Africa in the News – July 2018

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Every month, Africa HR Solutions summarizes the latest high-impact news for you. We aim to provide you with accurate and non-biased news from the African continent. This month, we take a look at Oil & Gas, Trade, Internet and Investment in Africa.

New Oil Discovery Offshore Angola

Italian energy company Eni has discovered new oil reserves offshore Angola. Early estimates suggest the newly found reserves contain between 230 to 300 million barrels of light oil.

Located at approximately 150 kilometres off the coast, the Kalimba-1 NFW well led to the discovery of the high-quality oil reserves. The discovery opens new opportunities for oil exploration, which was previously thought to be mainly gas prone, thus creating new chances for additional reserves.

Angola is a key Country in the strategy for organic growth of Eni, which has been present in the Country since 1980 and accounts currently an equity production of about 155,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Africa’s Largest Free Trade Zone

On the 5th of July 2018, Djibouti opened the first phase of the Djibouti International Free Trade Zone (DIFTZ). This pilot zone of 240-hectares is only a fraction of the 4,800 hectares project, estimated at $3.5 billion. The first phase was launched with the help of China, which comforts its position as a global trade leader.

The International trade zone holds promise for Djibouti and will hopefully create employment for the country’s youth. More importantly, the country seeks to position itself as a trade and logistics hub for businesses hoping to access the rapidly growing African market.

The DIFTZ zone is part of an integral part of the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative – a multi-trillion Chinese project aiming to invest in numerous infrastructure projects in Asia, Africa and Europe. In Djibouti, the free trade zone will also be managed by three other Chinese companies.

Internet in Rural Kenya

Project Loon is one of the hottest innovations this month. Powered by Google’s parent company, Alphabet, the project aims to increase connectivity in rural areas in Kenya through the use of balloon powered internet. Google is reportedly in talks with telecom operators in Kenya to take the next step.

With a population of over 46 million people, mobile data subscriptions are consistently on the rise in Kenya. The country is also known to have one of the world’s fastest mobile internet speed of the continent. If implemented, the project will enable thousands of people located in rural and remote areas of Kenya to have access to internet.

Africa is the region with the lowest level of internet users in the world at about 22% only. A previous similar project launched by Facebook, named Aquila, was abandoned last month due to increase in competition. However, last year, Facebook successfully partnered with local carriers to provide the low-cost Express Wifi program to Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria.

Nigeria may soon build the world’s largest oil refinery

Despite being a crude oil exporter, Nigeria imports a major bulk of its petroleum. This is mainly due to the lack of domestic refining capacity. To counter this, Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, is raising capital to build the world’s largest oil refinery. The latter is reportedly investing more than 60 % from his own cash flow to make the project a success.

The project cost is estimated at around $14 billion. Dangote signed a loan of $650 million with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) for the project. Lenders would commit about $3.15 billion, with the World Bank’s private sector arm providing $150 million. Trade banks from China, India and some European countries are also in the mix, according to Dangote.

The Africa billionaire also mentioned he was looking to acquire more oilfields to feed the refinery, and ultimately break Nigeria free of its petroleum imports. Even more ambitious; the refinery is to be ready by the end of 2019 and start production in early 2020!

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Grant Geraghty is the longest-serving member of the Africa HR team. This resident subject matter expert and client champion is responsible for gaining a deep understanding of our clients’ unique HR needs in Africa and providing tailored solutions that align with their business objectives. Grant collaborates closely with our clients to ensure that their requirements are properly implemented, providing ongoing support and guidance throughout the process.

Grant brings a wealth of experience to his role, having served as Africa HR’s longest-serving employee. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, with a major in Economics and Business Finance, from the University of Natal in South Africa. Additionally, he has completed a certification program in Payroll and Tax Administration from the University of Cape Town, further enhancing his expertise in HR operations and compliance.

His commitment to delivering exceptional service and his extensive knowledge of HR in Africa make him an invaluable member of the Africa HR team.




Kevina Takoordyal has a BA Hons Business Management from the University of Glamorgan, UK, with MBA in leadership and Innovation, MBA General, PMP Certified, and Agile Scrum Master. She currently works as the Head of Operations at Africa HR Solutions Ltd with more than 20 years of proven leadership capabilities in Operations, Business Development, People Management, Process Optimization, and Project Management in the Financial Services, BPO, Banking Industry, and Heath Care Industry. In Senior leadership roles with an international footprint across Europe working and extensive Pan- African experience from a compliance, finance, and operations angle, Kevina comes across with a panoply of cross-functional skills. Kevina also serves on a few Boards, Non-Independent Executive at MioD and for NGOs on a voluntary basis, a coach and mentor to aspiring female leaders across Africa and Mauritius.

Kevina is a firm believer in Servant Leadership with a strong focus and commitment to uplifting others, with the ability to deliver through a highly engaged – diverse team, and works towards consistently synergistic value creation. While being a focused and adaptive thinker and Kevina is actively participating in panel discussions on Innovation, CX, Digital transformation.

Kevina serves as Project Assessor for the National Youth upskilling program. She has been recognized as Global Talent in a few companies, Ceridian, and International SOS Ltd whereby she has been awarded a few scholarships and had the opportunity to be mentored by Senior Vice President in the US. Award Winner in various fields and at a national level and recognized including Super Achiever Leader Award in Africa in 2016, Awarded Africa Women Leader 2018.



Head of Finance & Business Support

Viloshna is an experienced finance professional with 18 years of expertise in strategic financial planning, financial analysis, cash flow management, systems and controls implementation, financial reporting, and continuous process improvements. She currently serves as Head of Finance & Business Support, where she has successfully automated and leveraged the financial reporting system capabilities to ensure efficient company operations.

Viloshna’s background includes senior roles in a multinational pharmaceutical company and a large listed Mauritian conglomerate. Her meticulous attention to detail and strategic thinking have streamlined financial processes, making her a valuable addition to any finance team. Viloshna is a qualified finance professional with an FCCA qualification and an MBA, bringing valuable expertise to any organization.

In her current role, Viloshna leads the company’s Treasury and Payments function, including the fulfillment of the company’s cross-border payments into Africa. With her strong educational background and extensive experience, Viloshna consistently demonstrates her ability to optimize financial operations, minimize risks, and improve profitability. Her expertise in financial reporting and process improvements make her a valuable asset to any organization.



Head of Legal & Compliance

A qualified lawyer who joined Africa HR Solutions in July 2020, Mark Du Preez has experience working in private practice for a reputable law firm in South Africa. He also played commercially focused roles at a leading private bank, wealth management company, and outsourcing firm in South Africa and Mauritius.

Mark has played a pivotal role in Africa HR Solution’s risk mitigation strategy, which positively impacted P&L performance over the years.

He currently leads the Partnerships function of the company including relationships and oversight with in-country partners (ICPs) across Africa.

Alex Daruty - Africa HR Team


Head of Commercial

Alex has more than 15 years of experience in the global, strategic development of both enterprise and consumer brands in categories including technology, transport, enterprise software, entertainment, and travel.

With experience in roles on both agency and corporate side, he has worked across international brands and has led the development and execution of multi-discipline campaigns across EMEA, NORAM and Asia Pacific.

His focus is on driving meaningful business impact through brand differentiation and building high-functioning, digitally oriented, and analytically driven capabilities. He is motivated by working with, and developing dynamic people, teams, and organizations.

He leads, manages, develops and mentors the Key Account Management department, including line management responsibility for the team of Key Account Managers and Key Account Administrator who represent the Company as the primary communication link between all relevant stakeholders, including clients, third party in-country partners and internal functions.

Originally from Mauritius, he holds bachelor’s degrees in International Business, Finance and Management from the University of Nevada, Reno.