Afinitas, a listed company focused on developing business across the African continent, has stepped up gear in a bid to ensure massive returns to investors in a few years to come. The company, according to its Executive Director, Leutlwetse Tumelo, has been on an investor road show this year targeting 12 African countries. They have covered half of them so far. “The investor road shows are really targeting 12 African countries over a period of 12 months. What we want to do with these investor road shows is to hold meetings in these countries where we bring together investors,” Tumelo told Patriot Business on Thursday. To date the road shows have covered six countries in West and East Africa and the remaining six would be covered in the next coming months. “That is really part of growing the portfolio of events within the Africa Events Limited (AEL) and from the shareholders’ perspective it’s about growing the revenue base and the profitability of the company going forward because these events – although they are starting off now - should grow in size and become profitable,” he explained. Tumelo said the objective is to grow investments that would emerge from the roadshows to become more profitable for the group. The investor roadshows are part of the group’s conference business of Africa Events Limited whose flagship event is Africa Financial Services Investment Conference (AFSIC) which is held annually in London. The last one was held in May this year and, according to Tumelo, the AEL has registered growth when compared with the previous edition. “It is becoming a key event not to miss. It is the best networking platform with presentations covering quite a number of African countries and also discussing different sectors within the financial services from banking to financing to insurance,” he said.
The company is also making inroads in the Ethiopian market having set up a company called Ethiopia Investments Limited (EIL). Tumelo said Ethiopia is a key market for the group with massive opportunities that the company is exploring. He said the country is a good destination for business and would therefore be a focus for Afinitas. “As a company we quite like Ethiopia; it is an exciting market for us. We are long term investors in Ethiopia and we believe the country has great prospects for long term investors to look for opportunities in that country,” he said, adding that the biggest thing about Ethiopia is its huge domestic market. With a population of close to a 100 million; 60 percent of which is below the age of 35 that provides a growing middle income group that long term investors like Afinitas would like to see. EIL has been established as a holding company in Ethiopia and Afinitas was awarded a license to set up a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) in that country. Though it is still early days with the license having been granted in March this year, Tumelo said the business has already started to recruit clients and build client portfolio. “It is one that I think overtime would be able to contribute to the profitability of the group, but is still early days,” Tumelo said. Going forward Tumelo said the focus would be to grow the revenue streams in that business so that it becomes cash flow positive as quickly as possible. Tumelo said there are other opportunities that the company is currently pursuing but it is still early days to make formal announcements on those. “There are huge opportunities in the pipeline that we should announce to the market in due course,” he said. Tumelo said Afinitas is a medium to long-term investment company and that is the reason why it is building investments from zero and taking time to set up structures that would turn those investments profitable.