He is the Executive Chairman of Jonah Capital, a private equity fund based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is the non-executive president of mining giant Anglogold Ashanti Limited, and is also a director of Anglo American Corporation of South Africa and Anglo American Platinum Corporation. Sam Jonah is a member of numerous advisory committees, including South African President Thabo Mbeki’s International Investment Advisory Council and President Kufuor’s Ghana Investors’ Advisory Council. He is the Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.He also serves on various boards including Lonmin, the Commonwealth African Investment Fund (Comafin), the Advisory Council of UN Secretary General’s Global Compact. As well as his directorships, Mr Jonah is a member of the Advisory Board of the London Business School.
Sam Jonah is reported as being optimistic in his new venture and acknowledges Africa’s post-colonial difficulties. “People fail to appreciate the huge challenges African countries faced at independence,” he says. “When you think where we have come from, there has been tremendous progress.”
By Simon Robinson/Johannesburg CNN
He expresses his disapproval to the help Africa has elicited from foreign agencies as having been the wrong prescription.
"By way of illustration, Mr Jonah points to three once impoverished European countries—Spain, Portugal and Greece—that might have stayed poor had they not been “rescued by their sugar daddy, the European Union.” The point, he says, is that richer European countries invested in these poor countries, “not as charity, but because they saw a win-win opportunity.” The same is now true of Africa, he argues. With a handful of headline-grabbing exceptions, “everyone in Africa is now getting their act together, with free markets and democracy.”
Regarding the west backlash against Chinas involvement in Africa Sam notes “...we are amused that suddenly we are getting all this attention from the West,....You must start from the presumption that Africans know what they want,” he says.
“China’s heavy presence in all aspects of business throughout Africa is evident and SA companies are running into fierce competition for mineral assets in the Congo, Angola, Tanzania and Guinea.”
Jonah says in the energy sector, China and India are everywhere and are also investing in natural resources, property and infrastructure. “China is currently building a US$200 million resort complex comprising pagoda roofed holiday homes, a golf course, a five star hotel and a helipad in Sierra Leone, as well as constructing three new and renovating two existing stadiums in Ghana for the 2008 African Cup of Nations,” he adds.
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