's intelligent water metering market. The firm was established in 2003 and the innovative black owned company has introduced a water meter solution to the market which has transformed the industry. "Lesira-Teq is a leader in the intelligent metering system industry in South Africa," the company proudly claims on its website. "Lesira-Teq provides a comprehensive range of state-of the- art technology in over 350,000 intelligent water meters to some of the largest municipalities in South Africa including the City of Johannesburg, Mangaung Metro Municipality, City of Cape Town and many other water service providers, district and local municipalities." Why the need for such equipment, you might ask. Well, there is a growing awareness that water is a finite resource and water demand management has become the mantra for water authorities across the globe – it's why Lesira-Teq does so much work with local municipalities. Its meters provide the end user easy access to important information about their water usage, and, importantly also educates them on how best to manage and preserve water. Talking to Africa Outlook, Lesira-Teq's marketing manager Naphtali Motaung described its technology as "completely unique". He said it offers various options for end users. "For instance, our water meter enables the end users to monitor their water usage throughout the month and therefore helps to save water - and we have step tariffs,"

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Amanz’Abantu Services

Water for the people Amanz' abantu Services was established as a private South African company in 1997 with the aim of providing water supply and sanitation services for peri-urban and rural populations in the Eastern Cape, one of the poorest regions of South Africa. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager: Sheridan Halls Life without clean water and sanitation is hard to imagine for most city dwellers however that's the harsh reality for many in South Africa's peri-urban and rural areas – and the situation needs fixing urgently. One company, Amanz' abantu Services (Pty) Ltd (the name means water for the people in Xhosa) has made its mark in this often-forgotten sector. Based in South Africa's Eastern Cape, the company was formed after the 1994 elections when the newly democratic South Africa re-incorporated former 'homelands' like the transkei and Ciskei under one umbrella – and took on the provision of their services too. The National Department of Water Affairs issued a challenge to the private sector to assist them in rolling out – on a turnkey approach – the then Reconstruction and Development Programme. Oliver Ive, Managing Director of Amanz' abantu, says the company grew out of "five or six large, well-established firms who came together with the objective of implementing a turnkey rollout for water services for the rural poor." And it's kept going – even beyond the initial period governed by a government contract, which Mr. Ive feels has given the firm "a certain character". "We had to go out there and find opportunities. We have

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NuWater

Leading the way with water Nuwater is a specialist provider of solutions and services for the treatment, reclamation and re-use of wastewater as well as the desalination of sea and brackish water. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Sheridan Halls When apartheid crumbled in 1994, an estimated 14 million South Africans lacked access to a formal water supply and about half the country – some 21 million people – had no formal sanitation, according to the Department of Water Affairs. Since then, access to water has increased dramatically, but backlogs persist. At least 26 towns in the Free State, for instance, currently have no water at all in certain areas, water supply disruptions, or extremely unhygienic water coming from their taps. Water problems in these towns are mainly being caused through water treatment plants and pipes that are dilapidated while some dams are completely dry. Now, as that sinks in, this is a great point at which to introduce Nuwater, a specialist provider of solutions and services for the treatment, reclamation and re-use of wastewater (and the desalination of sea and brackish water). Nuwater can pretty much do it all and a central part of its offering is based on Reverse osmosis (RO), the technology of choice for large-scale desalination applications, be that desalination of seawater or wastewater containing high levels of dissolved salts. "We service our two main geographical markets of sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia from our offices in Cape Town and Singapore," says Nuwater's Michael Avant-Smith, who explains that the firm was established in

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S.A.M.E Water

Water works The United Nations has declared 2013 the International Year of Water Cooperation. According to UN Secretary general Ban Ki Moon: 'Water is central to the well-being of people and the planet, we must work together to protect and carefully manage this fragile, finite resource.' Writer Ian Armitage Project manager: Sheridan Halls Water. It is something we sometimes take for granted and it is often easy to forget its supply is finite. One day it will run out. So maintaining sustainable supplies for future generations is one of Africa and the world's biggest challenges. And this fact makes water and wastewater treatment vital. Enter South Africa's S.A.M.E Water, a "resourceful dynamic company which offers a wide range of services to the water industry". The company was formed in September 1966 and has a "successful range" of wastewater treatment equipment "designed to fulfil an entire spectrum of needs from the most basic to the most sophisticated equipment available," according to managing director Frank Schulz. "We have our own well-equipped manufacturing assembly workshops and skilled staff of approximately 80 people in our Johannesburg and Cape Town offices. Our technical skilled staff include: mechanical engineers, process engineers, environmental engineer, chemical engineers and auto-cad/solid worx drawing program operators and full time maintenance and installation crews," he says. S.A.M.E. Water's aim is to offer a "full scope" of services, "a type of one stop shop". "We do tender preparation, project planning, design, manufacturing, installation, commissioning, successful handover and aftersales of a full waste and water treatment plant. It is all

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Afroteq FM Solutions

Specialist in the built environment Companies become successful when they focus on their core revenue generating activities. However they can become even more successful by minimising costs of non-core activities. In order to manage these functions efficiently to maximise profits requires specialist intervention and know-how. Writer Susan Miller Project manager Stuart Shirra Mention FM to most people and they will probably think of their favourite radio station but to Lydia Hendricks, Director of South African based Afroteq FM Solutions, it means "Facilities Management", something she's passionate about. As a Director of Afroteq FM Solutions, a company specialising in full turnkey facilities management solutions, she has been active in the industry for close on 20 years and is determined to see the industry increase its professional recognition in South Africa. She claims that currently the facilities management function is often perceived as an "in-the basement" function when it should in fact be brought in at senior executive level as it is a key integrator and enabler of the core business strategy and if ignored could have a significant impact on cost and business effectiveness. To this end, Facilities Management is still undervalued in SA. Hendricks explains that Facilities Management services include approximately 80 different services and if put under one umbrella contribute to one of the highest operational spend for most businesses, and in most cases hidden and in some cases replicated, because the service often reside in each respective department to serve their specific need or the management of the essential services are passed on to

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Atlas Copco

Q&A: Atlas Copco Inside Swedish mining and construction equipment manufacturer atlas Copco, one of the continent's leading mining equipment and services suppliers. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager: Debbie Clark Swedish mining and construction equipment manufacturer Atlas Copco has had a presence in Eastern Africa since 1938 and over the last few years has literally "struck gold". However falling gold prices have forced the company to adapt, says Henry Ngugi, Regional general manager - mining & Rock Excavation. Mr. Ngugi was kind enough to answer our questions all the way from Tanzania... Atlas Copco has spent the past few years consistently capitalising on the opportunities afforded to it by Africa's burgeoning mining industry, especially in regards to gold. But the gold price has been plummeting. How has that affected things? As you say, our mining and exploration activities are mainly focused on gold and therefore negatively affected by the drop in world gold prices during the last six months. However, the construction and industrial businesses, though smaller in absolute terms, are performing well. Overall, we have adapted our organisation and focus and as a result have been able achieve satisfactory growth targets in most our business segments. Where has Atlas Copco been most successful in the last year then? Is there anything you would like to improve? We have been most successful in 'use of products' - that means service, spare parts and consumables business. Delivering good service is not an event, it is a continual process, improvement comes in form of small steps, and we would

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Octea Diamond Group

Diamond geezers Sierra Leone diamond company the Octea Diamond Group owns two mining leases: the Koidu Kimberlite Project and the Tonguma Project. It also has exploratory licences including for newly created subsidiary Boroma, east of Koidu. Sierra Leone diamond exports increased 43 percent in the first half of 2013. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Debbie Clark When the civil war that wracked Sierra Leone ended in 2002 the first company to enter the country and invest was Koidu Holdings, a diamond mining subsidiary 100 percent owned by Beny Steinmetz's BSG Resources. Since then the fortunes of both company and country have improved with stability bolstering both business and investor confidence. Renamed the Octea Diamond Group after restructuring, the company owns two mining leases: the Koidu Kimberlite Project and the Tonguma Project and also exploratory licences, including for newly created subsidiary Boroma, east of Koidu. The Koidu Project - situated in the Kono District, 330km east of the capital Freetown in the diamond-rich area where the rebel war began in 1991 - boasts two kimberlite pipes, four kimberlite dyke zones and blows. In size 4.9km², its production capacity was boosted in 2012 with the unveiling of a $200 million, 180 tons per hour (tph) processing plant which increased output to 45,000 carats per month. The group's intention is to move from open pit mining to underground mining at the site – with CEO Jan Joubert stating that "resources of over 14 million tonnes have been delineated at Koido". Indeed its mining licence has been extended to 2030

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Lodestone Namibia

New iron ore mine for Namibia Africa Outlook discusses the challenges and opportunities of opening a new iron ore mine in Namibia with the CEO and CFO of Lodestone Namibia. Carsten Mosch, Lodestone's CEO, and David Hinsley, its CFO, are principal investors in the project in Dordabis, which is located 70 km south-east of Windhoek. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Debbie Clark Namibia is a middle income country which has enjoyed considerable successes since it gained independence from South Africa in 1990. It is renowned for sound economic management, good governance and inherited a well-functioning physical infrastructure, a market economy, rich natural resources, and a relatively strong public administration. Namibia has made significant progress too in addressing many development challenges like job creation, education, primary healthcare services, safe water, poverty and inequality. In the 2013 World Bank /IFC Ease of Doing Business Study, Namibia ranked third out of 25 African countries. In the Ernst and Young Emerging Markets country rankings, it ranks ahead of the likes of Turkey, Colombia, Mexico and all of the BRIC economies. It is this that has attracted international investors (Namibia has attracted the 15th most FDI projects in Africa since 2003, which ranks it as the top African investment destination on a per capita basis). It is in this context that Africa Outlook interviewed the management of Lodestone - just as they were drawing a close to their latest round of exploratory drilling and were finishing their Namibian mining license application, which they expect to submit at the end of August.

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Hyprop Investments

Africa beckons Hyprop Investments is South Africa's largest listed retail property fund and it recently co-invested a 37.5 percent in Atterbury Africa, which develops and owns quality shopping centres in Africa. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Stuart Shirra South Africa's Hyprop Investments doesn't need much of an introduction. It is the country's largest listed retail property fund and its portfolio is valued at a cool R21.5 billion. It is a giant and its property portfolio includes 11 prime shopping centres located in South Africa's largest metropolitan areas. Its shopping centres are distinguished by their prime locations, extensive and superior tenant mix and popular anchor tenants, making them the preferred shopping destinations in South Africa. Flagship assets in the fund include Canal Walk in Cape Town, Clearwater Mall and The Glen in Johannesburg and Woodlands Boulevard in Pretoria. "Listed property, with a market capitalisation of R210 billion, was the best performing South African asset class in 2012, yielding a total return of 35.9 percent," says CEO Pieter Prinsloo. "As South Africa's largest listed shopping centre fund, Hyprop's premium regional and super regional shopping centres performed well during 2012, demonstrating their core strength." "Our portfolio comprises of high quality shopping centres in South Africa," he adds."The centres distinguish themselves from their peers by their key locations as well as size. Our centres are classified as Super Regional, Large Regional, Regional and Value/Lifestyle, servicing a broad spectrum of shoppers in South Africa. Retailer growth and demand drives the development and expansion of our current centres' footprint in the respective

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Zep-Re

Towards a better future This is a great time to be involved in Africa as a territory as the demand for insurance and reinsurance continues to grow. Africa Outlook profiles ZEP-RE (PTA Reinsurance Company), a specialised institution of COMESA and a regional reinsurance player in Africa. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Nick Norris Demand for insurance and reinsurance continues to grow globally, but nowhere as quickly as in Africa. Africa has been the second-fastest growing economy in the world, with GDP increasing on an average of five percent a year. The middle class ranks are swelling, driving demand for goods and services. Africa is also resident to the fastest growing youth demography in the world, well-educated and better informed; a growth opportunity waiting to be tapped. Demand for insurance products, new or otherwise, is building and should balloon. There is immense potential. One company that is very much aware of this is ZEP-RE, a COMESA institution created 20 years with the sole aim of promoting insurance trade in Africa. "It is an exciting time in Africa and we feel we are in the right place at the right time," says Hope Murera, the firm's general manager. ZEP-RE was set up in 1990 by the member states of COM ESA common market for Eastern and Southern Africa) and started reinsurance underwriting on January 1, 2003 under the name of PTA Re, with its headquarters in Nairobi. With an authorised capital of $100 million and a market that stretches from Djibouti to Senegal and Libya to South Africa,

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Interswitch

Nigeria's transition to a cashless economy Changing the way forward: Interswitch's group managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mitchell Elegbe is the founder of Nigeria's first electronic payments system and the leading figure in its move from a largely cash economy to embracing online payment facilities. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager: Donovan Smith It's unusual for a leading businessman to welcome competition but that's what Interswitch Transnational Holdings Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mitchell Elegbe is doing. The founder of Nigeria's first electronic payments system and the leading figure in its move from a largely cash economy to embracing online payment facilities, he emphasises that he is happy about the entry of international players like Mastercard and Visa into the domestic market. This may well have to do with his holding company's move on 1 April 2013 which divided Interswitch's core businesses into Verve International and Interswitch Switching and Processing. Verve International, led by Charles Ifedi, will concentrate on growing its pan African chip + PIN payment card and compete with its international rivals at a banking level. The split also leaves Verve able to drive its payment card business into the international market and focus on its new business alliance with the Discover and Diners Club International network. Thanks to the deal its cards will be accepted at ATMs and PoS machines in over 185 countries for cash transactions and purchases. And this is something Elegbe is excited about as it also signifies a big shift in Nigerian society. While traditionally only the

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