DATE: WEDNESDAY, 29 SEPTEMBER 2021 | TIME: 09H00-11H00 |

Topic Synopsis / Context:

‘South Africa has long been heralded as the ‘gateway to Africa’ – an appropriate base of operation from which economic connection to the rest of the continent can be formed and business developed. With its well-developed financial sector, infrastructure, logistics, education, sport and select industries, the SA has earned he moniker despite various social, political, and economic challenges’.

To some the term gateway implies the transmission of ideas, people, skill, technology and goods, yet in physical realm, a gateway may also mean provision of access to other regions and markets.

Gateway countries and companies can be described as providing the connection between the regional and global level of the world economy, acting as the way ideas, people, skill, technology, and goods flow. These countries and companies take a greater role within their respective regions, emerging as natural leaders.

Richfield is positioned as a leading technology, and business private higher education institution with national footprint and a disruptive online learning platform for distance learning prides itself with having achieved quality education of global standards using best practice over 31 years. Richfield launched its MBA programme in 2021 as the first of its kind that focuses on tools, techniques, and strategies that of the emerging and disruptive technologies that are vital to manage and drive the transitions into a digital economy.

Imperial launched its milestone ‘Gateway to Africa’ campaign in 2021. The company’s strategic intent is to become a ‘One Imperial’ business and serve as the ‘Gateway to Africa’ to its clients, principals and customers. Its purpose – connecting Africa and the world and improving people’s lives with access to quality products and services through the provision of integrated market access and logistics solutions in five key industries: healthcare, consumer, chemicals, automotive, industrial and commodities.

Lions Cricket prides itself as one of the leading domestic cricket and sporting unions in the country and the continent. The Union manages the world class cricket and multipurpose venues that hosts various world class sporting legends and world leaders (i.e., cricket world cup, IPL, Davis Cup, FIFA Soccer World Cup, Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, greatest One Day Game ever and recently hosted the ODI world cup winners England to name a few). On the cricket side, the Union is the biggest domestic cricket union in the country bosting a reach to schools, community-based clubs, post matric institutions, women, blind cricket and deaf cricket, world class scorers, umpires and best in class talented cricketers. Its franchise boasts a significant portion of Proteas players across all racial backgrounds including 2018 World #1 and 2019 world #2 test bowler and the first white ball black captain.

The series aims to ventilate on the following:

  • Does South Africa and in particular what companies fit this description given their role in international affairs and across the African continent and beyond?
  • Is South Africa still the best entry point for companies looking to get involved in Africa and more importantly is it a gateway to Africa?

What is expanded definition of gateway?

The panel discussion will be moderated by Arabile Gumede – Independent Financial Journalist

Arabile Gumede is a financial journalist with a career of remarkable feats and interrogative work. Through the world of money, markets, finance and economics, he has built his reputation as a leading commentator, reporter, anchor and writer.

Business Anchor & Reporter for the largest news station in South Africa outside of the National Broadcaster. News, Views & Reviews on anything.

A young accounting geology enthusiast aho with the ambition known by many to be superlative and a vigor to match that of an 8th man in a rugby scrum.

The talents that are given to me allow for a versatile shape in the things I can do, making my adaptation to task very lucrative. I have worked any and everywhere, from the local Virgin Active to Gold Reef City and Forbes Africa. I can do anything, but Accounting will always be my first love. I believe in making known that my challenge is to part of the best so I can become even better than they once were.


  1. Adam Kelly – Group Sales Director Richfield

Adam heads up SHL’s commercial team in Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands. His team manage key accounts across the region as well as actively drive business development, leveraging off the past 5 years’ learning and expertise that have been gained with SHL in the market.

Adam formally held the role of Commercial Operations Director at SHL, overseeing all financial operations for the Middle East and Africa regions. Adam remains part of the Middle East and Africa Exco team which continues to broaden his management and business experience across the UAE, LUG and Saudi Arabian territories in addition to the African markets.

Adam is an outgoing, smart and hardworking individual who is firmly focused on delivering extraordinary results within his team through effective leadership. His strong work ethic and loyalty is a testament to his progressive success.

Adam graduated with an Honours Degree in Financial Management following which he successfully gained his accreditation with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and is now formally recognised as a Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA).

  • Esha Mansingh – Executive Vice President: Corporate Affairs & Investor Relations Imperial

Esha Mansingh (Dr. h.c) is the Executive Vice President: Corporate Affairs & Investor Relations at JSE-listed Imperial. She is responsible for investor relations, ESG and sustainability, internal and stakeholder communications, corporate affairs and brand positioning for the Group. She is also the chairman of Imperial’s global women’s forum and manages Imperial’s partnership with Lions Cricket and Imperial Wanderers Stadium.

Esha currently serves as the co-chairman of the World Economic Forum’s New Champions South Africa board, and a non-executive director and trustee of the Imperial and Motus Community Trust and the Unjani Clinics NPC. Esha is also a founding member of the Investor Relations Society of South Africa, the chairman of the integrated reporting and ESG and Reporting sub-committee of CFO Forum South Africa, a member of the IFC’s women in healthcare working group, and a member of the Integrated Reporting Committee South Africa working group.

Esha was recognised as one of the top 100 women in business in the world in 2021 by the Global Trade Chamber, chosen as one of Mail and Guardian’s 50 Power of Women 2021 and the winner of the ‘Positive role model for listed companies in Southern Africa’ award in the 2021 Accenture Gender Mainstreaming awards. Esha achieved an honorary doctorate in humanitarianism from Global International Alliance, for the vast and far-reaching humanitarianism work she undertakes. In addition she is an award-winning journalist, a TV presenter, a mum and wife.

  • Jono Leaf-Wright – Chief Executive Officer Lions Cricket Union

Jono is a successful entrepreneur who brings innovation and business acumen to the union. Over the course of his career Jono has established a number of successful sporting and events businesses, which have thrived thanks to his strong networking skills and ability to secure corporate partnerships.

He is passionate about cricket coaching, which he has been involved in at various levels for almost twenty years (he is a CSA Level Three Coach). He has a long history with the Lions Cricket Union, having coached the Lions U19 team for the past eleven years, assisted with the coaching of the Lions 20/20 team (2008) and, more recently, as manager of the Jozi Stars for the inaugural Mzansi Super League in 2018 where the Jozi Stars were crowned champions.

He has also been a Cricket South Africa National U19 talent scout for over a decade, with the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Quinton de Kock having come up through the ranks under his watch.

Internationally, Jono assisted the Royal Challengers Bangalore in previous IPLs and Champions Leagues.

Prior to joining Lions Cricket Union, Jono owned many different companies, one of which was a coaching company that employed over 70 coaches from different backgrounds; he is proud to have retained some of the best coaches for over ten years, which he attributes to his management style, empathy and leadership. Jono was also responsible for hosting the biggest inter-primary school sporting event in the country for 16 years and brought large-scale, sponsor-backed cricket programs to the townships. He also has a very good understanding of cricket at a school and provincial level, having sat on numerous cricket executive committees in leading roles.