Mmusi Maimane, who established himself as an African changemaker during the five years he served in South Africa’s parliament, has joined SiSebenza as a partner and shareholder. His focus is on Africa’s social and economic development through the company’s investment advisory and private equity portfolios.
“SiSebenza works in partnership with successful and well-funded global organisations valued at over USD 1 billion, including global unicorns,” says SiSebenza founder Andrew Robinson. “We bring disruptive technology and innovative businesses and opportunities to the exciting and complex African market and lead them in setting up local operations by connecting them to capital, infrastructure, local expertise and networks.”
He adds that SiSebenza has a history of creating significant social and economic change through its philosophy of investment partnerships. Maimane’s partnership strengthens the company’s ability to connect capital to investment opportunities, coupling his extensive network of public and private sector organisations across Africa with the deal-making experience that exists within the SiSebenza stable.
Maimane says, “My personal mission is to build a South Africa that works for everybody. Good business in South Africa also has to be good business for South Africa. Joining SiSebenza enables me to be part of what they’re already doing in helping to create work and lift the GDP of our country through innovative, disruptive business partnerships.”
But Maimane’s ambition goes beyond South Africa’s borders, given that it is just one of 54 African countries. He believes the next decade is Africa’s to win.
“I see SiSebenza as an opportunity to have an impact across the continent, relying on the depth of my understanding and the insight I have into the different needs of each country. I have a unique perspective on Africa and am excited about what its future holds. If I were to bet on anything right now, I would bet on Africa.”
While South Africa is both a developed and developing nation, the rest of Africa is primarily still at the development stage, offering investors great scope for growth. It’s a little known fact that Africa has more than 400 companies worth at least USD 1 billion, a clear indication of the extent of the possibilities for business success.
By 2040, Africa is expected to have a population of 2 billion*, with an average age of 23. “This gives the continent the potential to become a labour powerhouse with the capabilities to compete internationally, which makes an important contribution to our ability to attract investment here,” Maimane says.
Maimane’s mandate includes identifying key market sectors, appropriate partnerships and matching the right investment opportunities in the right countries
“We’re currently at the due diligence stage with several large global businesses,” says Robinson. “SiSebenza is open to business. We’re actively looking to partner with disruptive businesses and bring them into Africa and also to partner with local African disruptors for continental growth.”
Maimane may be best known for his role in politics, but he built an impressive business career before that. He not only owned a business management consultancy and worked with many local and international companies, but he also lectured at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), assisting and consulting with South African top 100 companies prior to that. Equally important is his philanthropic work, Maimane runs the New Africa Foundation which focusses on youth and rural development. He also recently launched an impact investment fund. Maimane has two Masters degrees, and is now completing a PHD in Local Economics.