The Black Management Forum (BMF) would like to congratulate its board member, Achumile Majija for winning Ghana’s 2019 Insurance Awards in the Young Achiever of the Year Award Category.

The Ghana Insurance Awards is an annual ceremony that celebrates the achievements and standards in the insurance industry in Ghana. The awards provide a spectacular occasion for insurance industry players to come together to celebrate and network, while rewarding achievement and leadership in various key areas.

The Awards includes categories for life and non-life companies, re-insurers, brokerage firms and other intermediaries, health insurers, actuarial firms and other insurance service providers.

Majija has demonstrated excellence, resilience and perseverance throughout his career. These are qualities which many young professionals should be guided by. It comes as no surprise to the BMF that Majija exemplifies these qualities as he is one of the founding members of BMF Young Professional (BMF YP) which plays a critical and pivotal role in grooming and refining our country’s future leaders, visionaries and change agents. Majija career trajectory is a true affirmation of this.

“The BMF is delighted with Majija’s awards because he has come of age in the BMF. His journey has been inspirational and is testimony that South Africa has Young Black Professionals of global standing” said BMF President Andile Nomlala.

“We wish him more success and encourage him to continue displaying the DNA of a true BMF Manager”, concluded Nomlala.

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The Black Management Forum is pleased to congratulate Sharmla Chetty on her appointment as Duke CE’s new President of Global Markets.

“The partnership between Duke CE and the BMF spans over a decade so we really got to know the institution and the person leading it”, said BMF Deputy President Tasneem Fredericks

Chetty is a strong advocate of female leadership and youth. The Women Leading Africa Board Leadership is an initiative she founded to increase the representation of women on boards and she is also one of the founding members of a mentoring circle designed to expose South African youth to business. The #MillionYoungMinds live stream is another initiative launched by Chetty as part of the Davos of Human Capital to get young people ready for the technology changes impacting our society.

The Duke CE South Africa office was opened by Chetty in 2007 and since then, she has catapulted the organisation into Africa’s leading leadership development provider which was ranked #1 in Africa according to The Financial Times 2019 rankings for custom executive education.

Duke CE has been at the forefront in disrupting executive education for the past 20 years and as part of her new role, Chetty will lead Duke CE’s global client business in customized executive education.

“Chetty epitomises what it means to want it all and to work hard to get it. She is a selfless leader who knows how to bring the best out in people”, Fredericks continued.

“We wish her well in her new role and look forward to another decade of meaningful engagements between Duke CE and the BMF”, Fredericks concluded.

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The Black Management Forum (BMF) has noted the Gauteng High Court’s judgement in the matter between Mr. Peter Moyo and Old Mutual.

As the BMF, we are extremely concerned about some of the factual findings which have been made by the Court, which indicate that Old Mutual completely flouted corporate governance and labour law practices in pursuit of a highly experienced and competent black executive. These include the following:

  • Old Mutual’s Board (including Mr Trevor Manuel) ignored the concerns that were raised by Mr Moyo with regards to Mr Manuel’s real/potential conflict of interest due to his directorship in the three entities that were involved in the “Managed Separation” transaction;
  • The Old Mutual Board failed to act when it was brought to their attention that Old Mutual was paying Mr Manuel’s legal fees in a matter that had nothing to do with Old Mutual;
  • Contrary to the public statements which have been made by Old Mutual, Mr Manuel continued to participate in the discussions relating to the “Managed Separation” transaction;
  • Old Mutual ignored the fact that its representative at the NMT Board (Mr Patel) had not indicated that any conflict of interest had ever arisen in his presence and that he had in fact supported the resolutions of the NMT Board; and
  • Old Mutual inexplicably sought to hold Mr Moyo responsible, as a non-executive director (NED) of NMT, for issues which are clearly the responsibility of NMT management and issues which Mr Moyo, like all other NEDs of NMT, was not aware of.  

As the BMF, we have been following this impasse very closely and have been concerned about the way Old Mutual sought to remove a competent black CEO under the guise of a concern about a conflict of interest. To us, this has always appeared to be a smokescreen designed to mask the real issues at play. We are pleased that the Court has, in its ruling, effectively reinforced the principle that companies cannot just get rid of employees, more especially black senior executives, without following proper procedure.

The BMF notes that the judgement was primarily about whether there was compliance with certain contractual provisions of the agreement concluded between Mr Moyo and Old Mutual and takes the view that those are ultimately issues to be resolved between those parties. However, BMF is very concerned about the apparent lack of compliance with basic governance principles by the Old Mutual Board, more so when such is done at the expense of those who have a vested interest not only in Old Mutual but in good corporate governance in general. This is indicative of the view that BMF has always shared, that the failure of governance should never be an issue that is reserved for the public sector only as the private sector is just as contaminated.

We are aware that Old Mutual has elected to appeal the judgement, as they are entitled to, but BMF’s view remains that the corporate governance issues highlighted in this judgement need to be seriously considered.

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The Black Management Forum (BMF) commends Anglo American plc (Anglo American) for appointing Nolitha Fakude as Chairman to its Management board. This appointment stands as an affirmation of black talent, but in particular black women in leadership. Anglo American has shown that it can recognize black women and create space for them to display their leadership skills in directing an organization with a global footprint.

“Nolitha’s leadership capability is indubitable. She is a former Managing Director and President of the BMF. As the first woman President of the BMF, she put gender equality at the forefront of her presidency and ensured that the constitution of the BMF reflected and was infested with the necessity of empowering women,” said BMF President Andile Nomlala.

Nolitha went on to formulate the Sasol Group Partnership Forum during her tenure with the company, a model that has been recognised by the industry for improved industrial relations in a multi-trade union environment. Under her direction, Sasol drove the landmark broad-based black economic empowerment transaction, Sasol Inzalo.

“Nolitha has remained unaltered in her passion for the advocacy of diversity and inclusion. Her corporate experience and board participation has prepared her immensely for this role, and the BMF is once again flying its flag high for having provided leadership at the highest level in business,” added Nomlala.

The BMF further congratulates the additional seasoned black executives joining the Anglo American top brass. Mr. Themba M. Mkhwanazi, CEO of Kumba Iron Ore, who joins the Anglo American Group Management Committee in August 2019, Ms. Hixonia Nyasulu (Former Chair of Sasol) and Ms. Nku Nyembezi (Current Chair of Alexander Forbes) who join the Anglo American Board as non- executive directors in November 2019 and January 2020 respectively.

“It is a well-known fact that a diversified board of directors is not merely a token of representation but critical to effective corporate governance. We hope that this incoming Board will in itself advocate for diversity in the boardroom and that the business community will take note of this progressive move that is in sync with the BMF’s perspective and mandate to see black talent being given space to lead,” Concludes Nomlala.

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The Black Management Forum (BMF) applauds MTN for appointing Yolanda Cuba as its Chief Digital and Fintech Officer. Cuba replaces Stephen Van Coller who resigned last year. 

“We are confident that Cuba will do well in this position as she is a highly experienced executive and has been involved in the areas of digital services and fintech for several years”, said BMF President Andile Nomlala. 

Yolanda brings extensive telecommunications and leadership experience to MTN Group. She joins MTN Group from Vodacom, where she served as Chief Officer of Strategy and M&A. She was previously the CEO of Vodafone Ghana for a three-year period, a role that saw her named Telecom CEO of the Year in 2018.

“Cuba has a robust track record and we wish her every success in her role”, Nomlala concluded. 

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Philippe Bakahoukoutela
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