May 12

Change and continuity Welcome to the May edition of The African Business Journal (TABJ). You may notice a few changes in the journal this month, not least that the editor is not as bearded. The fabulously fun John Pinching has sadly left us but I am delighted to be on board as the new editor of TABJ.

So while there may be a change of editors, I can promise you that a number of things won’t change. TABJ will continue to give you the best, most accurate and focused business news. We will continue to be cheerleaders for African business, highlighting impressive commercial successes from across the continent – and signposting potholes where we can.

The regional forecast from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that the sub- Saharan economy will grow at 5.75% this year, a tremendous feat given that global growth is only predicted to hover around the 3.5% mark. This sluggish global picture may well affect demand for exports, causing a knock-on effect in the region and slowing down expansion. But let’s not get too gloomy because back in March the news of Tanzania’s gas discovery naturally boosted the shares of exploration partners BG and Ophir Energy. Our cover story this issue draws on the expertise of Noah Greenhill, formerly of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and now head of corporate finance at Sasfin Capital, who spoke to us about why investment in exploration with junior miners needn’t be a minefield (excuse the pun, just couldn’t resist).

We also have a number of stories showing the innovation, potential and expansion in industries as diverse as transport, property, retirement homes, shipping, construction and healthcare. There are many incredibly positive tales to tell about African business and we intend to tell them. Do connect with us on Twitter (@africanbjournal) so we can keep you up-todate on what’s happening.

April 12

Welcome to the April edition of TABJ and what a delightful instalment of our periodical it is too. We deploy the first party popper in honour of a man without whom this publication would probably look very different.

The person in question is—as the front cover so eloquently suggests—Mr. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. I’ll be honest, dear reader, I simply could not hold out for another two years before looking back on Mandela’s inauguration in 1994, so forgive me if ‘18 year anniversary special’ sounds a little premature. I make no apologies, however, as the assembled stories from some of the people that lived through it, prove to be as inspirational, fascinating and compelling as the man himself.

Also on the billing is a continuation of the ‘secret diary of a small business’. This month Jen battles through a load of cyber weirdness, as she discoverers that naming a company can leave you shouting f numbers at your keyboard.

We also have the brutally honest thoughts of the Cape Crusader, as he looks forward to a new era for the Springboks, while affectionately eye-gauging a few former loved ones.

Meanwhile, a controversial look at the ANC’s continued reign, ethics and practices is sure to ruffle a few feathers as South Africa’s political journey reaches a crossroads.

As usual we have got a veritable orchestra of features from the companies making sweet music across the continent. This month’s melody makers come from the retail, healthcare, mining, paper, freight and property industries.

More proof that Africa is fast becoming the most versatile and exciting business platform in the known universe.

March 12

Welcome to another moving, shaking, bodypopping, mind-bending, triple espresso-consuming, flag-waving, peacefully-demonstrating, friendly neighbourhood edition of TABJ. All your wildest business-related dreams in one electronic and digitally enhanced thoroughbred. What could be more virtually exhilarating? The answer is nothing (not within this context, at any rate).

This issue starts—as any worthwhile publication should—with tea, biscuits and a chat with South African Paint Manufacturers Association luminary Deryck Spence. If you’ve ever wondered how the myriad shades of paint currently decorating the abundance of new buildings across the continent are regulated, ponder no longer—you’re about to find out.

After that decorative aperitif, your stimulation will continue with the second instalment of our secret diary of a small business. This month Jen— our intrepid entrepreneurial first timer—gains the confidence to reveal her idea to friends and gets inspiration from Mark Twain (the ground-breaking writer, not one of her friends).

The next desert island of knowledge and curiosity will invite you on a whistle-stop tour of South Africa’s diverse wine landscape.

Then and only then, dear reader, will you swim ashore to the mainland of company features. This month the raft of enlightening shanties come from the mining, food production, services, engineering, energy and, of course, haulage industries.

February 12

It looks, visually at least, remarkably similar to 2011. Nevertheless, this year promises to be one of love, joy, ambition, a revitalised economy, entrepreneurship and a certain athletics jamboree. Wow, that’s a lot of promise.

Continuing the theme of unbridled optimism, this month’s bountiful edition of TABJ includes some pleasantly uplifting features. Top of the bill is a candid chat with The Western Cape’s Minister of Education, Donald Grant. He enthuses about the new cutting edge schools which are providing better prospects to thousands of pupils in the region.

We’ve also got a small business focus, which includes an interview with Humane Homes—a small company that has emerged from the turbulence of the financial downturn, while getting noticed for its innovative approach to housing. The section also features the first in a series of columns from Jen Smit, a young entrepreneur hoping to start her own company. She will take us on every tentative step of her courageous journey through the unpredictable, but endlessly fascinating terrain of new business.

As the political climate in parts of Africa reaches volcanic temperatures we also look at the candidacy of singer Youssou N’Dour, who is hell-bent on becoming the next president of his native Senegal.

In addition to the usual honeypot of news, TABJ’s hive of company profiles will include buzzing companies from the education, healthcare, tourism, retail, property and mining sectors.

January 12

This mighty fine, slightly festive and log-fireheated edition of TABJ starts—as the cover’s industrious ‘wall’ so brilliantly suggests—with an exclusive interview, and the person in the hot seat is Corporate Research Foundation (CRF) visionary Sam Crous.

We discuss how the organisation is helping employers and employees throughout South Africa to achieve their full potential. She also talks candidly about how exciting it is to work in such a vibrant economy.

There are plenty of other beautifully-wrapped festive treats underneath the tinsel-draped boughs of the TABJ tree, including another brutally honest sports report from our man in Africa and an update on the unstable political situation in Cairo.

Also, as we sprint towards the start of the greatly-anticipated London 2012 Olympics, TABJ attempts to keep pace with Africa’s gold medal contenders.

In addition, we take a look at how Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) is combining with Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) in an effort to galvanise carbon neutrality initiatives.

As indicated in the CRF interview, the South African business landscape is buoyant, versatile and thoroughly looking forward to a fruitful New Year. Our compendium of company features certainly reflects this optimism, with contributions from the construction, mining, transport and investments industries.

It only remains for us to venture into the hitherto unchartered territory of 2012. Who knows what the constantly exciting and unpredictable African economic landscape has in store for us next? Whatever happens, TABJ will continue to proudly bring you the most comprehensive news, features and company profiles in the business.

December 11

To say that it’s been an interesting month in Africa would be an understatement. The freedom fighters of Libya have had the final say in an old fashioned battle between the forces of good and evil.

A certain mad dog, whose name they choked on for so many years, will never speak again, and for Libya that is a pretty good result. For the first time in over four decades its people can breathe easily and, consequently, our cover story focuses on the extraordinary revolution, liberation and future of Libya.

This issue also takes a look at another significant swing of the political pendulum— this time in Zambia—where the new government means business; big business.

There is also an analysis of the South African economy; looking at the traits that have allowed it to apply pragmatism, character and strength at a time when more experienced trading platforms have buckled. Hot on its heels, is a look at the future of South Africa’s rugby team, courtesy of our local correspondent and, boy, he pulls no punches in his assessment of how the Boks were managed during the Rugby World Cup 2011.

In addition, we’ve got an insightful interview with Hamish Laing, Director of the Concrete Manufacturers Association and, naturally, he provides some really solid answers.

Our comprehensive array of company features from the cream of Africa’s business community draws inspiration from several industries this time, including transport, mining, and construction. There is even a feature on an airport where wildlife is free to roam around the departure lounge and an impala greets guests at check-in. Seriously, folks, what more could you possibly want?

November 11

As we accelerate into new and dazzlingly futuristic realms, it feels strangely reassuring to call myself the editor of a digital publication (I’ve been called worse, believe me). Increasingly I see people stroking away at their tablets and think to myself, yeah, I’m surfing the wave of a revolution here. By the very act of skimming over my carefully chosen words, reader, you are a small part of publishing history—a tiny but noticeable blip on the evolutionary scale.

This is the future, folks, and although I will always love the feeling of paper against my fingers on a Sunday morning (so to speak), I realise that touch screen and high-res screens are finally realising their potential; changing the way we read forever. My mum’s got a Kindle and so has yours; need I say more?

In this month’s all-electronic, body-popping, cyber-tastic edition of TABJ, I’ll be donning the trusty agent provocateur raincoat and explaining my argument for mining. There will also be an opportunity for you to share your mining experiences and opinions.

Other features include a South African mining special report, a whistle-stop tour of South Africa’s favourite regional snacks and a fascinating item by South African Association of Freight Forwarders CEO, David Logan.

Meanwhile, the cover story invites you into the mysterious world of gold. I take a look at what makes gold so hopelessly desirable, chat to Sven Lunsche from Gold Fields and listen to a wise old North African gold miner from ‘the good old days’.

There’s also the usual eclectic compilation of movers, shakers and hip swingers from the business community. Captivating company profiles come from all manner of industries including property development, electrical construction, private healthcare, boat building and, the coup de grâce… eggs!

October 11

I hope you are enjoying a fulfilling summer so far. Assuming you are, here’s another ray of sunshine—a new edition of The African Business Journal.

The front cover subtly suggests that something big with a strange-shaped ball is afoot. Yes, Rugby Union World Cup fever is spreading. Crunching tackles, steaming scrums, phenomenal footwork and try line high jinks are the order of the day—why, you can almost smell the antiseptic spray!

To celebrate the occasion I’m  going to look wistfully back at tournaments gone by, while also forensically dissecting the most threatening teams at this year’s jamboree.

Also, as the paint  dries on goalposts in preparation for the new season, we take a look at African footballers who hope to add some sparkle to the frantic cauldron of the English  Premier League.

This month’s edition is further proof that the African economy is enjoying a renaissance, with many industries experiencing a gradual change of fortune,  after some difficult months. The companies we’re profiling cover practically every walk of life from properties and gardening to electronics and carbonated drinks.  We also take a look at mining (naturally), cotton, fruit, motor vehicles and many other industries to boot.

In addition, we have the next in our series of Poprica  (checking out more African influenced music) and a study of how water shortages may cause the next major war.

Before I dash, I must also alert you to an  exclusive interview with a chap who has been teaching business studies in Egypt. Not only has he been changing young lives for the better, but there has also  been the small matter of a revolution to deal with.

September 11

The front cover subtly suggests that something big with a strange-shaped ball is afoot. Yes, Rugby Union World Cup fever is spreading. Crunching tackles, steaming scrums, phenomenal footwork and try line high jinks are the order of the day—why, you can almost smell the antiseptic spray!

To celebrate the occasion I’m  going to look wistfully back at tournaments gone by, while also forensically dissecting the most threatening teams at this year’s jamboree.

Also, as the paint  dries on goalposts in preparation for the new season, we take a look at African footballers who hope to add some sparkle to the frantic cauldron of the English  Premier League.

This month’s edition is further proof that the African economy is enjoying a renaissance, with many industries experiencing a gradual change of fortune,  after some difficult months. The companies we’re profiling cover practically every walk of life from properties and gardening to electronics and carbonated drinks.  We also take a look at mining (naturally), cotton, fruit, motor vehicles and many other industries to boot.

In addition, we have the next in our series of Poprica  (checking out more African influenced music) and a study of how water shortages may cause the next major war.

Before I dash, I must also alert you to an  exclusive interview with a chap who has been teaching business studies in Egypt. Not only has he been changing young lives for the better, but there has also  been the small matter of a revolution to deal with.

August 11

This month has been my first full issue and inevitably you will notice a slightly different style, which I hope you will find interesting, informative and entertaining!

The mag has got the usual aperitif of business news, followed by stories of companies making an impact in Africa. Indeed, as several global markets show signs of recovery, it’s encouraging to see businesses are starting to get excited again. This edition has good vibrations from the mining, aviation, food and property industries, while a welcome call from the wild comes courtesy of South African National Parks.

In addition there will be a refreshed selection of features, hopefully suiting a wide range of tastes. These include a jaunt through African influenced cinema, how African women are changing the business landscape and the legacy that the FIFA World Cup in Africa has left behind.

Leading the way in my inaugural issue is our fascinating interview with Fairtrade. This extraordinary charity takes us through its inspirational journey across Africa during the last decade—changing attitudes, getting a better deal for farmers and transforming lives.

July 11

This month’s issue of TABJ presents a myriad of businesses that have thrived in Africa. And to open the collection, we bring you an exclusive interview with Ernst & Young, who tell us why Africa is the place to be.

While we normally host many companies in the food and drink sphere, and in manufacturing, this month we also bring to you some interesting company stories in the development and energy sectors including stories from Central Developments and Time Mining.

Meanwhile, the TABJ team has been examining pertinent world events over the last month and delve into Bin Laden’s death and emotions on the oil markets, and Japan’s nuclear crisis and how it has affected nuclear confidence.

We are always looking to feature the best in class in African business. So contact us and we’ll tell your story—and with our new Editor John Pinching on board, we’re sure you will be pleased with the result.

June 11

The world has had its eyes on Africa this month, and we’ve been right there to bring you the latest. This month in TABJ, we address the situation in Libya and how the country is facing the pressing question: can oil trade help the country end its conflict? We highlight some of the biggest political and economic events that have happened this year, and what the future of oil trading might look like. We also look at ethical clothing production and what it means now to be involved in tourism in Egypt.

It is important to take note that the World Economic Forum of Africa took place May 4, and many lessons can be learned from the discussions country leaders and industry experts took part in. The way the world views Africa will significantly affect future investment and economic growth. We will continue to feature the brightest and best companies in the continent, including this month: Cape Fruit Processors, Marley Pipe Systems, and Rani Resorts. These companies are contributing to the health of Africa’s current and future economy.