Staff and Retained Associates
Zurcom staff are located in Pretoria and Durban, South Africa with staff representatives in Angola, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Staff are multilingual in English, French, Portuguese, Swahili and other languages.
Director of Zurcom International (Pty) Ltd
Richard Zurba has over 20 years of experience assisting companies into the global markets. He is the Director of Zurcom International (Pty) Ltd, which is the contracted representative for the GSGP serving in Africa, as well as other state governments, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. Zurcom’s experience includes supporting companies from around the world entering the Africa. Richard came to Africa in 1993, working in the D. R. Congo for World Vision Relief. He moved to South Africa in 1996, as an export manager for a South African firm, selling into 20 African countries. In January 1999, Richard opened the GSGP Africa Trade Office in Johannesburg representing several US state governments. The team assists in areas such as locating distributors/buyers for American products, trade missions and market research. Richard is the Co-Chair for the IBG Global partnership, servicing over 200 country markets. Since inception, Zurcom has worked with over 4,200 different company projects in relation to international trade. Staff in fourteen covering Africa and the Caribbean. Richard has a B.A. (Alberta, International Relations), an M.A. (London School of Economics, International History) and an M.B.A. (Western Ontario, International Business).
SOUTH AFRICA BASED STAFF
Nathan Le Roux
Trade Advisor (Durban, South Africa)
Nathan Le Roux grew up in the coastal city of Durban, KwaZulu – Natal, South Africa. After his matriculation from high school, Nathan worked as a photographer for a Durban based photographic company for three years before finding opportunities further afield in the international arena. At the beginning of 2011, Nathan began his merchant shipping career in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. whilst working as a volunteer seafarer, for an international German N.G.O. Following his term as a seafarer, Nathan went on to work for the same N.G.O. as a team leader and project manager within their ‘advanced preparation division’. He managed multicultural teams tasked with the project of events planning and coordination, strategic marketing, public affairs, networking, fundraising, crowd management, recruiting, and strategic planning in cross-cultural environments. He was based, by project, within various countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa for this multi-million-euro effort.
Nathan has been working as a trade advisor for Zurcom International (Pty) Ltd since 2017. He has led seven trade missions to South Africa, including multi-country visits. He has experience working with companies in industries that include telecommunications, rail, automotive, security, defence, information and communications technology, transport, energy, mining, manufacturing, and healthcare to name a few. Nathan has undergone training in the merchant shipping academy and has completed courses in Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting at the Gulf Technical & Safety Training Centre L.L.C. Furthermore, he became duly qualified under the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Regulations, 2001.
Trade advisor (Durban, South Africa)
Sharnel Pillay has worked for Zurcom International (Pty) Ltd since March 2018. She has participated in both in-person and virtual trade missions for the following US states: Delaware, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New York, Virginia and Wisconsin as well as the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of India. She has managed company market research, company background checks, qualified appointment setting and agent / distributor searches. She has assisted numerous companies from various industries to identify business opportunities in the Southern Africa region. She has broad experience in the following sectors: alcohol, environmental, health and safety, healthcare (education, medical devices and medical software), industrial equipment, logistics and retail. Sharnel has a BSc degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and is currently completing a Post Graduate Diploma in Management at Richfield Graduate Institute of Technology.
SOUTHERN AFRICA BASED STAFF
Trade Advisor (Lilongwe, Malawi)
Alinafe is an aspiring writer who is passionate about development and social justice in Africa. Whilst pursuing her undergraduate degree, Alinafe undertook research on Women and Climate Justice in Malawi. She is passionate about development and international relations, this passion intensified when she undertook an internship at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism in Lilongwe. Here she learnt more about the workings of trade and industry especially in relation to developing countries. She also gained a deeper understanding of development from the grassroots. Alinafe has completed projects across a range of industry sectors for Zurcom since 2018. Alinafe has a Bachelor’s Degree with honours in Economics and International Relations from the University of Mauritius, where she graduated second in her class.
Trade Advisor (Zimbabwe & South Africa
Brian Chipa began working at Zurcom International (Pty) Ltd. in August of 2019 and has since worked on projects for the United States, Spain, and other countries. Brian has completed projects for companies in the construction, engineering, information technology, agriculture, transportation, and logistics industries. He has conducted comprehensive market research, agent/distributor searches, company background checks, and qualified appointment setting, as well as participating in trade missions. Brian has a B.A. degree in Law, an LLB and an LLM in International Trade and Investment Law in Africa from the University of Pretoria.
Trade Advisor (Malawi & South Africa)
Emmanuella has experience managing trade missions from the USA and India, and is currently dually based in Malawi and South Africa. Emmanuella has been with Zurcom since 2017 and has completed projects across a range of industries including education and training, mining, chemicals, machinery and food. Emmanuella has also managed several trade missions. She has a B.A. degree in International Relations from the University of Pretoria.
Trade Advisor (Angola & South Africa)
Eugenia Kapapelo is an Angolan national, and Portuguese speaking advisor with extensive experience in international trade, assisting companies in the industry of oil and gas, food supply and medical equipment. Her experience within Zurcom includes supporting companies from around the world entering the African market. Past professional experience includes call centre analysis, examining the interest of Angolan and Mozambique consumers who make use of South African brands. Eugenia has a BCom degree in Accounting and a Postgraduate diploma in Corporate Governance from Monash University South Africa.
Trade Advisor (Zambia)
Eugine Kaango joined Zurcom International (Pty) Ltd in 2021. He has over 6 years of experience in agriculture-related research, including research in crop production, marketing and trade, and sector investments. He also offers consultancy services on agriculture and trade issues. Eugine is one of the directors under Gnos Associates Limited Company. Gnos Associates Limited offers several services including research, sector investment advice, procurement, and farmer training. Eugine has a BSc degree in Agricultural Economics from The University of Zambia and a MSc degree in Agricultural Economics from The University of Pretoria.
Senior Advisory (Southern Africa)
Originally from Zimbabwe, Lindsay specializes in African healthcare business development, and has acted as an advisor to several governments conducting healthcare trade missions into Africa, including the USA and Germany through Zurcom International. She operates a parallel company Education for Health Africa with staff and contractors in 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa whose staff complement assist GSGP / Zurcom from time to time in healthcare projects across the continent. Lindsay qualified as a Professional Nurse (hons) in 1991 followed by Intensive Care Nursing (hons) in 1995. Lindsay circumstantially became involved in lung function testing in 1996. By 1999, she wrote and pioneered the first formal spirometry training course at the Durban Institute of Technology and has been teaching the subject throughout Africa. In 2013 Lindsay pioneered the European Spirometry Drivers Licence qualification on the African Continent and over the past twenty years has creating a centralised base and a globally accredited training centre for Spirometry in Africa. Lindsay has worked extensively in her field in many African countries and is well connected in the medical sectors in Ethiopia and Kenya, as well as many other African countries. She heads up the Spirometry portfolio for the Pan African Thoracic Society and the Society of Occupational Health Nurses of South Africa (SASOHN). She is an actively involved member of the European Respiratory Society & American Thoracic Society Spirometry Committees. She is a board member of Private Health Education Providers of South Africa (PHEPSA), Chair of the Health Care Professionals committee of the South African NCD Alliance and the respiratory civil society representative. Lindsay has recently completed an executive MBA with the Gordon Institute of Business, finishing top in class. She enjoys a part time respiratory private practice.
Trade Advisor (Mauritius)
Natalie is based in Port Louis, Mauritius, has experience with a multinational pharmaceutical company in Barcelona, Spain. She developed a company organizing art exhibitions and events in Europe and Asia and has been editorial director for short documentaries about art-related events, artists and designers for an international Pay TV channel. Nathalie is also an ACE (American Council of Exercise) Certified Personal Trainer and Yoga teacher. She is a national of Mauritius and Luxembourg and speaks six languages fluently. She holds a B.A. in Marketing, Communications and Public Relations from European University Barcelona, Spain, a Masters in Marketing, Communications and Sales Strategies from INSEEC Paris, and a Master Certificate in Internet Marketing from the University of San Francisco, USA.
Nzojiyami de Sousa
Trade Advisor (Angola)
Nzojiyami de Sousa has been a contractor for Zurcom International (Pty) Ltd since January 2022. She has assisted companies entering into the global markets. She worked for a year as an administrative at ALCAAL Angola in which she used the knowledge gained to provide support for Zurcom to reach the Angola companies. Her experience within Zurcom includes market research and qualified appointment setting. Nzojiyami obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science from Monash University South Africa and an Honours degree in Environmental Management from University of South Africa (Unisa).
NORTH AFRICA STAFF
Trade Advisor (Tunisia)
Rebeka joined Zurcom International (Pty) Ltd in 2012 as an international trade advisor. She was the Southern Africa representative for New York Empire State Development and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Alongside, she worked on and managed several market research projects and trade missions for clients from Switzerland, the Netherlands, India and USA. In 2015, she left to travel and pursue other endeavours (academic research; programme management in NGOs) but continues to consult for Zurcom. She is now based in Tunisia, where she managed programmes on social/impact entrepreneurship and is currently pursuing a doctorate. Rebeka holds a B.A. in Law and a Master’s degree in International Relations, both from the University of Pretoria.
EAST AFRICA STAFF
Trade Advisor (Kenya)
Faith is originally from Uganda and is fluent in Swahili and English. Faith has worked with Zurcom International since January 2015. Faith has past experience working with World Relief Kenya, an NGO that deals with relief and development, as well as Dynamic Business Start Up, a microfinance company. Faith has worked on over 50 market research project reports and over 15 trade missions for, the State of New York, the State of Illinois, State of Wisconsin, the State of Maryland, the State of Michigan, State of Iowa and the State of Virginia, Germany, Portugal, Qatar, Wales and India. Faith has a broad experience in the healthcare sectors of medical devices, medical furniture, medical consumables as well as medical technology and software. She also has significant experience in the food processing and packaging sector having managed trade missions funded by the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy for East Africa, both virtual and in person. Faith has also worked in the education, IT/software sector as well as water and energy for companies entering the Sub-Saharan African market. She has a B.A. degree in International Relations and Psychology from the University of Pretoria and a Masters in Project Planning and Management from the University of Nairobi.
Trade Advisor (Tanzania)
Namala Tabaro is an expert in business matchmaking, market research, trade mission management as well as administrative tasks tied to objectives in pursuit of international trade and development outcomes. She has worked with Zurcom International (Pty) Ltd for 10 years in her capacity as a consultant for the East African Region. Namala has assisted numerous companies from various industries to identify business opportunities in the region and locate business partners, agents, and distributors. Namala has contributed directly to commercial successes for companies from the US states of Illinois, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, Michigan as well as companies from South Africa, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Republic of India. On part-time basis, Namala consults for the International Trade Center (a UN organisation) which focus on enabling SMEs, in developing and transition economies, become more competitive and connect to international markets for trade and investment. Namala is also an Advocate of the High Courts of Tanzania and holds a Master’s degree (LLM) in Corporate Law from the University of Pretoria. She incorporates her legal background into her trade facilitation activities providing a thorough market entry support to international companies wishing to do business in Tanzania.
Dr Tracy Muwanga
Trade Advisor (Uganda & South Africa)
Dr Tracy Muwanga is a multidisciplinary post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Pretoria, working between the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Her focus is currently surrounding food law in the country (South Africa) and involves an investigation into issues surrounding food insecurity and food systems with regard to the legalities surrounding them from a human rights perspective. Tracy began working for Zurcom in 2018 and has completed projects in the medical / healthcare sector.
Tracy has an LLB, an LLM in International Law, as well as an LLD in Public Law from the University of Pretoria. Her specialisation for her LLD studies surrounded medical law, medical ethics (with a particular focus on the principles of biomedical ethics) and international human rights law.
Nkiko Benko Patrick
Trade Advisor (Rwanda)
Nkiko Benko Patrick is a content writer and communication professional by trade. He has over ten years of experience working with both local and international organizations. From 2011 until 2017, he served as a consultant at I&M Bank. He has assisted Zurcom in the coordination and management of several successful local events. Benko has attended several local and international conferences, including the International Global Leadership Summit. He has a B.A. degree in Mass Media and Communication from Mount Kenya University. He is fluent in English, French, Kinyarwanda, and Swahili, allowing him to connect with individuals from all around East Africa and other nations.
WEST AFRICA STAFF
Cephas Nikoi Kotey
Trade Advisor (Ghana)
Cephas Nikoi Kotey has been working with Zurcom as a Trade Advisor since April 2020. He has offered international trade and investment support to US & European firms operating in various industries including business consulting, technology, healthcare, food & agriculture, construction and many more. Cephas has years of customer service and public relations experience in the telecommunications, banking and event management industries, having worked with multinationals such as Airtel, Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited, and Vodafone. He is presently building capacity in key areas of digital marketing & data analytics. Cephas holds a Diploma in Civil Engineering; a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies, and a Master’s degree in Public Relations, from the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).
Trade Advisor (Côte d'Ivoire)
Geth Maiga speaks English and French, an asset he has been using to connect foreign companies to industries in the Francophone African zone. He has 5 years of experience in the West African entrepreneurial and business ecosystem. Having worked as an entrepreneur with investment funds, international institutions and technology companies on the continent, he has a good overview of the business development environment in the zone. Since 2020 he has worked as a trade advisor at Zurcom International (Pty) Ltd. He has already assisted more than 10 companies in various and complex sectors such as technology, construction, public works, agribusiness and energy. Geth holds a degree in Logistics and Transport Engineering from the Institut National Polytechnique Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Côte d'Ivoire. He is currently doing an MSc in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Swansea University.
Senior Advisory (Nigeria)
Kayode has over 14 years’ experience as a corporate commercial lawyer, offering investment advice to local and international companies doing business in Nigeria. Kayode acted has Head of Dispute Resolution for one of the 100 Fortune companies in Nigeria for several years where he was involved in trade and investment assignments across sectors such as; consumer goods, manufacturing, hospitality, energy, fintech, banking, maritime and telecommunication.
Kayode is currently the Senior Partner at Lawracles Legal Practitioners. Lawracles offer bespoke legal services to start-up, fintech and established companies in various sectors of the economy. Kayode holds a Bachelor of Laws from Lagos State University and he is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association.
Trade Advisor (Bahamas)
Brandon has focused on project management and business consultancy in his early career. He began his project management career working for an international N.G.O., based onboard their vessel which during his 4.5 years of service travelled across Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America. While working in their 'advanced preparation division' he led multicultural teams, worked with port and government authorities, led advertising campaigns, and coordinated the social development projects. He then returned to his home in The Bahamas, and launched two start-up companies; an event management company focused on community development and supporting local food creators, and a cultural immersion and language learning agency. His work with these companies earned him the prestigious award of "Top 48 Millennial" and granted him participation in the US State Department of Foreign Affairs' Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative. He is also pursuing studies in economics and finance.
Trade Advisor (Barbados)
Kemi is an experienced International Trade and Development Professional with over a decade of experience in the areas of business development, sales, international trade and project management. Kemi has worked extensively with the Caribbean Private Sector, playing a leading role with the launch of the Network of Caribbean Chambers of Commerce (CARICHAM), a grouping of now 21 Chambers across the region. Added to the foregoing, Kemi has managed a number of donor projects funded by the Commonwealth Secretariat, the European Union (EU), Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the International Trade Center (ITC). Kemi is also currently a Trade Specialist, advising the Port of Bridgetown on matters relating to trade facilitation, logistics and improving the doing business environment in Barbados. Kemi has worked on a number of international projects, including managing multiple trade missions, helping small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) penetrate new and existing markets for both products and services. Since August 2020 she has worked with Zurcom International on globally oriented projects. Kemi possesses a BSc degree in International Relations and a MSc in International Trade Policy from the University of the West Indies.
Trade Advisor (Trinidad & Tobago)
Nyala Ali has more than 10 years of experience in the provision of investment promotion and trade facilitation services in Trinidad and Tobago to local and international clients. In her capacity as the Senior Facilitation and Aftercare Officer at InvesTT, the national Investment Promotion Agency of Trinidad and Tobago, Nyala led her team on 12 incoming trade missions to Trinidad and Tobago from India, China and the USA. Deliverables included conducting market research and analysis, scheduling B2B meetings with participating businesses, and company matching for companies across the country’s priority sectors. She represented the country at a combined total of over 10 trade fairs at home and internationally in the USA and China. Additionally, Mrs. Ali was instrumental in providing aftercare services to local businesses in the manufacturing, transhipment and retail sectors securing reinvestment in the country of over US$59 million over her time in investment promotions. Prior to her career in Investment Promotions her experience includes provision of business services to commercial customers at the national telecommunications company of Trinidad & Tobago, TSTT. Nyala holds a B.A. in Economics / History from the University of the West Indies and an M.B.A. from Heriot-Watt University, Scotland.
Trade Advisor (Guyana)
Yuborn is based in Georgetown, Guyana. He has worked within the CARIFORUM-EU EPA Implementation Unit on various donor projects; based on the Economic Partnership Agreement. The CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (CARIFORUM EU-EPA) was signed in October 2008; an agreement for trading in goods and directing foreign investments between the European Union and the CARIFORUM States. Yuborn is currently the CEO & Founder of the Legal Minds Initiative (LMI): The LMI provides legal services and informs and engages the wider populace, be it regional or international, on legal issues, seeking to inculcate and cultivate an academic and economic appreciation of the legal framework of various societies. Yuborn has a Bachelor’s of Laws from the University of Guyana and recently completed his Legal Education Certificate at the Sir Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago.