During Kenya Mining Forum in Nairobi in December, Mr Satchu is a keynote speaker during the opening session, with a presentation entitled: “What do the financial markets tell us about the mining industry at present?” He will also chair the Investors Breakfast at the event.
“Kenya’s free market credentials give it a unique opportunity to crowd international and domestic investors in. I expect lift-off in this sector over the next 5-10 years.”
1) Can we start with some background on your career thus far and about Rich Management Limited.
I began my career in the City of London where I worked for CSFB, Sumitomo Bank and Dresdner Bank where I ran global short end trading desks. I returned to Kenya 11 years ago. Rich Management offers investment advisory and investor relations advisory services and we have a digital business which interestingly is the fastest growing business. The digital business is focused on brand protection and digital investor relations and operates in a number of countries in SSA.
2) Are there any particular projects in the mining industry that you are involved in and particularly excited about at the moment?
I had always studied and traded the commodities markets. However, the opportunity to take a close look at the mining industry came via Base Resources on whose Base Titanium Kenya Board I serve. It has been a unique opportunity to see a best of breed mining operation up close and personal. Base will parlay its Kwale success into a SSA wide operation in due course.
3) Would you agree that there are high expectations of the mining industry in Kenya?
Absolutely. Kenya is a nascent mining jurisdiction. CS Dan Kazungu has brought sanity and order to the docket. Kenya’s free market credentials give it a unique opportunity to crowd international and domestic investors in. I expect lift-off in this sector over the next 5-10 years.
4) What do you see as the main challenges for the mining sector in this country?
The sine qua non of a successful mining sector is policy making stability and certainty. I believe we have that. These investments are typically big ticket and have a long life. We need to be cognizant of these realities. In the comparison [see Tanzania and SA] Kenya’s mining star is shining bright. The biggest challenge remains capital and building out a capital markets which can support the industry.
5) What is the industry expecting from Government in your view?
The Government has a crucial and necessary role to play. There is a lot of propaganda around the industry and we need to be wary of the resource nationalism argument. The Government needs to play its role so that whilst the Government receives its fair share, local communities are also empowered. If that equation is interfered with licenses to operate will be more difficult.
6) What is your vision for this sector?
I have a vision of a best of breed mining sector which thrives and creates employment and opportunity for our people. We have an opportunity to construct a sustainable mining sector which creates a serious pull effect. I would also like to see the capital markets join the party and for Kenya to become like a ‘’Canada’’ for the mining capital markets in Africa.
7) What surprises you about the mining sector in Africa?
The mining sector in Africa is opaque. Nothing surprises me. I think Africa has to look at how to climb the value addition curve but that will require multi-jurisdictional collaboration.
8) You are chairing the Investors Breakfast during the upcoming Kenya Mining Forum – what are you hoping for this session?
I am very excited to be chairing this discussion. Investors are the missing ingredient. I am keen to tease out how we crowd investors in and how we construct a best of breed capital markets which allows us to capture more value.
9) You are also a keynote speaker during the opening session, with a presentation entitled: “What do the financial markets tell us about the mining industry at present?” Can you give us a sneak preview of your message at the event?
My core belief is that the markets emit the purest signal. That when you are a nascent jurisdiction such as ours, you need to make sure that all the stakeholders including shareholders make a return. An adversarial relationship between Government and Miners is sub-optimal. I am going to try and put together a Financial Markets roadmap for Kenya.
10) What are you most looking forward to at the event?
I am looking forward to the event. Each year, I am seeing progress and I am thinking that we are at an inflexion point.