The Team



Mandla S.V. Gantsho

Mandla Gantsho is currently CEO of Africa Rising Capital (Pty) Ltd, an emerging black-owned financial services provider. He is an expert on infrastructure development finance and has an in-depth knowledge of Africa’s business climate. Mandla was from 2006-2009, a Vice-President of the African Development Bank (AfDB). His portfolio as Vice President comprised of the following functions: a) Infrastructure Development, b) Water and Sanitation, c) Private Sector Development, and d) Regional Integration. Prior to joining the AfDB, he served as CEO and MD (2001-2006) and CFO (1995-2000) at the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), in South Africa. The DBSA is a South African DFI which has a sub-regional mandate to finance sustainable physical, social and economic infrastructure. In 1997, while at the DBSA, Mandla was appointed by former President Nelson Mandela to be a Commissioner on the Finance & Fiscal Commission, set up in terms of the South African Constitution, to advise Parliament on intergovernmental fiscal transfers. In 2002, Mandla was appointed by former President Thabo Mbeki as one of three Commissioners on the Commission of Enquiry to investigate and report on the reasons for the Rapid Depreciation of the Rand in 2001.  From 2000-2001, Mandla was seconded to the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, in Washington D.C, USA; from 1992-1995, he worked as a senior manager at Transnet and 1989 –1992 as a strategic manager at Mobil/Engen. Mandla is currently the Chairman of SASOL Limited and Ithala Development Finance Corporation Ltd and a non-executive director at Impala Platinum Limited. He holds several degrees, including a Ph.D. and an M.Phil., from the University of Pretoria, an M.Sc. from George Washington University in the USA, a B.Com. (Hons) and a CTA from the University of Cape Town, and a B.Com., from the former University of Transkei. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant (SA).


Simisani Kupe

Simisani is a Managing Director at Africa Rising Capital. He has extensive experience in the areas of business development, structuring of transactions, valuations and financial analysis. He has participated in the development and closure of various transactions with a total value in excess of ZAR5 billion in infrastructure, PPPs, mining & construction. Simisani worked for Anglo American Corporation, Knight Piesold and the Council for Geosciences. He has extensive experience in mineral exploration, consulting geotechnical engineering. He was an executive director at Illima Group of Companies where he was involved in construction, mining and mergers and acquisition. He is a non-executive director of Time Mining and Processing (Pty) Ltd, Portland Investment (Pty) Ltd and Sephaku Exploration and Development (Pty) Ltd where he is involved in the post investment phase of the transactions. Simisani holds an MBA from the University of Cape Town; an Honours Degree in Engineering Geology from the University of Pretoria and Bachelor of Science in Physics, Maths and Geology from the University of Zimbabwe.


Lewis Musasike

Lewis is a Managing Director of Africa Rising Capital. He has over 25 years of experience in corporate and investment banking; development banking; capital/financial markets and treasury; and financial management on the African continent and internationally. He founded and was the Chief Executive of Africa Next Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd, established in 2008 to pursue investment and advisory opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa. Africa Next subsequently merged with Afris. Lewis also served as the Chairperson of the Investment Committee for a Venture Capital Fund based in Nairobi (focusing on East Africa) for 3 years ended February 2013. From February 2007 to December 2007, Lewis was the Director and Head of Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) for Standard Bank Africa, based in Johannesburg in charge of all CIB operations in sub-Saharan Africa outside of South Africa. Prior to that, Lewis spent 9 years at the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) as Executive Manager/Vice President for Private Sector and International Investments (project finance, corporate finance and corporate banking) in South Africa and the rest of the SADC region; Executive Manager; Treasury and Manager; Treasury responsible for capital raising from local and international markets; and management of Treasury operations including its investment activities and risk management and financial policy formulation. Before joining the DBSA, Lewis spent 11 years at the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire in various senior roles including as Head of Capital Markets and Financial Operations, responsible for financial policy framework, capital raising in the international capital markets for the AfDB, from member countries for its concessional window (the ADF), and liasing with the investor community and global rating agencies. Lewis is a Chartered Accountant, a Chartered Management Accountant, an Associate Member of the Corporate Treasurer’s Association and holds an MBA from the University of Warwick (UK) and a Bachelor’s Honours Degree in Accountancy from the University of Zimbabwe. He is also an alumni of the SEP at Stanford University.


Masibulele Dem

Currently Masibulele is a Senior Associate, Investment Banking, at Africa Rising Capital. Prior to joining Afris Capital, he was Chief Financial Officer at Mazwe Financial services and founder of Lula Capital an Investment and Advisory firm. He also founded and managed Mgabaza Freight, a Freight and logistics company operating in South Africa, Zambia and Congo.  From 2006 to 2008, He worked in the Standard Bank Strategic Investments and Alliances division, a Private Equity Fund where he served as Transactor and Investment Manager in a R2 billion fund. He executed a number of transactions, both local as well as international. He subsequently served on Standard Bank’s Retail Executive Pricing Committee and was responsible for Pricing Strategy and Execution and oversaw over R9 billion Rand in revenue. Prior to that he was with KPMG, Cape Town where he conducted a number of Private Sector and Public Sector Audits; these include Audits for the Stellenbosch Municipality as well as National Treasury. Masibulele’s strengths include Due Diligence, Financial Analysis and Financial Modelling, Project Packaging, Structuring and Project Management as well as Capital Raising. B.Com from the University of Cape Town, a B.Com (Honours) degree from the University of Natal and is a qualified Chartered Accountant CA(SA).