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Journal of African Business Issue 4

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Welcome to Journal of African Business, your guide to business and investment on the continent. The fourth edition of Journal of African Business is the second issue of this magazine to be published as a quarterly. The first two journals were published as annual publications in 2020 and 2021. The Journal of African Business covers a wide range of subjects within the broader economic sectors: energy; mining and exploration; trade; finance; technology and tourism. In addition to this, special features on topical matters are included, along with country profiles.

BIOGRAPHY ___ ___ ___

BIOGRAPHY ___ ___ ___ ____ Mulalo Takaedza grew up in Soweto, Johannesburg. When she was young, her mother took on a position in Saudi Arabia as a cardiac nurse so Mulalo’s aunt and grandmother played a big role in her upbringing. She attended primary school in Lenasia and matriculated out of Holy Family College in Rosebank. Attendance at the private school was made possible partly through scholarships that the school provided based on good academic results. She achieved an A in accounting but English was a favourite subject. She did a lot of writing and loved literature. Mulalo enrolled at Rhodes University primarily to pursue writing, script-writing and drama but discovered that drama tutorials and accounting tutorials clashed. As she says, “that dream faded very quickly because I was on a scholarship and I needed to pass”. Three years of articles persuaded Mulalo that auditing was not for her. Her first exposure to investment banking was working on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) for three years at RMB. This included a spell of working in Nigeria for part of that time. She then joined a private equity fund that was investing in impact investing in Sub-Saharan Africa but returned to M&A within a property company that owns many shopping centres. She has been with Standard Bank for a year. You mention being “there for each other”. Do you do any philanthropic work? I run a formal mentorship programme. I co-founded an organisation in 2016 called Women for Girls. We identify 10 to 15 high-performing girls in matric, girls who do really well from lessprivileged backgrounds and have financial aid or sometimes they are self-funded, who then go and study at universities in Gauteng. They come from both rural areas and townships. We give them the psycho-social mentorship which involves personal development, career development, literacy in the form of financial literacy as well as computer literacy. Along with mentorship, CV writing, interview skills and personal counselling over a three-year period. We are full of potential, we are resilient How do you choose your mentors and how do you get funding for them? We are currently self-funded. My co-founder and I found eight other women from very diverse backgrounds – corporate South Africa, legal, science, creative fields, accounting, public service, teaching, nursing – across the spectrum and so we are now 10. All using their time and resources as volunteers. We have one Saturday a month where we have a specific programme or theme that we tackle. It could be mental health, how do you get your CV to be noticed, interview skills and that kind of thing. We call ourselves the big sisters and then we mentor two to three girls girls at a time. You don’t have a sponsor? No, but we have had a lot of support from the Nelson Mandela Foundation as host of some of our events. Most of the funding needed is around venues and catering. Then we are having to pay to get them there. Those are the two to three big costs that we incur for each event. 8 Have you found other women to be supportive in your business journey? I have actually found women quite supportive. I have gravitated towards women and I am talking about women across the value chain, so it hasn’t necessarily been women who are my peers. I have gravitated towards women who were cleaning the places that we work at or who would make us tea, PAs or anyone. Women have been very supportive in my personal life, but also professionally. This has helped my career in a big way in terms of giving me the confidence, a safe space or a safe landing for me to have conversations, a place where I can be vulnerable, a place where I can ask questions and get guidance. Did you have you role models in your family? My mother is a brilliant, senior cardiac ICU nurse at the Alberton Netcare Hospital. I think in the early years of my career I probably didn’t reach out to her as much as I could have and I should have for advice. I am realising now that she is the person that I actually get a lot of my career advice from. She knows nothing about investment banking or what we do but I think what I get from her is two things: that she is really good with people so she knows people but more importantly, she knows me well. She is able to give me context of a situation without a lot of other complexities. There could be a lot more women that I can mention but one very key woman in my life growing up was my aunt who was responsible for raising me; she helped with my physical and emotional needs. My grandmother was very much a community builder. She was very entrepreneurial and through the proceeds of her enterprises, she was able to support and fund the entire community. I think I get a lot of my philanthropic side from her, having seen that growing up. To see that whatever little she had, she always had just enough to give everybody something and maintain her values through all of that. Standard Bank has a presence in 20 African countries, including in the capital of Mozambique, Maputo. Credit: Standard Bank

BANKING Are there any conclusions one can draw about the qualities of African women? I don’t want to speak for all African women. We so often get painted with the same brush which in itself deprives African women of who we really are, because each one of us has walked such a different walk, each one of us carries such different burdens. I know I can tell you that I love all the African women on this continent. I love the hope that we carry, that we continue to rise above many things that we shouldn’t even be expected to. As sad as it is we have had to be the ones who are there for ourselves. We have had to be the ones that look after ourselves and look after each other, unfortunately. Evidence suggests that loans to women tend to be well used. In Bangladesh, micro-finance worked best among women in helping people out of poverty and many stokvels in South Africa are run by women, not so? Yes, there definitely is that. I recently went to an event for a gender-lens lending fund that has raised money to fund women entrepreneurs and women-run businesses. It is only in recent history that we put this kind of gender lending into perspective. I don’t know if we can confidently say we have the real statistics over a period of time to know all the facts. But we have seen the benefits of being able do that, we have seen how communities get enriched through that. We have seen, anecdotally, market-related and even above market returns on loans. What has surprised a lot of people is that people just assumed that their returns would have to be at some sort of a discount but they are actually competitive. I don’t think that should be something that surprises us. It is something we should have been doing for much longer and much deeper across the sectors. Which brings us to the work you do at Standard Bank. What is your title and what do you do? My current title is Senior Vice President in the Structured Capital Team. We originate and structure subordinated-equity funding in South Africa and across the continent for large and mediumsized corporates, investment holding vehicles as well as BEE investment vehicles. The team I work in is called Equity Finance and Investments. Is there a cap on your fund? There is no cap on how big we can be. I can’t say what the size of the book is because then our competitors will know how big our book is but there is no limit to that. There’s obviously a limit to the 9 Above: A new trend is funds to lend to women entrepreneurs. Credit: Unsplash I love the African continent

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