Zambia Sugar appoints new Country Managing Director

 Zambia Sugar appoints new Country Managing Director

The Board of Directors of Zambia Sugar Plc wishes to announce the appointment of Mr Oswald Magwenzi as Country Managing Director effective 1st September 2021.

Mr Magwenzi takes the helm of the country’s largest sugar producer following the retirement of Mrs Rebecca Katowa who has helped transform the Company and set it on course for stellar performance since her appointment in 2015.

Mr Magwenzi is former Managing Director of Ubombo Sugar, an Eswatini Subsidiary of the Illovo Sugar Africa Group and he spearheaded an industry-wide effort to improve water use efficiency in the Eswatini sugar industry. He played an instrumental role in the development, financing and implementation of the innovative Lower Usuthu Smallholder Irrigation Project (LUSIP) and the Komati Downstream Development Project, vital to the country’s growth.

Mr Magwenzi steps up to steward Africa’s largest single mill cane sugar producer through the next phase of its strategic growth ambitions.

His appointment is part of the Illovo Sugar Africa succession plan and reflects the opportunity for growth the Group offers to its leaders.

Mr Magwenzi has had an exemplary career in the sugar, irrigation and international finance sectors, working first for the Illovo Sugar Africa Group, then leaving to spend three years with the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation focusing on agribusiness investments in Eastern and Southern Africa before returning to Illovo in 2012 and in 2013 took up the role of Managing Director at Ubombo Sugar in Eswatini.

There, he focused on driving value creation in the existing business and developing new opportunities
through a dedicated diversification strategy that included power generation.

Mr Magwenzi has also won two Associated British Sugar Focus awards including one overall winner for the St Phillips project, three Illovo Best Factory, two finance and three Risk awards capped with the 2019/20 best country performance awards, as well as the personal Illovo Values award for 2020/21. He is author of three papers on irrigation published by the South African Sugar Technologists Association including one on irrigation efficiency which won a Cecil Renaud Award. Recently he co-authored a Chapter on Irrigation Finance as part of a smallholder irrigation handbook to be published by IFC and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Commenting on the appointment Zambia Sugar Plc Board Chairman, Norman Mbazima said; “We are pleased that Oswald has joined the Zambia Sugar family and is set to build on the successes of his predecessor who improved Zambia Sugar performance and increased profitability over the past 7 years. Oswald’s intellect, wealth of knowledge and over 29 years’ experience will be brought to bear as we continue to optimise the Company’s strategies including promoting our outgrower scheme while navigating the challenging economic environment brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We wish him and his family a great stay in Zambia”.

Mr Magwenzi holds a BSc Agriculture Honours degree from the University of Zimbabwe, a Diploma in Marketing from the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, an MSc in Irrigation Engineering and Post-graduate Certificate in Civil Engineering from the University of Southampton in the UK and an MBA (Finance) from the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.

The Board would like to thank Mrs Katowa for her diligent leadership and having overseen the significant turnaround in the business since her appointment in 2015. She leaves behind a business that is well positioned for growth opportunities ahead.

The Board further wishes Mrs Katowa a happy and fulfilling retirement and looks forward to Mr Magwenzi’s contribution to the Company in his capacity as Country Managing Director.

The Independent Observer

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