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10 African Millionaires Under 40

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Nothing beats being young and rich. While most people attain multi-million dollar and billion dollar fortunes in their 40s and 50s, a few savvy entrepreneurs hit the big time while in their 20s and 30s.

Mfonobong Nsehe, who contributes for Forbes reported that there are a handful of young African entrepreneurs who’ve legitimately built multi-million dollar companies while in their 20s and 30s.

A few of them have taken the helm of small companies and spun them into companies with valuations of $1 billion or more.

All aged 39 and under, they are worth watching closely.

Mohammed Dewji, Tanzania: Manufacturing
Dewji, 38, a Tanzanian businessman and politician, is the CEO and leading shareholder of Mohammed Enterprise Limited (METL), one of the largest industrial conglomerates in East Africa. 
His father, Gulam Dewji, founded the conglomerate decades ago as a trading company but ‘Mo’ as he is popularly called, now calls the shots. 
He was solely responsible for engineering the group’s transformation from a trading house to a manufacturing powerhouse. 
METL, which records an annual turnover of close to $2 billion, owns 21st Century Textiles, one of the largest textile mills in sub-Saharan Africa by volume.
The group also manufactures soap, beverages, edible oils and other food products as well as bicycles and motorcycles.
Other assets include an insurance firm, a petroleum marketing outfit and a container depot in Tanzania’s capital city of Dar Es Salaam. 
The group employs over 24,000 full-time employees. Mo  Dewji is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and a Member of Parliament for Tanzania’s Singida Urban constituency.
 (I met with Dewji in Tanzania recently and will be writing a detailed piece on Dewji’s business holdings).

Igho Sanomi, Nigeria: Oil Trading
In 2004, Igho Sanomi founded the Taleveras Group, a Nigerian energy trading company. Taleveras trades over 100 million barrels of crude oil as well as several million tons of gasoline, LPG and jet fuel.
In April 2012, Taleveras acquired production sharing contracts (PSCs) for three offshore oil blocks in Ivory Coast.
In June 2013, Taleveras sold a 65% stake in one of its Ivorian offshore upstream projects to Lukoil of Russia for an undisclosed price. Taleveras also owns a stake in a power distribution firm in Nigeria. Sanomi is 38 years old.

Quinton van der Burgh, South Africa: Mining
The 36 year-old South African coal magnate is the founder and chairman of Quinton van der Burgh Investments, a diversified holding company that is the controlling shareholder in Eyethu Coal, a company that mines coal in South Africa’s Mpumalanga region. Eyethu owns two operational mines and is a major supplier of coal to Eskom, South Africa’s dominant power provider.
Van der Burgh’s portfolio also includes Iyanga Coal- a company that owns a mine with proven reserves of 18 million tons of coal and Burgh Plant Hire- a company that leases earth-moving equipment to clients like BHP Billiton, Xstrata and Anglo-American.
Van der Burgh is also a TV personality. He stars in Clifton Shores, an American/South African reality show filmed in Cape Town.

Gerald Wamalwa, Kenya: Engineering & Construction
In 2003, at age 28, Gerald Wamalwa quit his job as a field civil engineer and went on to start Mellech, an engineering outfit.
Today, Mellech Engineering & Construction is now one of East Africa’s leading construction and infrastructure engineering company.
The company offers services in the construction of building projects, roads, and water & sewer projects and related civil engineering infrastructure projects in Kenya, Southern Sudan and Uganda and grosses over $11 million a year revenues.
Wamalwa also owns ACP Telecoms, a company that provides turnkey telecommunication network infrastructure solutions.

Sibongile Sambo, South Africa: Private Aviation
Sibongile Sambo, 39, is the founder of SRS Aviation, a successful South African private aviation company. SRS started off in 2004 by brokering contracts between aviation services and those with air-transport needs. Later in the year, when the South African government invited aviation service companies to bid on a lucrative contract for cargo transport, SRS won the bid. Over time, SRS morphed from its cargo business into an integrated provider of private aviation services. SRS now offers clients from Southern Africa professional and personal flight options to international destinations including VIP Charter, tourist charter and helicopter services. The company also provides maintenance, sales and fleet management services to private jet owners. SRS refused to disclose revenues, but a source in the company says annual revenues are several million dollars.

Khanyi Dhlomo, South Africa: Publishing
The Harvard MBA grad and South African media mogul began her career as a news presenter at SABC, the television station owned by the South African government, at age 20 while she was still a journalism student at the University of Witwatersrand.
She went on to become the editor of True Love, a popular South African women’s magazine at age 22. In 2007, she founded Ndalo Media, a 50-50 joint venture with Media 24, the publishing arm of Naspers, Africa’s largest media company.
Ndalo Media publishes Destiny and Destiny Man, two of South Africa’s most popular lifestyle magazines. Ndalo also publishes Sawubona, the in-flight publication for South African Airways, which is distributed on all local and international SAA flights.
 She also owns Luminance, a startup high-end fashion and lifestyle store in South Africa.

Patrick Ngowi, Tanzania: Alternative Energy
Ngowi, a 28 year-old Tanzanian, is the founder of Helvetic Solar, East Africa’s leading renewable energy company. Companies in the group are involved in the handling, supply, installation and maintenance of hydro turbines, solar power and thermal systems in East Africa.
According to Ngowi, Helvetic’s revenues are expected to hit $7 million before the end of this year and the company is extremely profitable.
 The company’s major clients include the United Nations, World Vision and the Tanzanian Army. An emerging philanthropist, he offers basic lighting facilities to Tanzania’s rural poor through his Light For Life foundation.

Ken Njoroge, Kenya: Mobile technology
Njoroge, 37, is the founder of Cellulant, a leading Pan-African mobile commerce company that manages, delivers and bills for content and commerce services over mobile networks.
Cellulant provides mobile banking, mobile payments, music, information services and other mobile related services. 
Njoroge founded the company in 2004 along with a Nigerian partner, Goke Akinboro. It now has a presence in 8 African countries and boasts a clientele of African blue-chips like Barclays Bank, Standard Chartered, MTN and other companies. Cellulant’s revenues for 2012 exceeded $120 million.

Colin Thornton, South Africa: Computer Services
In 1998, when he was 20, South African computer whiz Colin Thornton dropped out of the University of Witwatersrand where he was pursuing a BSc in Computer science.
He raised $1,000 (R5, 000) from friends and family to print out flyers and other marketing material promoting his startup company which would fix computers.
Today, that company is Dial-A-Nerd, a company that provides computer support services dedicated to homes and businesses.
Dial a Nerd’s team of mobile technicians are able to repair, build, upgrade or even replace PCs at your premises. The company has annual revenues of close to $10 million, 14 branches and 150 staff.

Alan Knott-Craig Jr., South Africa: Technology, Investments

The 36 year-old South African entrepreneur is the founder of World Of Avatar (WOA), the private investment holding company that acquired MXit from Namibian founder Herman Heunis and Naspers for $50 million in August 2011.
Mxit is a mobile instant messaging services which offers social networking, mobile voice clips, music & entertainment, banking access and other community-based applications.
It currently has over 20 million users. Alan also has stakes in popular South African online publication Daily Maverick; advertising network Shinka, which sells ad space on MXit; and market research company Pondering Panda. Alan is a 2009 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.


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Facebook to Open Office in Lagos

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As part of its continued commitment and on-going investment in Africa, Facebook announced it will be opening an office in Lagos, Nigeria – its second office on the African continent.

Aimed at supporting the entire Sub-Saharan Africa region, the office is expected to become operational in H2 2021 and will be the first on the continent to house a team of expert engineers building for the future of Africa and beyond.

Facebook’s office will be home to various teams servicing the continent from across the business, including Sales, Partnerships, Policy, Communications as well as Engineers.

Commenting, Ime Archibong, Facebook’s Head of New Product Experimentation said: “The opening of our new office in Lagos, Nigeria presents new and exciting opportunities in digital innovations to be developed from the continent and taken to the rest of the world.

“All across Africa we’re seeing immense talent in the tech ecosystem, and I’m proud that with the upcoming opening of our new office, we’ll be building products for the future of Africa, and the rest of the world, with Africans at the helm. We look forward to contributing further to the African tech ecosystem.”

The investment of the new Facebook office follows the 2018 opening of NG_Hub, its first flagship community hub space in Africa in partnership with CcHub, and the 2019 opening of a Small Business Group (SBG) Operations Centre in Lagos, in partnership with Teleperformance.

Providing outsourced support to all English-speaking advertisers across Sub-Saharan Africa, the SBG office supports Small Medium Businesses (SMBs) through its Advocacy, Community & Education (ACE) programme, as well as its Marketing Expert sales programmes – all aimed at enabling SMBs to accelerate the growth and development of their businesses.

“Our new office in Nigeria presents an important milestone which further reinforces our ongoing commitment to the region”, commented Kojo Boakye, Facebook’s Director of Public Policy, Africa. “Our mission in Africa is no different to elsewhere in the world – to build community and bring the world closer together, and I’m excited about the possibilities that this will create, not just in Nigeria, but across Africa.”

Since the opening of its first office in 2015, Facebook has made a number of investments across the continent, aimed at supporting and growing the tech ecosystem, expanding and providing reliable connectivity infrastructures and helping businesses to grow locally, regionally and globally.

This includes the recent rollout of its SMB Grants programme in Nigeria and South Africa, aimed at supporting over 900 businesses by providing a combination of cash and ad credits to help small businesses as they rebuild from COVID.

The development of 2Africa, the world’s largest subsea cable project that will deliver much needed internet capacity and reliability across large parts of Africa, as well as its ongoing training programmes across the continent which support various communities including students, SMBs, digital creatives, female entrepreneurs, start-up’s and developers.

Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director, Facebook Africa, said: “We’re delighted to be announcing our new office in Nigeria. Five years on from opening our first office on the continent in Johannesburg, South Africa, we’re continuing to invest in and support local talent, as well as the various communities that use our platforms.

“The office in Lagos will also be key in helping to expand how we service our clients across the continent.”


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Victor Osimhen Set Make His Debut For Napoli As Lampard Up Against Familiar Foes

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Football fans will enjoy another great weekend of football action as the new football season in Europe continues this weekend on DStv and GOtv.

The pick of Premier League matches this weekend is the meeting of Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday 20 September, which will air live at 4:30pm on SS Premier League.

The Reds completed a league ‘double’ over the Blues last season, with the teams’ most recent meeting a 5-3 win for the Merseyside club in July.

Liverpool supporters have been concerned at their club’s relative lack of action in the transfer market (certainly compared to Chelsea, who have recruited heavily and brought in world-class talent such as Moroccan attacking midfielder Hakim Ziyech, for example), but manager Jurgen Klopp insists he prefers working with a smaller group of players.

Lille’s Victor Osimhen in action during a UEFA Champions League soccer group stage match between Valencia CF and OSC Lille at Mestalla stadium on 05 November 2019. EPA/Kai Foersterling

Elsewhere, Manchester United will open their campaign with a clash at home to Crystal Palace in the early-evening kick-off on Saturday 19 September, on SS Premier League at 5:30pm.

It will be the first chance for new Red Devils signing Donny van de Beek to have a taste of competitive English football.

Also on Saturday, Everton will face West Bromwich Albion at 12:20pm while Leeds United will face Fulham at 3pm with the day closing off with Arsenal vs West Ham United at 8pm, all on SS Premier League.

The Premier League matches for the weekend will continue on Sunday 20 September with Southampton vs Tottenham Hotspur at 12pm, Newcastle United vs Brighton & Hove Albion at 2pm and Leicester City vs Burnley at 7pm, all live on SS Premier League. On Monday 21 September, Aston Vila vs Sheffield United will air at 6pm and Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester City at 8:15pm both live on SS Premier League.

This weekend’s La Liga sees the return to action for champions Real Madrid, who open the defence of their title with a match away to Real Sociedad at Sam Sebastian on the evening of Sunday 20 September showing live on SS La Liga, SS GOtv La Liga and SS GOtv Football at 8:00pm.

La Liga is packed this weekend with other exciting matches airing live on SS La Liga and SS GOtv La Liga. Getafe vs Osasuna will air at 8pm on Friday 18 September, while Villarreal v Eibar at 3pm and Celta Vigo vs Valencia at 8pm will both air on Saturday 19 September.

On Sunday 29 September, Huesca will clash with Cadiz at 3pm and Granada will face Deportivo Alaves at 5:30pm. GOtv will crown the weekend matches with Real Betis vs Real Valladolid at 8pm on Monday 21 September

Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma (left) and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool.

The headline match from Italy’s topflight this weekend sees champions Juventus open the defence of their title with a match at home to Sampdoria in the late kick-off on Sunday 20 September at 7:45pm on SS Football, SS Variety 3 and SS GOtv Select 1.

All eyes will be on new manager, Andrea Pirlo, who replaced Maurizio Sarri at the head of the Bianconeri in the off season.

Another key game this weekend will give Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen the chance to make his competitive debut for Napoli when they face Parma on Sunday afternoon, having joined the club for a huge fee from Lille a few weeks back. This will air at 11:30am live on SS Football, SS Variety 3, SS GOtv Select 1 and SS GOtv Football.

SuperSport remains the only platform to get English commentary from the legendary La Liga.

Don’t miss the 2020-21 football season on SuperSport on DStv and GOtv. Visit www.dstvafrica.com and www.gotvafrica.com to subscribe or upgrade and join in on the excitement. While you’re on the move, you can stream matches on DStv Now.

 


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Facebook to Open New Office in Lagos, Nigeria

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Facebook has announced that it will be opening an office in Lagos, Nigeria as part of its continued commitment and ongoing investment in Africa. This will be its second office on the African continent.

Aimed at supporting the entire Sub-Saharan Africa region, the office is expected to become operational in H2 2021 and will be the first on the continent to house a team of expert engineers building for the future of Africa and beyond.

Facebook’s office will be home to various teams servicing the continent from across the business, including Sales, Partnerships, Policy, Communications as well as Engineers.

Ime Archibong, head of new product Experimentation, Facebook, Commenting of the development said: “The opening of our new office in Lagos, Nigeria presents new and exciting opportunities in digital innovations to be developed from the continent and taken to the rest of the world.

“All across Africa we’re seeing immense talent in the tech ecosystem, and I’m proud that with the upcoming opening of our new office, we’ll be building products for the future of Africa, and the rest of the world, with Africans at the helm. We look forward to contributing further to the African tech ecosystem.”

The investment of the new Facebook office follows the 2018 opening of NG_Hub, its first flagship community hub space in Africa in partnership with CcHub, and the 2019 opening of a Small Business Group (SBG) Operations Centre in Lagos, in partnership with Teleperformance.

Providing outsourced support to all English-speaking advertisers across Sub-Saharan Africa, the SBG office supports Small Medium Businesses (SMBs) through its Advocacy, Community & Education (ACE) programme, as well as its Marketing Expert sales programmes – all aimed at enabling SMBs to accelerate the growth and development of their businesses.

Kojo Boakye, director of Public Policy, Facebook Africa, said “Our new office in Nigeria presents an important milestone which further reinforces our ongoing commitment to the region.

“Our mission in Africa is no different to elsewhere in the world – to build community and bring the world closer together, and I’m excited about the possibilities that this will create, not just in Nigeria, but across Africa.”

Since the opening of its first office in 2015, Facebook has made a number of investments across the continent, aimed at supporting and growing the tech ecosystem, expanding and providing reliable connectivity infrastructures and helping businesses to grow locally, regionally and globally.

This includes the recent rollout of its SMB Grants programme in Nigeria and South Africa, aimed at supporting over 900 businesses by providing a combination of cash and ad credits to help small businesses as they rebuild from COVID.

The development of 2Africa, the world’s largest subsea cable project that will deliver much needed internet capacity and reliability across large parts of Africa, as well as its ongoing training programmes across the continent which support various communities including students, SMBs, digital creatives, female entrepreneurs, start-up’s and developers.

Nunu Ntshingila, regional director, Facebook Africa,said: “We’re delighted to be announcing our new office in Nigeria.

“Five years on from opening our first office on the continent in Johannesburg, South Africa, we’re continuing to invest in and support local talent, as well as the various communities that use our platforms.

“The office in Lagos will also be key in helping to expand how we service our clients across the continent.”

 

 


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