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Africa is knocking on our door says MEMSA CEO

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South African based Buraaq Mining Services has launched a new automatic Roof Bolder into the African market. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

Africa is knocking on our door says MEMSA CEO

An uptick in mining activity across the African continent has resulted in an increased demand from African mining companies to procure South African designed and manufactured mining and construction equipment.

By Leon Louw founder of WhyAfrica

More and more South African based Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) are manufacturing quality equipment which places them on a level footing with their international peers in an extremely competitive market.

So competitive has the South African OEMs become, that mergers, acquisitions, and takeovers are now the name of the game for international companies to maintain its market share. Last August, Swedish mining OEM Epiroc announced that it acquired South African based low-profile underground equipment specialist AARD.

AARD’s customers were mainly based in South Africa. The company employed about 200 people and had revenues in the fiscal year ending June 30 2022 of about USD61.4-million.

African keeps knocking on the door (Africa is knocking on our door says MEMSA CEO)    

According to the CEO of industry organisation Mining Equipment Manufacturers of South Africa (MEMSA), Lehlohonolo Molloyi, South Africa has all the skills and capabilities to design and build world-class equipment.

“South Africa can take this advantage to the African mining market that is starting to flourish. With the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) taking effect we are getting more enquiries from African countries about our locally manufactured machines, Molloyi told me during a conversation at a recent event.

Mining stakeholders in Botswana, Namibia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Côte d’Ivoire are starting to knock on our door to find out how best to develop their mines and mining industry, and what equipment we can provide,” Molloyi added.

SA company launches new Automatic Roof Bolter (Africa is knocking on our door says MEMSA CEO)

Meanwhile, South African based Buraaq Mining Services has launched a new automatic Roof Bolder into the African market. According to Sam Kader, CEO at Buraaq, the SD212i Bolter is designed and built in South Africa. Its core design has a big focus on improving safety, reducing cost, and improving efficiency.

Kader told me at the launch that there has been a need in the market for a fully mechanised bolter for quite some time. “Despite the disruption caused by Covid-19, we have manufactured this machine in South Africa and procured 95% of the parts and services locally,” he said.

Muhammad Kudoos, Buraaq’s design engineer said that that the new rock bolter was designed to ensure safe bolting while being cost-effective and based on local procurement.

“The fully mechanised, intelligent rock bolter removes the operator from the rockface and unsupported areas to prevent injury and fatalities. The extendable boom keeps operators away from the bolting, Kudoos explained.

Suppliers and service providers urged to expand African footprint (Africa is knocking on our door says MEMSA CEO)

South African suppliers and service providers in the mining, energy, agriculture and infrastructure sectors were recently encouraged by role-players to expand their footprint into Africa.

Many African countries are in the process of shunning their chequered past and are embarking on a renewed growth path.

Africa’s unlocked potential has been brought to the attention of the world in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ukraine crisis and a just energy transition.

African countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Angola, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ghana and Tanzania, to name only a few, have become key players in the strategic mineral and green metal space, while the African continent’s energy potential cannot be overemphasised.

Namibia, Egypt, and South Africa are developing massive renewable energy and green hydrogen projects, while the oil and gas industry is expected to result in significant growth opportunities in Namibia and Mozambique – countries new to the hydrocarbon sector.

Meanwhile, the MSGBC region (Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Guinea-Conakry), has emerged as an increasingly attractive destination for global energy investments in recent years.

The agricultural potential in Africa is massive, and as foreign investment into this often-disregarded sector starts trickling in, agri projects in Zambia, Angola, Ethiopia, and Morocco are drawing international attention, while potassium and potash operations in The Republic of Congo, Gabon, Eritrea, and Morocco are gaining traction.

Despite structural challenges, the mining and energy sectors in established mining and hydrocarbon jurisdictions like Nigeria, Angola, Ghana and South Africa, have kept these huge African economies ticking over.

Demand for battery metals encouraging (Africa is knocking on our door says MEMSA CEO)

I caught up with Methembeni Moyo, Mining and Construction lawyer at boutique law firm NSDV on the side lines of Mining Indaba in Cape Town recently.

Moyo, who heads up the Africa Desk at this exuberant and dynamic law firm and consultancy, is extremely excited about the opportunities Africa has to offer. Moyo’s outlook for Africa is optimistic. He is especially upbeat about the rise in demand for battery metals.

“There is also increased demand for goods and services and for the less glamourous hydrocarbons like coal, oil and gas, and then, of course for precious metals,” said Moyo.

“We are keeping an eye on the rapid developments in Namibia and despite its many challenges, believe that Zimbabwe has exciting opportunities in the lithium space, while Zambia is drawing a lot of attention from international investors,” he said.

Warren Beech and African expert and CEO of boutique law firm Beech Veltman Inc told me at Indaba that South Africa is one of the top three African countries to keep an eye on in 2023 and 2024, the other two being the DRC and Zambia.

Always the optimist, Beech said that Africa is in a good space at the moment despite perpetual challenges like infrastructure constraints, energy shortages and politics.

AfCFTA set to have a significant impact ((Africa is knocking on our door says MEMSA CEO)

With the African Union (AU) and the Pan African Parliament (PAP) pushing hard for increased trade between African countries, and with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) gaining momentum, suppliers, service providers and businesses in all African countries are urged to expand their footprint into Africa. It is especially in more developed economies like South Africa and Nigeria where companies are encouraged to look at the many opportunities available in other African countries.

While the future of Africa looks bright, development needs to be sustainable and should benefit the people of Africa. No company can expect to invest in Africa without considering Environmental, Social and Governance standards. Many African countries are in urgent need of critical infrastructure like roads, rail and port upgrades, energy expansions and water management. With these in place, secondary and tertiary sectors of the economy like tourism and conservation can be established and allowed to flourish.

Africa at the heart of WhyAfrica’s mission (Africa is knocking on our door says MEMSA CEO)

Promoting Africa as an investment destination and showcasing its vibrant business sector, is at the heart of what we do at WhyAfrica. Through our range of products and services we assist companies expanding into Africa. We track projects across Africa and report and write about the sustainable utilisation of natural resources in Africa. By becoming a member or partner of WhyAfrica, companies or individuals will gain unequalled insight into the business and political environment in Africa.

If your company does business in the energy, mining, agriculture (including forestry and fisheries), infrastructure (including cement and quarrying), tourism, development, conservation and water management sectors in Africa, or if you have a special interest in the ESG space, biodiversity, climate change, environmental management, Pan-African institutions, the African Free Trade Agreement and the political economy of Africa, subscribe to WhyAfrica’s newsletters and magazines by clicking on the link https://www.whyafrica.co.za/subscribe/

In the video below Muhammad Kudoos, Buraaq Mining Services’ Design Engineer, shows WhyAfrica the Buraaq SD212i Rock Bolter.

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AgricultureEnvironmental Management & Climate ChangeEnergyESGInfrastructureMiningPolitical EconomyTourism and ConservationWater Management