Issue 77

Caspian Tanzania

Mining Made SimpleOffering a range of life-of-mine services, Caspian has consolidated its reputation as a dependable, high-quality contractor  Writer:Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Donovan SmithThe African continent is blanketed by optimism right now, an aura that’s largely owed to the mining industry.Mining firms spent $8.4 billion on exploring new metal deposits last year according to a study from S&P Global Marketing Intelligence, up 15 percent on 2016. Further, the report also forecast that exploration spending could rise a further 20 percent during 2019.Combine this surge in mining pursuits with similarly buoyant M&A activities, and the stage is firmly set for Africa, the home of roughly one third of the world’s known mineral reserves, to thrive for years to come.“Mining is a primary industry. It’s never going to go anywhere,” states Akram Aziz, the Managing Director of Caspian Tanzania – East Africa’s premier mining contractor.“There isn’t really one segment of our lives that isn’t touched by some form of mining. Whether it’s bauxite going into airplanes or the extraction of iron for the manufacture of automobiles, I don’t think a lot of people realise that fact.“It’s truly an exciting, futureproofed industry.”Indeed, Caspian is one company that has managed to establish itself as a spearhead of this eternal sector.Founded by the current MD’s older brother Rostam in the mid-1980s as Mbeya Earhmovers, the business spent much of its early life working on various rural construction projects such as road building, dam building and alike.Owed to an emphasis on diversification, capitalisation and growth, however, 1998 marked a new, prosperous

Editor Donovan Smith By Editor Donovan Smith

Wellness Warehouse 2019

Healthy HappyMeeting the growing demand for consumer-conscious products, Wellness Warehouse is taking exciting new strides across South Africa’s health retail sector  Writer: Jonathan Dyble |  Project Manager: Callam Waller A universal trend that has been gaining increasing traction year after year, health and wellness is now an internationalised industry worth $4.2 trillion. Combining the accumulative global values of fitness, nutrition, preventative medicine and personal care products, amongst others, this sum equates to 5.3 percent of global economic output.  Yet, despite these already astronomical numbers, it seems that this is only just the beginning for an industry that is currently growing almost twice as fast as global GDP, according to non-profit Global Wellness Institute. Mental wellness, consumer consciousness and environmental sustainability have become defining trends of 2018 and 2019, while many new shoots continue to sprout across the sector year after year as people become more aware of the dos and don’ts associated with modern-day consumerism. “It’s an industry that’s really caught the imagination,” states Simon Alston. “People are recognising that their general wellbeing and overall health is very much linked to what they’re eating and the supplements they’re taking. This may sound like an obvious statement today, but funnily enough it hasn’t always been this way. Consumers are waking up to the importance of preventative health, which tends to start with what you eat.” Now the Chief Executive Officer of Wellness Warehouse, a South African retailer that has quickly risen to pre-eminence as a champion of the wellness sphere following its inception in 2007, Alston himself remains a relative newcomer to the trade.  In fact, he spent

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Belgotex 2019

Culture of CareBelgotex continues to champion a culture centred around human mindfulness, the company also expanding its export activity in order to navigate a challenging domestic backdrop  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Vivek Valmiki “The reason why I got involved with the business is 100 percent heart.“It is something I have lived and breathed in as a third-generation family member, and my grandfather and father have put the company above pretty much everything else in their lives. I grew up surrounded by a ridiculous passion for the business and the industry in South Africa.”For Edward Colle, following in the footsteps of his forefathers was almost a sense of duty.Inspired to honour their legacy and positively contribute to society, he was never going to turn the opportunity down when it presented itself.“I always felt proud of the organisation, so when my dad asked if I wanted to be a formal part of the company around 12 years ago, it felt like the beginning of a new life,” he continues. “Being part of the journey and carrying on the legacy is what I am here to do, and I am driven by the same engrained passion that my father and grandfather had.”The family firm in question is Belgotex.A one-stop shop flooring operation supplying residential and commercial customers all over South Africa, the company is a member of the wider Belgotex International group which is home to seven divisions across four continents.Having spoken to Africa Outlook approximately a year ago in the summer of 2018, Colle soon turns to

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Universal Paper & Plastics

Hygiene with high purposeUniversal Paper & Plastics is on a mission to uplift hygiene standards across South Africa, its profits enabling it to invest in its surrounding communities  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Kyle Livingstone Making money is simply a means to allow us to have a greater purpose in society.“The family business of tissue paper manufacturing was a great platform from which I could best utilise my resources best to make a dent in the fight against the poor state of sanitation in impoverished local communities. I believe there is immense opportunity in South Africa and Africa to make a positive impact on the state of hygiene.”For David Sher, business is a means to making a positive difference to people’s lives.As Director of his family firm Universal Paper & Plastics (UPP), he left university in his hometown of Pretoria at the age of 22 in 2009, full of ideas as to how he could enhance the business with the ultimate ambition of being able to give back to society.“Together with my brother Jonathan, we started from the ground up, working through all facets of the company to understand where the greatest challenges were,” he recalls. “The dynamic and fast-paced environment we found ourselves in really empowered us to make our mark.“We are the fourth generation in the business and have been brought up inside it from when we were young.  Spending our holiday time packing boxes in the serviette factory, spending time with our grandfather and father on the floor and getting up to mischief were amongst some

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Atlantis Foundries

Shaping the Automotive MouldOne of the world’s largest foundry networks, this global castings player and local socioeconomic stalwart is helping to form an innovative future for the auto manufacturing market Writer: Jonathan Dyble | Project Manager: Kyle Livingstone  There’s never a dull day in the automotive industry.A sector that’s seemingly in a permanent state of disruptive transition, auto manufacturers are consistently being pushed to new limits by fast-changing consumer needs, evolving technologies and environmental regulations, subsequently meeting demands by continuously raising the bar with ever improving solutions.And while big brand manufacturers often take the plaudits in the eye of the public, this industry-wide mentality has trickled down throughout a range of different subsectors, now embraced by a vast array of original equipment manufacturers.“Globally, the auto industry is on the cusp of change, with new technologies and battery driven vehicles being the hot topic of today,” states Mervin Moodley, the CEO of Atlantis Foundries – a South African company changing the state of play in the automotive castings segment.“Being part of an industry where innovation is the driver is exciting. It allows us to play a part in developing groundbreaking solutions for the rest of the world.”A key proponent of industry progression, the views of Moodley – an individual who has been with the business for six years – match up with Atlantis Foundries’ wider mandate, mission and ethos focused on combining innovation and operational excellence.He explains: “The automotive industry maintains the highest of industry standards. The servicing of premium brands can only be successful if a culture of excellence is adopted, and this

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Unity Finance

Making Life EasyUnity Finance is not only helping to change the face of Zambian banking. Equally, the company is upholding impactful initiatives to benefit customer and community alike   Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Sam LoveTo build a career that one can define as successful, it’s important to take any opportunity you can to increase your awareness about the world of work and your place in it.“I was always good with numbers and liked to solve problems that involved them. It was a career and industry I felt would offer a fast-paced environment and always be challenging to me.“As time went by, I began to realise that solving numerical problems could also impact my surroundings in a wider sense, offering solutions that may be missing in a market, or making changes for good. I was also lucky to surround myself with the right people, the believers, and thinkers, and creators who inspired me to take risks and push myself even when I didn’t see it.”Emil Paul has led an enviable career in the financial industry during the past decade.From his first job at accounting firm Moore Rowland Chartered Accountants in Lusaka, Zambia to the auditing department of EY in Abu Dhabi, he has held a multitude of different roles in different contexts, now standing front and centre of the sector as the CEO of Unity Finance.“The financial industry is experiencing a revolution with an influx of new technologies and big data disruptions,” Paul continues. “The services we can offer today are not the same as those

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Twiga Cement 2019

Firm FoundationsTwiga Cement has emerged as a trusted partner thanks to its commitment to consistency and quality, the company seeking to expand its capacity beyond 2.3 million tonnes per annum  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager:Donovan Smith Contrary to many markets in Sub-Saharan Africa, Tanzania’s construction industry has a great deal going for it.According to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics, the sector is the biggest driver of gross domestic product, registering a growth rate of 13.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019.Such activity is a significant factor behind the fact that the Tanzanian economy as a whole is growing steadily at between six and seven percent a year, a trend which is helping the nation reduce its poverty rate and better prepare for steep rises in population.The sizable growth figures for Q1 2019 are attributed to an uptick in local production of construction materials, among them iron, steel and cement.Enter global giant Heidelberg and its Tanzania subsidiary Twiga Cement.Established as a trusted partner and supplier to the country’s construction sector, the company has been catering to growing demand in line with the wider industry’s expansion.“At the moment, compared to last year, we are seeing an increased consumption of around 14 percent for cement,” observes Commercial Director Yves Mataigne.“Growth is aggressive and is mainly down to the amount of construction projects going on – the government has rolled out a clear strategy whereby the further industrialisation of Tanzania is to be accelerated, and one of the key facilitators of this is the implementation of infrastructure.”“The impact is

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Teranga Gold Corporation 2019

Golden Opportunity Well on its way to becoming a mid-tier, multi-jurisdictional gold producer in West Africa, Teranga Gold is entering an exciting new chapter directed by an ambitious strategy and pipeline of assets that has the potential for tremendous organic growth   Project Manager: Donovan SmithGold. From the richly endowed coffins of the Ancient Egyptian era to the treasure of leprechauns cited in Irish mythology, this precious metal has become the posterchild of global riches, beauty and rarity.Fast forward to the present day, and gold’s intrinsic value remains unwavering.Acting as a reliable counterweight for investors, the price of gold rose to a six-year high earlier this year in the face of a weakening dollar, global political tensions and falling bond yields. The majority of analysts remain bullish about gold’s performance in the near term. The World Gold Council, for example, has forecast demand for the highly sought-after metal to remain robust, driven by the expectation that investors and central banks will continue their net purchasing trends regardless of fluctuations in the consumer market.Against this prosperous global context, the current climate is bright for gold mining companies in West Africa. The continent has roughly 30 percent of the world’s remaining mineral resources; its world-class iron ore, bauxite, diamond, phosphate, uranium and gold deposits have helped to elevate the region’s economy in recent years.“We wanted to get involved in Africa, in particular in the western regions of the continent,” Richard Young, President and CEO of Teranga Gold states, highlighting his and company Chairman Alan Hill’s strategy back in 2009. “West

Editor Donovan Smith By Editor Donovan Smith

SVA International

A Multidisciplined Approach to ArchitectureSVA International is actively delivering projects across many disciplines not only in its home market South Africa, but all over the continent  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Eddie Clinton Flexibility and adaptability are key to a business successfully navigating through a challenging domestic market.Whether it be broadening expertise and offerings or reaching out to clients in other markets, the ability to spread risk can be critical to a company’s longevity, not least when conditions are tough.Take South Africa’s building industry. Experiencing a well-documented decline in recent years, it is arguably the sector hit hardest by a national economy that has been treading water lately, with the green shoots of recovery only just starting to be seen.But optimism does exist, and architecture and urban design firm SVA International is poised to serve the South African market as its recovery takes shape.A major reason for this is the fact it has sought work outside of the country to safeguard itself against such a challenging domestic backdrop.“We are fortunate to have opportunities outside of South Africa across the continent and are able to service many sectors in countries that have smaller economies, but much better growth potential,” comments Mike Rossiter, Executive Director at the firm.“Partnering with developers and consultants in these countries, South Africa can offer specialised skills in retail, hospitality, commercial offices, multi-unit residential developments, as well as infrastructure projects such as hospitals. In country partnerships and local knowledge are key to the success of working on the continent.”Rossiter’s journey with SVA spans two decades,

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Schneider Electric 2019

Powering an 'Always On' AfricaSchneider Electric, through its Secure Power Solutions division, is providing a crucial backbone to digital transformation projects across the Anglophone region Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Donovan Smith It is no longer a secret that Africa is a hotbed of technology investment and innovation.Seen as key to unlocking the region’s undoubted economic potential, waves of digitisation and connectivity drives are transforming the way people live and businesses run.Many of the world’s largest multinationals are present on the continent, evidence of the confidence in the region which is widely seen as the next major growth frontier.Schneider Electric is one such company heavily invested in Africa.“We are seeing a lot of investment into the technology sector in the Anglophone region, particularly in the areas of datacentres and IoT,” explains George Senzere, Pre Sales ManagerAnglophone for the firm’s Secure Power Solutions division.“Some of the internet giants today have arrived on our shores already and some are soon to do so. These are exciting times for us. We see startup companies building colocation datacentres which are hosting other businesses’ IT infrastructure – big and small, they are coming in droves.”The benefits of IoT, need for low latency, cost of bandwidth and regulatory requirements are all leading to a demand for what Senzere describes as a “kind of distributed IT infrastructure environment”, the Pre Sales Manager pointing to the move towards local and regional edge datacentres as essential in order to properly support Africa’s digital drive.Keeping Africa always-onSenzere himself has been at Schneider Electric for over a decade.An experienced datacentre professional, he knows better than most the ins

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Roke Telkom

The Connectivity RevolutionRoke Telkom is responding to technological trends in its beloved Uganda, the company broadening its expertise and reach to the benefit of business and consumers  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Vivek Valmiki Digital transformation is pressing ahead in Uganda.According to the GSMA, around 40 million citizens (or 44 percent of the population) have a mobile subscription, with around 10 million mobile internet connections established across the country.And it is a trend that needs to continue gathering momentum if the East African nation is to move towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its Uganda Vision 2040, the rise of digital connectivity seen as crucial in realising almost all of the SDGs.For Michael Mukasa, Chief Commercial Officer at national telco Roke Telkom, the industry has reached a critical juncture.“Several things are happening at the same time,” he says. “First, the traditional voice and mobile services are largely low margin commodities, and the dominant players from that space are looking for new opportunities in financial services and data.“Secondly, there have been a large number of ISP players that had different specialised market niches, yet this is also changing where you find traditionally wholesale companies are now entering the retail and corporate market.“Lastly, there is a shift from only providing connectivity towards giving total solutions to customers including voice, television and online media.”Roke has been in operation since 2006, the company expanding beyond the remit of its Public Service Provider license in 2010 when it secured a Public Infrastructure Provider license from the Uganda Communications Commission.

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Neconde Energy : Petroleum Power 

A major player in Nigeria’s upstream sector, Neconde Energy Limited is simultaneously developing the national oil and gas industry and providing substantial benefit to the local economy

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Lesedi Nuclear Services 2019 : Bringing Excellence to EPC

Lesedi is now firmly established as a leading provider of engineering, project management and maintenance solutions for a various sectors.

Staff Writer Lewis Bush By Staff Writer Lewis Bush

Konga : Rewriting the Ecommerce Narrative

Having come under new ownership in 2018, Konga has stepped up its efforts to provide the perfect blend of physical and online shopping options to Nigerian consumers

Tom Wadlow Josh Hyland By Tom Wadlow Josh Hyland

Hitachi Construction Machinery Africa 2019

Machine Maintenance Made SmartHitachi Construction Machinery Africa has invested heavily in technology to provide a more streamlined, intelligence-driven offering to its industry customers  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Donovan Smith It’s no secret that industry in South Africa has faced slowdowns in recent years.Reduced output across sectors has resulted in lower government spend on infrastructure, which in turn has led to challenges in the country’s construction sector, a damaging cycle which is only just starting to show signs of reversing.One particularly worrisome trend for machine manufacturers such as Hitachi has been the tendency to use non-OEM parts and push equipment beyond its expected lifespan in a bid to trim overheads.  However, challenges are almost always accompanied by opportunities, and for Hitachi Construction Machinery Africa (HCAF), the current situation presents an opportunity to excel at after-sales and support services.“Even though there is an economic slowdown and loss in local buying power, there are strategic businesses that need to sustain key industries for maintaining the country’s key infrastructure and income from exports such as coal, power generation, and agricultural products,” explains Philip Smith, the company’s Parts General Manager.“This is forcing the customers involved to either extend the life of capital equipment, rebuild, repair or do extensive maintenance to ensure they can keep up with the required demand to keep these key industries running.”Having the agility to serve these ever-changing needs is essential for navigating this challenging environment.Indeed, customers are now looking to OEMs for solutions to help reduce operational costs and increase efficiencies, inspiring technological innovation for the integration

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Forte Supply Chain Consulting

The Digital CompanionBy approaching software implementation and utilisation through an industry lens, Forte Supply Chain Consulting continues to tackle the practical issues faced by organisations through its esteemed network of technology partners  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Josh MannIdentifying a problem and delivering a solution is the cornerstone of entrepreneurialism.Often born out of personal experiences, a staggering 100 million businesses are launched annually according to figures from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, around three every second. For Renko Bergh, Chief Operating Officer of Forte Supply Chain Consulting, the eureka moment came during his first period of employment after majoring in logistics. Having already found a passion for the industry during his undergraduate studies at the University of Stellenbosch, he stumbled across a problem that bugged him – one which would transform his career.  “My employer at the time tasked me with the implementation of some transport management software, and this was my first true exposure to software applications,” Bergh recalls.“My experience with implementation of the system, on behalf of my employer, was full of frustration and I soon realised that there was an opportunity to implement logistical software, but from an industry perspective.“I have always enjoyed problem solving, and it was then that myself and my business partner founded Forte Supply Chain Consulting, with the vision to breach the gap between industry expectations and software developers within different sectors of the supply chain.”Today the company operates through four independent divisions: Forte Data Solutions, Forte Transport Solutions, Forte Warehouse Solutions and Forte Inventory Solutions. Each caters to its own

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Inspiring Insurance-led ImpactFor life insurer FMI, the insurance industry is all about protecting incomes and positioning purpose above profit, motivating its people to champion an admirable customer-first culture Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Sam Love “The insurance industry is built on a wonderful combination between the heart and the mind.“It’s a sector that’s able to truly help people during tough times of loss, for example by paying a monthly income when an individual can’t work due to injury or illness. There’s a real satisfaction of knowing we’re making a positive difference in people’s lives,” says Brad Toerien, FMI CEO.“At the same time, it’s an incredibly complex industry which offers a real intellectual challenge. The extensive blend of inter-industry disciplines requires a real diversity of people to succeed, from medical doctors and actuaries to marketing and salespeople, which in itself is fascinating.”Toerien fell into the insurance sector by chance. Yet, being something of a philanthropist, this happy accident revealed itself to be a perfect fit.Opting to complete an actuarial degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, owed to the interesting fusion of maths, science and economics that it offered, he soon after secured an interview with FMI, a Division of Bidvest Life Ltd – South Africa’s fastest-growing life insurer as of Q4 2018.*“The big appeal to me at the time was staying in Durban,” Toerien explains, “but after I joined FMI, I became captivated by its culture and ambition. Three or four years on, I was then given the chance to take a major step up as the CEO – something that I embraced and have enjoyed

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The Diagnostics RevolutionaryCepheid is helping to deliver lifesaving diagnostic solutions across Africa, its GeneXpert System widely recognised as a game-changer in the fight against tuberculosis  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Callam Waller  Tuberculosis (TB) is one the world’s top 10 causes of death.In 2017 10 million people fell ill with TB, a million of these being children, while 1.6 million died from the disease.Transmitting from person to person through the air, it only takes the inhalation of a few germs for someone to become infected, and around a quarter of the world’s population have what is known as latent TB, their chances of falling ill with the disease standing at anywhere between five and 15 percent.Tuberculosis is also becoming more difficult to eradicate. Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) remains a public health crisis and a health security threat, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating that in 2017 there were 558,000 new cases with resistance to rifampicin, the most effective first-line drug.It is one of healthcare’s greatest conundrums, and something the United Nations through its Sustainable Development Goals is treating extremely seriously. By 2030, for example, it wants to end the TB epidemic.And progress is being made. Between 2000 and 2017 some 54 million lives were saved through diagnosis and treatment, the vast majority of these lifesaving activities taking place in developing nations where more than 95 percent of TB cases are found.In Africa, the disease is especially potent. It is South Africa’s single greatest killer, taking the lives of more than 300 people in the country every day, a problem exacerbated

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