AMG expands into Africa

HARARE – The African Medallion Group (AMG) has spread its tentacles by establishing representative offices in Dubai, Lesotho, Mauritius, Namibia and Zambia, as it seeks to position itself as a truly global business.

This also comes as company founder Frank Buyanga has challenged the Zimbabwean government to increase beneficiation of its minerals, especially gold, to create meaningful employment and continental youths to pursue entrepreneurship for self-emancipation.

“At the acquisition of the Pagliari Group (Pagliari) and Cape Mint in May 2018, we said that our goal was just to expand across Africa through organic growth and strategic acquisitions,” he said, adding “our aim remains to bring (value and) real wealth to our investors, and that R100 million takeover was just the beginning of our consolidation, and leap”.

“We also remain humbled and motivated to ensure that AMG significantly contributes to the continent’s numismatic industry, and create value... by championing local beneficiation, employment creation and international exposure,” Buyanga said.

The development also comes as the South African-based company has set its sights on setting up and partnering African sovereign wealth funds (SWF), starting with Zimbabwe, at the back of its $100 million gold reserves acquired from Rand Refinery.

With Pagliari having been acquired in April, the 61-year-old jewellery maker’s Cape subsidiary was part of the iconic gold processor or refinery.

And the Atlantic Seaboard mint also has major contracts with companies such as global cigarette giant BAT, Germany automaker Volkswagen, the South African Police Services and others.

In terms of his SWF offer to Harare, Buyanga says AMG’s assets could be used to fund local entrepreneurs or ventures and at a time the economy is bogged down by myriad challenges, including huge debts and unemployment.

“As AMG, we want to be part of the new Zimbabwe by helping our SWF reach its goals and also get the necessary financial ability to do so,” Buyanga said in a letter to then Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa.

“As an entrepreneur, I am aware that… the fiscus is stretched so thin and has nothing to spare, the practicality of SWF for Zimbabwe is then close to impossible. However, with our assistance together we can make it a reality,” he said.

In addition to his AMG interests, the 39-year-old businessman has several other investments in the financial services sector, mining and property locally, and in South Africa.

When the company was established nearly two years ago, it launched quite a number of exciting products, including the $5 African Union commemorative coin and other medallions.

Apart from his efforts to help Zimbabwe’s economy, Buyanga was one of a few vocal — and leading — advocates for the establishment of a specialised, and monitoring unit for the country’s parastatals.

In a personal profile on the AMG website, the flamboyant businessman says he is passionate about “social financial inclusion and the upliftment of Africans”, especially the unbanked. — The Financial Gazette

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