The Afris Capital Team

  • The team has unparalleled experience and knowledge of the African investment environment. Our strong personal & business networks at the highest levels of government and commerce give Afris Capital an in-depth knowledge of Africa’s diversity and insight into African risks & business complexities. This experience uniquely positions our firm to offer our clients the specialised advice and knowledge they expect from a reputable financial services organization.

    Furthermore, the Afris Capital team has extensive experience and knowledge of investment banking and longstanding relationships with international, regional and national funding institutions and investors operating on the African continent.

    In particular, some of the founding partners served at Africa’s leading financial institutions and corporates including the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and various South African based commercial banks, and hence understand the workings of public finance, concessional finance and private finance markets in Africa and internationally. The founding Principals are not only non-executive directors but are actively involved in the business daily.

    We are confident that our team is well-placed to partner with you and support your business ambitions.

Dr. Mandla SV Gantsho
Group Chairman

Mandla is a founding Principal and the Chairman of Africa Rising Capital. He is also the Chairperson of Impala Platinum Limited, SASOL Limited and Kumba Iron Ore Limited, which are all listed entities.

Mandla is an expert in infrastructure development finance and has an in-depth knowledge of Africa’s business climate.

He was the Vice- President for Private Sector, Infrastructure & Regional Integration at the African Development Bank (AfDB) from 2006-2009. 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. 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.

Mandla is a Chartered Accountant CA (SA). He holds a PhD (University of Pretoria); MSc (George Washington University) and B. Com Hons (University of Cape Town).

Lewis Musasike
Managing Director

Lewis is a co-founder and Executive Director of Africa Rising Capital.

Lewis 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 Capital. Lewis also served as the Chairperson of the Investment Committee for a Venture Capital Fund based in Nairobi (focusing on East Africa) between 2010 and 2013.

Lewis was the Director and Head of Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) for Standard Bank Africa 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) in various investment banking and treasury roles. 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.

Lewis is a Chartered Accountant CA (SA), 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 alumni of the SEP at Stanford University.

Phakama Mbikwana
Group Chief Executive Officer

Phakama has over 15 years of banking experience, where she has been exposed to all the industry segments. She exited the banking industry as a Principal at Barclays Africa where she held the role of Head: Construction & Construction Related in the Corporate & Investment Banking Division.

Prior to joining Barclays, she held roles at Standard Bank Group, Investment Solutions, the Alexander Forbes Multi Asset Manager; and at Nedbank Corporate as a Senior Manager responsible for business development and origination in multiple sectors including but not limited to state - owned companies, BEE investment holding companies, Real Estate Investment Trusts and the gaming and hospitality sectors.

Phakama graduated at Rhodes University in 2002 with a Bachelor in Commerce in Accounting and Economics. She then further completed a Bridging Certificate in Theory of Accounting at RAU in 2005. She also holds an International Executive Development Program certificate from Duke Corporate (Duke University affiliate). She is an independent non-executive director on the Stor-Age Property REIT Limited board of directors, a JSE Listed REIT.

Simisani Kupe
Managing Director

Simisani is a co-founder and Executive Director of Africa Rising Capital.

With 25 years’ experience in the structuring and execution of transactions, Simisani has extensive and proven expertise in debt capital markets, corporate capital raising and project finance. His hands-on experience in structuring deals has given him a broad working knowledge of both the infrastructure and mining sectors on the African continent.

Simisani has been involved in a diverse range of Public Private Partnership transactions including the Gautrain and the provision of Head Office accommodation for the Department of Foreign Affairs. Simisani worked in the bidding preparation and negotiation for the Gautrain Rapid Rail System as part of Bombela Concession Company. He was involved in the design and construction joint venture, the electromechanical joint venture and the finance group. This rail concession is a 20 years’ rail mass transit system costing R25 billion.

Simisani has also been a director and executive in companies in construction, mining, cement, investment banking, property and rail concession. Simisani holds an MBA from the University of Cape Town, Bachelor Hons in Geology from University of Pretoria and Bachelor Science from University of Zimbabwe.

Dr Monwabisi SM Gantsho
Managing Director

Monwabisi has over 20 years’ experience in senior management in private and public healthcare sectors including global economic research. He has extensive experience as director in various disciplines, having led a successful career as a practitioner in the healthcare industry. During the last 12 years of his career he has been a regulator for health insurance companies and focusing on risk management at executive level. Monwabisi’s experience at senior management level includes regulatory functions; compliance and enforcement of relevant laws in complex industries in South Africa.

He was Registrar and Chief Executive of the Council for medical schemes from 2010-2015. Monwabisi serves as a member in the Board of Trustee of the Foundation at St Alban’s College in Pretoria. Monwabisi is a regular International Visiting Scholar, researcher and visiting lecturer in various universities in United States. He is currently a member of the Board of Visitors at the Faculty of Health Sciences & Nursing at Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh PA where he is focusing on health technologies and basic sciences as integrated systems affecting the personal consumer prices (PCE).

Monwabisi is a qualified medical doctor, a member of South African Medical Association and Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). He holds an M.Phil in philosophy-political science-economics masters degree from Nelson Mandela University; MB.ChB (University of Natal); postgraduate Fellow of Centres for Leadership and Public Values in management from University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business in collaboration with Duke University, US. He is also an alumni of the leadership program at INSEAD University.

Ronice Nkhwazi
Senior Associate

From 2011 to 2014 Ronice worked as an Investment Banking Analyst at Afris Capital. She then left Afris Capital to join Utho Capital as an Associate where she focused on Transaction and Financial Advisory, particularly for infrastructure development and other complementary consultancy services. Ronice rejoined Afris Capital in 2016.

She has worked on various deals in project finance as well as corporate finance advisory and capital raising. She has focused on business development, structuring, valuations and financial analysis. Ronice’s experience includes the performance of due diligence investigations, preparation of information memoranda, financial modelling, project presentations and valuations. Ronice also worked as an Investment Associate for Utho Capital Fund Managers where she was responsible for deal evaluations and portfolio monitoring of private equity investments across all stages of the private equity investment process.

Ronice obtained her Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Witwatersrand where she majored in Accounting, Management Accounting and Finance.