About Us Contact Us Help




Africa The Final Frontier

Ranjani Saigal

A packed auditorium of over 100 people heard Zain Latif, Principal at TLG Capital and Emmanuel Katongole, CEO of Quality Chemicals Ltd of Uganda speak of the immense opportunity for investment in Africa. The speakers were sponsored by The International Business Center Global Speakers Series of the Fletcher School at Tufts University, Fletcher’s Center for Emerging Market Enterprises, Fletcher International Business Club and TIE Boston’s Social Entrepreneurs Group. Dorothy Orszulak, who was one of the prime organizers, introduced the speakers and thanked the audience for their attendance. 

Zain Latif led off describing why he decided to focus on Africa. He felt that the rest of the investment world was giving short shrift to the continent because they either held onto preconceptions of the country that were dated or treated the entire continent as one entity lumping areas of immense opportunity with other developing regions. For example, he pointed out that the growth in cell phone penetration in Africa has been tremendous. In 1995 there were fewer phones in all Africa than in New York City. Today there are as many cell phones as the US. One of the more progressive implementations of mobile commerce is in Kenya. 

He went on the emphasize that investors need to look at opportunities on a country by country and case by case basis and not be put off by preconceived notions of Africa. Like any other investment one needs to do ones homework before investing. Those who do will find several interesting opportunities in the country. He described Quality Chemicals as one such opportunity. When TLG looked at the entire country, they were amazed to find that there wasn’t a single pharmaceutical manufacturing company that was making any of the antiretroviral drugs that were used to treat HIV/AIDS. Most of the medicines were imported from abroad, primarily India. With some of the highest incidence of this disease, TLG saw an opportunity to help establish a manufacturing setup. They worked with CIPLA, one of the largest generic antiretroviral suppliers to develop a joint venture with Quality Chemicals in Uganda. Another example is their upcoming investment in a hospital for cancer treatment in Ghana. He explained the rationale behind the investment was again very simple when one realized that billions of dollars were being spent on treatment abroad by those who could afford it. Opening a hospital in Ghana helped the local economy as well as provided a solution to a social issue.

Emmanuel Katongole recalled a story when as a child he was taught English through repetitive learning and one of the phrases they were taught was that “Boston is the birthplace of wisdom”.  He said he was very excited that he was finally able to visit Boston and see ‘the birthplace of wisdom’. His talk was prefaced by a short video that highlighted the world class manufacturing facility that was built in the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda. With obvious pride he recounted the quality and kind of medicines his plant was now producing that will help treat thousands of Africans while keeping hundreds more in Uganda employed. He envisions moving beyond the current drugs to a wider spectrum of medicines to treat a variety of disease endemic in Africa. He also was looking to see how he could export some of the medicines he manufactured to the west to allow them access to lower cost drugs.

The presentation was followed by a spirited question and answer session where the audience had an opportunity to engage in in-depth dialog with the speakers.  When asked about  corruption and how to deal with it. both speakers didn't deny that corruption is a  fact of life. "We were faced with this question as we were about to open the cancer facility, the only one in the country that could save so many lives" said Latif and urged people to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making decisions. But overall they were optimistic about positive changes.

They detailed the Malarial problem which kills over 300 people everyday.  His company is producing drugs to fight Malaria for no one int he west realizes its seriousness.

The issue of exporting medical products to the United States to help in revenue generation was brought up. However both speakers acknowledged the limitations of existing laws, especially FDA regulations. If drugs could be imported to the United States, it could be helpful to reach out more AIDS patients with cheaper drug option. However especially for AIDS drug and its type, the difference in dose (once a day in Uganda as against thrice a day in the US) can also limit the opportunity as the drug combination is different.

The duo encouraged investment in Africa both for social and business reasons.

Bookmark and Share | Share your Comments

Comments :
Post a new message
1.pAZzCQsrvjbW June 24, 2013Unity 
2.uospGnlPSW June 21, 2013Wilma 
3.xQBUprbFXeEl June 14, 2013Keshawn 
4.IqvYwCvPmRJwfuksZ June 8, 2013Aileen 
5.yiKGTEuboYIxb June 4, 2013Affinity 
6.hGFZRNCLEdBgMsvEQ May 18, 2013Rocky 
7.kRgHFsaxeQgXeipNFa May 13, 2013Allie 
8.rmrgUZmySlXOFIyb May 8, 2013Kairii 
9.SDmHiniXXFhxE May 4, 2013Jahlin 
10.EHYItxkVuQHrG May 4, 2013Kaydence 
11.UQxEUjCqKeUVYstI April 27, 2013Kevrell 
12.sPaElujpXXWLG April 27, 2013Caiden 
13.tJkAhovTscst April 18, 2013Linx 
14.VRUOovGrbuNlbvH April 8, 2013Puss 
15.LBIwkOuOmZkaYqQXwyr April 7, 2013Ryne 
16.qUiYJnwiPadD March 27, 2013Laicee 
17.mHvJKRfRSJk March 23, 2013Shorty 
18.xUXFXUoIRLNxVjWAczN March 14, 2013Lakesha 
19.qsdPFbhfQxcHDga March 11, 2013Kathreen 
20.qoeiYaJNuldtRTWBsl March 8, 2013Lynda 
21.CIwXzFoDTjchRXcbW March 1, 2013Cathleen 
22.AlBwGHtbDwfUphY February 20, 2013Lotta 
23.ENFDEtkrQzBnRS January 24, 2013Sandra 
24.PYkIuwsdjcYP January 14, 2013Cactus 
25.pTMjZLbnAJvtTH January 9, 2013Carlie 
26.syckaZBGbD January 9, 2013Lena 
27.XXVRuZnFRDMlwC January 9, 2013Ryne 
28.WYjpuQPDrlECUlU January 9, 2013Lucky 
29.FqskCHuNdIFltih January 9, 2013Jaylen 
30.DVaPsosKUHQGUs December 27, 2012Ellie 
31.vCvUyeyHOHLoKxzaQv December 21, 2012Arjay 
32.pLfAQCyIPPPaHtCupQn December 20, 2012Chynna 
33.vMNXqvNuAaUSaARRs December 18, 2012Kyanna 
34.fhBwhUEUwXAbc December 13, 2012Susie 
35.RWkmnFpFSNVhLzgi December 9, 2012Satchel 
36.zsIJzjkRwWl December 8, 2012Gump 
37.aqyVkKtVMHIw December 5, 2012Anitra 
38.ZhlWVbhniuFA December 3, 2012Nollie 
39.WKiZsCMWukJOVRn December 1, 2012Gracelyn 
40.sUugvkMuUVDMfR November 17, 2012Stevie 
41.vEFnQeolLZjV November 13, 2012Fleta 
42.BydpkpHDEgkYukPVQnL November 11, 2012Gloriane 
43.SgvftLMqVxbgSsKZ November 9, 2012Ival 
44.BwTGZDqtxkkuPToazYy November 5, 2012Lanette 
45.UQhmkUmtkwvLRfKV November 1, 2012Flip 
46.YEpzvqSlVoK October 31, 2012Caelyn 
47.CcvAqyiuqRBcgG October 28, 2012Chaas 
48.xVsSHYHZYzpnKlSK October 26, 2012Millie 
49.qBJMmslRrZWvEhQvDhY October 24, 2012Kaylana 
50.ArWnieXQnKjCwrZNYD October 6, 2012Seston 
51.ArWnieXQnKjCwrZNYD October 6, 2012Seston 
52.nRRKXTljqaqKFHZF October 2, 2012Bubbi 
53.DEmYCqADREzyupc September 21, 2012Karess 
54.fkJRxxSZKVptUrKpBCG September 17, 2012Cammie 
55.YuZvGAfKQkx September 7, 2012ckdcklulz 
56.pIAYnasIFIX September 7, 2012Cade 
57.WlniAHyheGV September 6, 2012Samah 
58.IBzqbnenNUtKNYvFgD September 4, 2012Ganesan 

In this Issue
Recipes - Food For Thought

Super foods for brain power !

Recipes - Food For Thought
MA Boogie Woogie Dance Competition

Luv Karia, Ami Shalabh, Alok Macharla, Anoop Macharla, Subh Agrawal and Chirg Sethi won the Boogie Woogie junior and senior Boogie Woogie dance talent competition hosted by the India Society of Worcester.

MA Boogie Woogie  Dance Competition
Laugh A While

Did you come across these SMS jokes? The longest sentence known to man: "I do."

Laugh A While
ISW Job Fair A Huge Success

Over 150 people registered for the first ever ISW hosted Job Fair held on February 25th at the ISW India Center. Despite unrelenting rain and winds, the majority of the registrants showed up and met with over a dozen hiring companies ranging from biotech to IT services to several high tech start-ups.

ISW Job Fair A Huge Success
Lokvani Talks To Hanishi Ali

The Commission is holding its next public hearing in Lowell on March 31st at 6:00 pm at the Pollard Memorial Library and I would encourage South Asian women to attend and to let us know about issues that are important to you, your family, and your community, whether it concerns pay equity, stopping domestic violence, quality education and childcare, or another issue of importance to you.- Hanishi Ali.

Lokvani Talks To Hanishi Ali

You may also access this article through our web-site http://www.lokvani.com/

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Copyrights Help