STAFF AND RETAINED ASSOCIATES
The team are located in Durban and Pretoria, South Africa with staff representatives across the African continent. Staff are multilingual in English, French, Portuguese, Swahili, Arabic and other languages.
RICHARD ZURBA | DIRECTOR
Richard Zurba has been providing trade and investment solutions to government and commercial clients since January 1999 in the sub-Saharan Africa and Indian Ocean regions. Mr. Zurba’s experience includes commercial real estate in the Toronto area prior to departing for Africa. In 1993, he joined World Vision and worked for 2 ½ years in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In January 1996 he relocated to South Africa where he worked as an Export Manager for an import/export business. He has worked in eight countries on four continents and has personal experience in export selling into over 20 African countries. His company has managed over 100 trade missions including a number focused on the medical sector for German, Dutch, American and other national governments. Richard does presentations for associations, governments, and corporate entities globally on the shifting Africa business landscape as well as on how to proactively tackle new markets. Richard is the Coordinator of IBG Global, a partnership of firms reaching over 150 country markets assisting exporting companies to meet their dynamic goals in export sales. He manages a staff based across Africa as well as partnerships globally to assist companies reaching their expressed international goals. Richard has a B.A. (Alberta, International Relations), an M.A. (London School of Economics) and an M.B.A. (Western Ontario).
SOUTH AFRICA BASED STAFF
NATHAN LE ROUX | TRADE ADVISOR (DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA)
Nathan has a varied technical background across a range of industries. He has worked as a professional photographer prior to commencing his Merchant Shipping career in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. by completing 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, whilst working as a volunteer seafarer for a little more than two years, for an international N.G.O., onboard their 132m long vessel. 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’ for a further three and a half years. He managed multicultural teams tasked with the projection of events planning and coordination, strategic marketing, public affairs, networking, fundraising, crowd management, recruiting etc., in cross-cultural environments. Nathan has completed projects from the US and other countries in port security, communication, IT, civil security and other technical and related fields. Nathan has managed three trade missions with Zurcom International. He was based, by project, within various countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
DIRSHNIE PILLAY | TRADE ADVISOR (DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA)
Dirshnie has worked for Zurcom International since March 2017. Dirshnie has worked with many governmental offices and organizations relating to international trade and the furthering of partnerships between South African companies and the world. She has conducted full company market research, qualified appointment scheduling and company matching for a wide range of companies. The majority of the projects handled by Dirshnie were of a Healthcare/ pharmaceutical background with focus on natural healthcare remedies, OTC (‘Over the Counter’) products both natural/ homeopathic, general medical consumables with a few also delving into the natural cosmetic and beauty industry. She has also done extensive work in environmental remediation projects. Dirshnie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of KwaZulu-Natal Durban, and has applied her theoretical knowledge of environmental aspects to all relative trade projects in the environmental industry.
BAVANI NAIDOO | TRADE ADVISOR (DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA)
Bavani has experience with GSGP Africa projects since December 2017. She has conducted full company market research, agent/distributor searches as well as qualified appointment setting and has been involved in trade missions from various GSGP member states. Projects handled by Bavani were for the alcohol industry, advertising industry, supply chain and logistics industries as well as her specialization, environmental remediation. Bavani has her Bachelor of Science and Honours Degree in Environmental Science from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
SHARNEL PILLAY | TRADE ADVISOR (DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA)
Sharnel has worked for Zurcom International since March 2018. Sharnel has managed company market research as well as qualified appointment setting. She has experience in the following sectors: healthcare (medical software), retail and industrial equipment. Sharnel has her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
NKATEKO KUTELANI NGOBENI | TRADE ADVISOR (PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA)
Nkateko is a South African who recently graduated from the University of Pretoria with an Honours Degree in Psychology. Her specialities include neuropsychology, psychopathology, research methodology and cognitive psychology. These assist in applied cross-border international business understanding. Nkateko is currently a Masters in Psychology student at the University of South Africa where she is focusing her research around attachment in polygamist households. During her studies, Nkateko volunteered as a Voluntary Counselling and Testing Counsellor at the Centre for the Sexualities, Aids & Gender. Nkateko has a BA General Humanities degree and BSocSci (Hons) Psychology degree from the University of Pretoria.
KHANYISILE MASWANGANYI | TRADE ADVISOR (PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA)
Khanyisile graduated with a Bachelor’s in Political Science with a specific focus in International Relations at the University of Pretoria. While in the University of Pretoria, she undertook volunteer work with the RAG Committee where she worked as a General Committee Member (GC). Her other endeavors include working as an Executive Committee Member (EC) for the Sport Committee. Khanyisile is currently a dual programme student wherein she is working towards obtaining a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management and MBA candidate at Regenesys Business School.
CHRIS JANSEN VAN VUUREN | TRADE ADVISOR (intern) (CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA)
Chris is currently studying his B.Com Management Accounting at Stellenbosch University, with an additional specialisation in Financial Management. Chris is an experienced leader in the university community, having served as his Private Student Organisation’s (Pieke-PSO) in various leadership positions. This includes Mentor in 2019, Head Mentor inn 2020, as well as being the newly elected Primarius for the 2020/21 term. Chris has interned at Zurcom International since July 2020, assisting with projects involving company background checks and international positioning in South Africa.
SOUTHERN AFRICA BASED STAFF
ALINAFE MALONJE | TRADE ADVISOR (MALAWI)
Alinafe is currently residing in Lilongwe Malawi. She 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, this allowed her to get more acquainted with the challenges that face Malawian women. 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 GSGP/Zurcom. Alinafe has a Bachelors Degree with honours in Economics and International Relations from the University of Mauritius, where she graduated second in her class.
EUGENIA KAPAPELO | TRADE ADVISOR (ANGOLA, SOUTH AFRICA)
Eugenia has completed projects in Angola, Mozambique and South Africa for a variety of industries since joining the team in January 2017. She has a wide array of experience in technical fields such as oil and gas, fuels and other areas pertinent to resource development in Lusophone Africa. She has also completed projects in processed foods, consumer/retail and other sectors on behalf of clients. Eugenia has a Bachelor of Commerce from Damelin College and an Postgraduate Diploma in Corporate Governance from Monash University South Africa.
EMMANUELLA KALIATI | 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 for Zurcom International. Working from the Pretoria, South Africa office, Emmanuella has completed projects across a range of industries including education and training, mining, chemicals, machinery and food. Emmanuella has managed two trade missions for Zurcom International. Emmanuella is a Malawian citizen resident in South Africa. She has a B.A. (University of Pretoria) in International Relations.
SIKHANYISO MHAKA | TRADE ADVISOR (ZIMBABWE, SOUTH AFRICA)
Sikhanyiso Mhaka, originally from Zimbabwe and based in South Africa at present, joined the team at Zurcom International in March 2020. She has been employing her skills on behalf of firms seeking new market opportunities both inside Africa as well as working with firms in Africa to go global. Sikhanyiso’s early work was in rural communities involving sustainable intervention strategies addressing poverty and food security. She has proven experience in her field assisting commercial firms entering the African markets. She is a holder of a BSc. (Hons) in Agriculture and Natural resources and MSc. Agribusiness from Africa University, Zimbabwe and MSc. Agricultural Economics from University of Pretoria.
BRIAN CHIPA | TRADE ADVISOR (ZIMBABWE, SOUTH AFRICA)
Brian has been working with GSGP Africa as a trade advisor since August 2019. He has strengths in corporate legal understanding as well as practical business experience in assisting firms into new African markets. His experience includes working into backgrounding company information for American firms seeking reliable partnerships.During the Course of his studies, he has taken many leadership roles in university and community organizations. Brian has a BA, an LLB Law (UP) and graduate in corporate law LL.M from the University of Pretoria. He is presently focusing his studies at the University of Pretoria in international business law at the Masters level.
NATHALIE STEMPER | TRADE ADVISOR INDIAN OCEAN (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. 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
LINDSAY ZURBA | 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.
EAST AFRICA STAFF
NAMALA TABARO | TRADE ADVISOR (TANZANIA)
Namala has seven years of experience with GSGP / Zurcom as an accomplished International Trade Advisor. She is skilled in trade facilitation, business matchmaking, market research, trade mission management and administrative tasks tied to objectives in pursuit of international trade and development outcomes. She has worked at Zurcom International South Africa since 2012 where she has assisted numerous companies to identify business opportunities in the Southern Africa region and locate business partners, agents, and distributors. Namala has worked with industries including renewable energy, ICT, security, motor, chemical and mining industries. 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. Namala has also worked as an independent legal consultant for Silverline Researchers, a research company based South Africa, supervising the company’s legal research and contract drafting division. She plans to incorporate her legal background into Zurcom’s trade facilitation activities and provide a thorough market entry support to international companies wishing to do business in South Africa. Namala holds a Masters (LLM) in Corporate Law from the University of Pretoria and a Diploma in Practical Legal Training and is a qualified attorney and notary public.
RODRICK VALENTINE | TRADE ADVISOR (TANZANIA)
Rodrick has worked as International Trade Advisor for the East Africa Region for Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers Africa trade office for four years. Rodrick has assisted numerous companies from various industries to identify business opportunities in the region and locate business partners, agents and distributors. He has contributed directly to commercial successes for companies from the US states of Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Michigan as well as companies from South Africa from South Africa and The Federal Republic of Germany
Rodrick has previously worked for an international organization (UNEP) as an economic analyst under the TEEB global initiative which focused on “making nature’s values visible.” He has also worked with RBC Bank in Canada as a Junior mutual funds analysist as well as being the head of Finance for TRAVIS TADDEO, one of Canada’s leading Men’s wear designers. He has a B.Sc. in Financial Economics from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.
FAITH OKAALET | TRADE ADVISOR (KENYA)
Faith has worked with Zurcom International since January 2015. Originally from Uganda, she is fluent in Swahili and English. Faith has 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 managed company market research as well as qualified appointment setting and counterpart searches for over 40 companies. She has a broad experience in the healthcare sectors of medical devices, medical furniture and medical consumables as well as para-medical cosmetics for companies entering the sub-Saharan African market, engineering firms, and a large number of other sectors since joining four years ago. Faith has her Bachelor of Arts undergraduate degree in International Relations and Psychology from the University of Pretoria, South Africa and a Masters in Project Planning and Management from the University Of Nairobi, Kenya.
WEST AFRICA STAFF
NIKOI (CEPHAS) KOTEY | TRADE ADVISOR (GHANA)
Cephas has a background in customer support and public relations experience in the telecommunications and banking industries in Ghana. His experience includes working with a number of multinationals in their business goals. He works with a prepared mental inclination towards science and technology. Cephas has experience in assisting firms in the several countries of English speaking West Africa. Cephas has already proven himself in export work into West Africa. He has a BA and MA from the Ghana Institute of Journalism.
JOSEPH (MUKIS) NGALAMULUME | TRADE ADVISOR (D.R. CONGO)
NORTH AFRICA STAFF
REBEKA GLUHBEGOVIC | TRADE ADVISOR (TUNISIA)
Rebeka has worked with Zurcom since 2012. She has much experience in the green and renewable energy sectors which includes planning and coordinating a trade missions whose focus is on clean technologies, from the state of New York, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and projects for Singaporean companies. She has extensive experience with American firms from ten states in a wide range of industry sectors. She speaks several languages: English (fluent), Serbian (fluent), Arabic (fluent), Italian (conversational), French (conversational), Afrikaans (basic). Rebeka has degrees in International Relations, B.A. Honours, an LLB focusing on aspects of environmental and international law and an MA in International Relations from the University of Pretoria. Rebeka works from Tunisia on a contingency basis as required.