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Appian appoints new head of Africa

Mining-focused investment advisory firm Appian Capital Advisory has announced the appointment of its new Africa head Khathutshelo Mapasa.  

Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Mapasa will fill the newly created position to lead the development of Appian’s business across the African continent.  

He will also lead on due diligence, promote Appian’s value proposition with key partners, manage government relations, and originate investment opportunities, including clean energy investments. He will also oversee portfolio companies in the region, with a focus on managing and optimising assets to generate value. 

Mapasa is an engineer and executive with more than 24 years’ experience in mining, engineering and construction in Africa. He has direct experience in enhancing mine performance, business turnarounds and leading engagement with key stakeholders, as well as a high level of familiarity with Appian’s existing portfolio, including recent acquisitions in Africa. 

“Having worked in the region for over 24 years, joining Appian is an exciting opportunity. As the leading private investor in metals and mining, with a focus on energy transition metals, I was drawn to Appian’s value-add model and ability to support portfolio companies with financial and technical expertise.  

“Appian’s record and the potential in the region, combined with my extensive experience across Africa, is a very exciting combination. Appian’s focus on adjacencies, such as renewable energy supply to existing mine portfolios, creates further growth opportunities. I look forward to expanding our business across the continent,” he said. 

Prior to joining Appian, Mapasa was CEO of South Africa-based construction, mining and engineering services conglomerate Basil Read Group for six years. He spent three years as the mining executive director, with responsibilities for subsidiaries providing contract mining and processing plants in engineering, procurement and construction.  

Prior to that, he was with De Beers for 14 years.  

He is a member of the Institute of Directors Southern Africa and the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and serves as a nonexecutive director for several companies. He holds a BSc in chemical engineering from the University of Cape Town and has studied at Harvard Business School. 

The newly created head of Africa role reflects Appian’s growing presence in Africa, with more than 1 000 employees across the continent.  

Moreover, the company is building on its historical and now exited investments in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania as well as its existing operating project in Namibia. Key target jurisdictions will be Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and selective jurisdictions in East and West Africa. 

Appian founder and CEO Michael W Scherb said Mapasa’s appointment “… reflects our renewed focus on Africa with its robust opportunities for energy transition metals.  

“He brings deep experience in Africa, familiarity with our assets and a proven record of delivering results and driving growth. Africa remains a key region with tremendous potential if you have the required expertise and understanding of the markets involved.”