News

Loita Capital Partners International wishes to catalyse, promote and action information and analysis on the markets in which we operate. Loita aims to produce informative and useful research for its own purposes as well as for its clients. Likewise, it encourages the propagation of other news and research sources of integrity.

The links below are by no means a comprehensive list of informational sources on African markets, nor do they represent an endorsement or judgment of accuracy by Loita of any company, organization or individual to which they are referenced.

We welcome your comments, suggestions and ideas for other links or relevant news.

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NEWS - 2015

 

Kenswitch Rebranding 27th October 2015

 

FROM THE MANAGING DIRECTOR’S DESK
 
Background
 
Over a year ago, Kenswitch engaged an external marketing and PR company, Corporate Talk Group (CTG), to drive our public relation agenda and create awareness of the Kenswitch brand. Following a dipstick survey conducted by CTG the following was observed about the Kenswitch brand:
 
• In the business to consumer (B2C) market segment, the Kenswitch brand was known but consumers did not know what the brand could do for them.
• In the business to business (B2B) market segment, mainly the financial sector, Kenswitch was known for something good but not for something they care about
• The existing Kenswitch logo was channel specific and the tag line “your bank link” excluded a large demographic of financial service providers
Overall, it emerged that Kenswitch is known for something good (trust mark), which is not adequate to inspire customers’ loyalty beyond reason (love mark).
Hence our journey began, ‘To transform Kenswitch into a Love mark.’ In order to achieve this, we have set to transform the brand to be known for things that people care about i.e. a safe, reliable, real-time, money transfer partner who is trustworthy and available wherever, whenever.
 
Introducing the New Brand
Therefore, a new brand has been unveiled to get us to where we want to be. The Kenswitch logo and brand has undergone a significant transformation. The new identity had to satisfy all of the existing expectations of what our original mark stands for, while simultaneously moving the brand forward.
 
 
 
• The logo icon is derived from the initial letter K in Kenswitch and is progressive and clear
• The straight logo font is modern and projects stability and reliability
• The blue color represents credibility and trust while the deep yellow warmth and approachability
• The strap line “Where you are, we are” is our promise as a brand to our customers
So I invite you to join me as we celebrate the birth of our new logo.
 
Best regards,
George Wainaina

 

Mr Justin Chinyanta's Speech as an African Entrepreneur

 

“ What is an African entrepreneur and do African entrepreneurs do things differently?”
 
Well this is the question or maybe the challenge that the organisers of this fine event put to me.
 
Maybe its best to give an example or for those MBAs in the audience a “Case Study”
 
So here is part of my story as  an African entrepreneur. From it I hope we can share some  experiences regarding the issues, opportunities and challenges that define an entrepreneur and specifically an African entrepreneur, and hence understand whether African entrepreneurs necessarily do things differently – out of necessity or choice. As we go along I will detail some lessons and side bars for emphasis.
 
Sir Richard Branson (founder Virgin Airlines, serial entrepreneur) describes an entrepreneur as an “innovator, job creator, game-changer, a business leader, a disruptor, an adventurer.” Incidentally we have all seen Richard and doesn’t he always look to be having fun.
 
In this African story, innovation, job creation, game-changing, business leadership, disruption, adventure and fun are certainly present.
 
Now let’s cast our minds back almost a quarter of a century ago…
 
The Background:
 
I left Citibank in 1992, after 10 years, to pursue an entrepreneurial vision, initially with 2 other colleagues. We were at the time contemptuously referred to by Citibank as “3 men in a boat”. We added another ex-Citi “techy” colleague  in early 1993 for a total of 4.
Sidebar – Bringing in another partner with technology was a potential risk – cost, focus etc but also an opportunity as we could see importance of technology in finance.
 
I guess if you asked any of the partners the Loita story it would be slightly different but that is to be expected for one thing the four of us were drawn from all corners of the world – Africa, America, Middle East and Australia…..
 
But today’s question pertains to African Entrepreneurs…..
 
So our original overriding  vision was to create a pan-African financial intermediation business positioning itself between the demand for international funding (trade finance, project finance and equity finance) primarily by medium and large size African exporters, importers and banks and the supply side of funding from the international capital market (mainly then composed of international commercial banks  and development finance institutions).
 
This may sound complex if you are not a banker but for us it was our niche.
 
A secondary vision was to develop a technology business to support emerging commercial banks.
 
Lesson:  an entrepreneur begins with a vision. The ideal is a single one but if good opportunities come along take them so long as it is not a distraction.
 
Sidebar – Do not confuse being an Entrepreneur with a life style choice. A business on the side – like the lawyer with the up-country farm is not being an Entrepreneur its being a lawyer. The Entrepreneur bets the farm on his enterprise.
 
At the time of leaving Citibank, I (who by the way had trained as a lawyer but was now a banker by choice), had worked my way from trainee in Zambia, to Vice President at Citibank’s  Africa  Region Office in Kenya, responsible for  non-presence countries in Southern Africa. The other two banking colleagues were responsible for non- presence countries in Eastern and West Africa
 
An entrepreneur has been defined by the Mirriam-Webster dictionary as “someone who exercises initiative by organizing a venture to take benefit of an opportunity and as the decision-maker decides what, how, and how much of a good or service will be produced”.
 
We exercised initiative by:
-spotting a market gap or opportunity namely what Citibank  and similar international  banks were doing and what they were not doing in Sub-Sahara Africa (our proposed market);
 
We organized by:
-positioning ourselves to fill this gap: a quick but honest SWOT assessment showed that we possessed the skill (3 guys with over 20 years collective African banking experience, covering Southern, Eastern and Western Africa) and  strong market relationships.  A key strength recognised by my colleagues was that as the only African in the team, I was uniquely positioned to bring African market knowledge and acceptance, hence my appointment as Chairman and CEO of the team. However, 2 other strengths brought by my other colleagues included strategic thinking and financial control.
 
Lessons: (i) know your market and therefore know your opportunity (ii) position yourself according to your strengths (iii) deploy your unique team strengths against the market opportunity.
 
We decided by:
-        Agreeing between ourselves our roles, writing down a “shareholders agreement” and setting both joint and individual targets…we will see more of that later
 
Immediate Problems: pregnant wife (maybe more a happy challenge than a problem), 2 children, no capital, “3 men in a boat” with a big vision/idea (a pan-African investment banking institution);
 
-Approach to the Problems:
(i)             Pregnant wife, 2 children- important to maintain liquidity to provide for the family, and therefore not create even more stress;
(ii)           No capital: important to look at our collective strengths as a  potential source of capital (and therefor liquidity). No bank was willing to lend against an idea and therefore innovative thinking was required;
(iii)        “3 men in a boat”-important to turn this potential weakness into a strength which would address the capital issue. Critical therefore to build a narrative namely: 3 men who possessed market knowledge, experience, skills and relationships in over 23 African markets. The strength would represent an “intellectual asset” against which we could  build  or borrow “intellectual capital”.
 
Lessons: (i) always think cash flow (liquidity)-most businesses fail because of this; (ii) capital is not just physical assets-innovative thinking is critical (iii) always have a narrative (who do you say you are)?
 
-Question:  Who would buy this narrative (i.e. who would be convinced that the team strengths were an asset for which they could pay 3 individuals to build their own business)?
 
-The Solution: the solution came through (i) knowing our market (i.e. which potential players could see value in this narrative-these were mainly Citibank’s competitors who were trying to capture incremental market share, of which HSBC, then the biggest bank in the world  was the identified player)  (ii) employing our collective skills by negotiating and putting a structure in place between HSBC’s Equator Bank (their then Africa arm) and ourselves that took into consideration our identified concerns and the concerns of the solution provider (i.e. matching our mutual needs to create a “win-win” situation). 
 
-The Structure:  the structure agreed was (i) to create  a new special purpose vehicle (SPV-or the New Company) which was 100% owned by the 3 men in a boat (ii) having the special purpose vehicle  second the 3 men as employees under a management contract between the New Company and HSBC (iii) the management contract contained stringent qualitative  and quantitative goals over a 3 year period (iv) the goals were the basis for determining success (which would allow the team after 3 years or earlier if they met their goals to fully delink the SPV from HSBC, or if the SPV did not meet the goals, it could be collapsed and the contract terminated) (v) Under the management contract an advance or loan was agreed from HSBC to the SPV to cover the initial costs of the SPV employees (ourselves) and quarterly payments which took into consideration a percentage share of profits on transactions successfully closed and billed during that quarter. (vi) we agreed amongst ourselves to only pay ourselves 50% of the total annual fee received from HSBC as our annual salary (about the same as we had at Citibank), and the rest went into capital reserves to maintain on-going liquidity and consider other non-conflicting (with HSBC) investments.
 In summary, the SPV was capitalised by the HSBC management contract.
 
Lesson: structure is important to underpin entrepreneurial thinking.
 
 
-Loita is born:
 We were successful in meeting the goals of the management contract in just 18 months. HSBC paid us out fully (and full capitalisation of the Loita Group ensued). Loita HQ was established in Mauritius to take advantage of Mauritius growing reputation as a well supervised offshore companies hub,  in addition to it being in Africa.
 
Focus was now on integrating the financial IT requirements of our banking and financial institution clients (through a 100% owned subsidiary known as Fintech International) and innovative approaches to their  funding requirements through Loita Capital Partners International. Since 1994, Fintech has implemented banking solutions at over 80 banking sites across Africa ( Angola by way of Libya to Zambia and Zimbabwe amongst other countries). Loita Capital Partners International has advised on, structured and put in place various facilities for its clients in excess of USD 3 billion. Over the years it has had investments in several banks and financial institutions of which presently investments in Ecobank Malawi (formerly Loita Bank Malawi), AAR Credit Kenya and AAR Credit Uganda are the most notable.
 
As our businesses matured other opportunities presented themselves. A new generation of entrepreneurs could see shared values and joined the group at different levels. One that has really progressed well is our transaction business – Loita Transaction Services or LXS. Whilst we did not realise it at the time we incubated that business within our established Fintech international base before allowing it to break free whilst maintaining common linkages. Overall we recognised  the next significant growth phase in African banking and the financial sector would be automation of transactions – ATM and POS – as well as increasingly sophisticated card technologies. The group therefore established its third arm, LXS in 2001. LXS owns 100% of EFT International and EFT Ghana which are focused on supporting and implementing financial transaction technologies. Additionally it owns the majority shareholding in the national switch in Zimbabwe (Zimswitch), 100% of the de facto national switch in Kenya (Kenswitch) and 50% of Zamlink here in Zambia.
 
Lesson – Although Finance and technology are different disciplines, the creation of any business needs that entrepreneurial first step or decision and commitment to getting the business to be sustainable.
 
It will never be clear sailing and there will be failures, crisis and disappointments along with success. That is to be expected. By far the biggest crisis we faced was the sudden death of one of the original guys in the boat – Eric Roy in 2000. That was devastating on a personal and professional level as we lost a dear friend and chief strategist, but we managed to continue because by that stage we had structure and sustainability.
 
 
 The Group has at various times had on-the-ground investments in Rwanda, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire and Angola.   
 
We have been innovative, created jobs (presently over 450 Loita employees in  7 African countries), been a game-changer (we for instance, issued the first ever bonds for the PTA Bank and the East African Development Bank in the capital markets of Uganda, Kenya , Tanzania and Zambia)  a business leader (Kenswitch has 35 of the 41 commercial banks in Kenya on its switch, Zimswitch is the national switch of Zimbabwe),  a disruptor (we were instrumental in creating commercial paper and domestic capital market bonds as an alternative to bank financing), adventurers (the adventure continues).
 
Lesson: small and medium enterprises such as those that start of as 3 men in a boat must evolve and develop into formal businesses.
 
Now getting back to our original theme - Do African entrepreneurs do things differently?
 
In a recent speech to a graduating class, philanthropist and founder of United Bank for Africa, Tony Elumelu remarked:
“The exigency of employment and overall development cannot [therefore] be left only to government, donors and philanthropic organizations.  The African private sector must play a role.  In this regard, Modern America for instance, has been built and transformed by 5 American entrepreneurs, namely JD Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford and JP Morgan. Similarly, Africa must recognise key entrepreneurs as key drivers of development and prioritize them in African economic development policies”.
 
If African entrepreneurs do things differently, in my view, it is because of the exigency of the developmental issues they face, which is reflected in the day to day challenges of poor infrastructure (electricity-load shedding, telephone networks, poor road systems, cumbersome border delays), abundant labour but limited skilled resources, burdensome and frequently changing regulatory requirements and the difficulty of accessing capital especially by small and medium enterprises. This means that they must run twice as hard as the entrepreneur in the West and East to just stay in the same place, but still they thrive.
 
That is not to say that Africa does not present opportunities for the entrepreneur - young populations are willing to try new ideas – really handy for a market. Technology and communications mean ideas travel quickly. Natural resources are plentiful but need to be developed to full potential. And if we African’s know anything it is how to adapt – to the climate, the politics and the market.
 
So many positives but the banker in me reminds us that we still need capital.
 
In this regard I am passionate about enabling  the accessing of capital by SMEs in particular Let us see a venture capital fund specifically to focus on the funding of viable ideas and greenfield enterprises. Such a fund (unlike the CEEC) should not be an initiative of government but a PPP (Public Private Partnership )  - the private sector (through a body such as the Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry-ZACCI) in joint venture with government but  managed by the private sector.  Personally I would like to cede some capital to such an initiative – it makes great business sense. In addition to addressing the SME capital requirements, technical advisory capacity and business culture enhancement (including the fostering of a culture that respects debt) would also need to be included as part of the total package.
 
In conclusion, Robert Kennedy once stated:
“There are those who look at things the way they are and they say why? I  dream of things that never were and I say why not?”
 
I trust that by sharing this African entrepreneur’s story, there will be those with dreams among us who will say “why not”.
 
My friend Mwila Lumbwe, a renowned accountant and my generation of friends always posed the following questions to reiterate that as Zambians we could compete with the very best of the world., while creating our own historical paths.  Please think about them:
 
  “If not us, who?  If not here, where?  If not now, when?”
 
So there it is I think we have answered  “ What is an African entrepreneur and do African entrepreneurs do things differently?”
 
Now whether that is by necessity or choice is for you to decide !
 
Finally, those of you who are slightly older and knew me knew me as a bon vivant. The years have mellowed me now, and I realise that there is a greater purpose to my life. I have been blest to be a blessing, and it is God who gives seed to me as the sower. It is He who builds the house otherwise I as the builder, builds in vain. Therefore I am not ashamed to confess Him and His gospel of Jesus the Christ His son and my saviour, for it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.
 
I hope this blesses you. Thank you very much for affording me your time and lending me your ears.
 
 

 

N. Justin Chinyanta, July 30th 2015

 

 

 

NEWS - 2013

Interview at the recent ETTG Conference, Brussels, 28th October 2013

Justin Chinyanta, CEO of the Loita Group, was recently invited by the ODI (Britains leading  independent think tank on international development and  humanitarian issues) to attend the ETTG (European Think Tank Group) Conference, Brussels October 2013. Justin participated as a guest speaker in the Private Sector Panel titled: “Boosting the role of the African private sector” and the debate revolved around:
- What are the key challenges and opportunities for the development of a competitive private sector in Africa?
- What can we learn from private sector experiences to address the African financial sector challenges?
- Is Europe’s experience fit for Africa? What does the African private sector expect from the European private sector?

 

 

 

Invitation ETTG Conference

 

 
 
 

 
 

UNECA invites Loita to its ad-hoc group meeting on State of Private Equity in Africa, Oct 2013

Justin Chinyanta is invited as an ad-hoc expert on the group meeting on the State of Private Equity in Africa and its Potential Contribution to Africa by Investment Policy Section of the Regional Integration and Trade Division of 
UN-Economic Commission for Africa.  The group meets end of October 2013 at the Protea Balalaika Hotel in Sandton, Republic of South Africa. 

 

IGD’s Leadership Council welcomes prominent African CEOs

Categories: Featured , IGD In the News , IGD Leadership Council , IGD News , Member News

Posted on August 27, 2013 Written by Katie Todd

In order to strengthen IGD’s capacity to catalyze investment in Africa and drive socioeconomic impact, we are pleased to announce the expansion of our Leadership Council to include a number of prominent African CEOs. This step is in recognition of the important role these individuals are playing in catalyzing business growth on the continent as well as their commitment to expanding opportunity and lifting lives.

Please join us in welcoming:

  • Mathews A.P. Chikaonda, Group Chief Executive, Press Corporation Limited (PCL)
  • N. Justin Chinyanta, Chairman & CEO, Loita Capital Partners International Limited
  • Strive Masiyiwa, Executive Chairman, Econet Wireless Global Limited
  • Ali Mufuruki, Chairman & CEO, Infotech Investment Group Limited

Led by Co-Chairs Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell, with the support of Corporate Co-Chairs William D. Green, former Chairman & CEO, Accenture, and Lewis B. Kaden, former Vice Chairman, Citigroup Inc., the Leadership Council brings together accomplished business leaders and global development experts to provide high-level guidance on IGD’s strategic direction and input on what tools and initiatives will enable our Frontier Leaders to expand their investments and operations in high-need, high-potential African sectors. The experience and leadership represented by these four CEOs will add immense value to the Council and its discussions. We look forward to announcing additional African members joining the Leadership Council in the future and to ensuring a strong Frontier Leader presence going forward.

About the Site

 

 

© 2013 All rights reserved. IGD

 

HRH COMMONWEALTH STUDY CONFERENCES - PARTICIPANT Mr Justin Chinyanta

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
14 March 2013  |  London, UK

Contact: Isabella Betkowski


What do a British Army Officer, an Indian social entrepreneur and an Angolan oil executive have in common? They are all participants on a leadership development conference visiting London next week.

100 exceptional individuals from across the Commonwealth are coming together in the UK for the CSCLeaders conference to find innovative solutions to a global challenge: "How do people from communities which have spread across the world become the bridge-makers in the global networks of the future?"

Visiting local organisations such as East London Mosque, Guy's Hospital, Southwark Police Station, The Charter School and Tower Hamlets College, as well as Bank of America, Siemens, KPMG and Tate Modern, 20 participants from the group will spend three days working with communities in London to investigate this challenge.

"We are delighted to welcome such a diverse group of international leaders to our borough. Southwark is home to people from vibrant and dynamic migrant communities who provide huge benefits to London, the UK and to their countries of heritage" said Cllr Althea Smith, Mayor of Southwark. "I think the participants will learn a lot about how to support such communities to build strong global networks to tackle common challenges"

The group will be in London from 19-21 March and following their visit, they will present their ideas on and solutions to the challenge to a judging panel in Oxford which consists of former advisor to Sir Alan Sugar Margaret Mountford (Chair), Chris Mathias, CEO, Arbor Venutres and Julia Middleton, CEO, Common Purpose Charitable Trust.

"The big challenges we face in London or Dhaka, Birmingham or Abuja transcend our national boundaries. We need to support those leaders who have roots in different parts of the world to build bridges that help tackle these global challenges" said Tom Brind London Director, Common Purpose. "In London, Common Purpose works with leaders from a huge range of national and cultural backgrounds - we look forward to helping them share their experiences with our international guests"

CSCLeaders is a renewal of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh's Commonwealth Study Conferences, delivered by a partnership between the leadership development organisation Common Purpose Charitable Trust and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh's Commonwealth Study Conferences (UK Fund).

CSCLeaders is sponsored by Serco, Anglo American, PwC, Glencore, BP, Weir Group, Brunswick, PowerCorp (Canada) HDFC (India).


Notes for editors

 

About CSCLeaders

CSCLeaders will assemble 100 of the most exceptional individuals from across the Commonwealth to tackle challenges that businesses, governments and society face today and build the global relationships needed by the leaders of tomorrow. It is a two-part conference run every year, starting in March 2013 in London and Oxford (with study tours to different UK cities in between) with the second part in two different Commonwealth cities - Mumbai or Johannesburg - in June.

Each year a challenge will be set for the participants, one which will address a fundamental issue of today. Implementing their ideas will give participants a focus for their continuing links and publishing their insights each year will, we hope, help to frame or reframe a major issue in the world.

The first of the HRH The Duke of Edinburgh Commonwealth Study Conferences took place in 1956. In 2011, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh's Commonwealth Study Conferences (UK Fund) went into partnership with Common Purpose, the international leadership development organisation, to develop CSCLeaders - a renewal of these groundbreaking Study Conferences for the Commonwealth of the 21st century.

A new and crucial part of the renewal of the Commonwealth Study Conferences will be the creation of CSCLeaders for Students. Leading up to the main conference each year will be a series of student conferences held in major Commonwealth cities where significant numbers of students from across the Commonwealth are studying. They will address the same annual challenge as the main conference, but locally, handing on their accumulated thoughts and ideas from city to city throughout the year before culminating in the presentation of their findings to the established leaders at the start of their conference. This will provide a sustainable way to reach and engage with large numbers of younger leaders across the Commonwealth.

http://www.cscleaders.org/

@CSCLeaders

The Participant Group on the London CSCLeaders Study Tours

  • Carole-Anne Davies, Chief Executive, Design Commission for Wales, UK
  • Francesca Osowska, Director, Housing, Regeneration, the Commonwealth Games and Sport, Scottish Government, UK
  • Franscico Cambinda, Functional Planning/Discipline Capability Manager BP, Angola
  • Gavin Dyer, Sales and Marketing Director, Weir Group South Africa
  • George Bopi, ManTech, Papa New Guinea
  • Anwar Hussain, Chief Executive, Local Councils Association of the Punjab
  • Redza Wahid, Chief Executive, Bank Muamalat, Malaysia
  • Sanjeev Gupta, Managing Partner, Emerging Opportunity Consulting, India

Loita News

Kenswitch Rebranding 27th October 2015

Mr Justin Chinyanta's Speech as an Africa Entrepreneur

Interview at the recent ETTG Conference, Brussels, 28th October 2013

http://youtu.be/0WphPIDUL5c

UNECA invites Loita to its ad-hoc group meeting on State of Private Equity in Africa, Oct 2013

IGD's Leadership Council welcomes prominent African CEOs

HRH Commonwealth Study Conferences - Participant Mr Justin Chinyanta

Loita Management Services provides advisory and administrative services to GBOT members

Loita's work in bringing banking to underserved segments of African countries Justin Chinyanta nominated one of the CEO's of "Frontier 100"

 


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