The driving force behind Afribiz Invest


AFRIBIZ INVEST: An eminent African entrepreneur and a passionate philanthropist, Mr. Collen Mashawana

An eminent African Entrepreneur and a passionate philanthropist.

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – AS the current Executive Chairman of Afribiz Invest, Dr. Collen Mashawana is responsible for creating continental business opportunities across the various infrastructure spaces, with a particular reference to sectors critical to the Africa’s economic development.

In addition to being a successful entrepreneur, Collen firmly believes in the culture of giving back and has also been able to leverage his business network to advocate for social change. He established the Collen Mashawana Foundation to create a vehicle focused on the welfare of the marginalised groups in respect of the elderly, child- headed-homes and people living with disability.

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The driving force behind Afribiz Invest.

Dr. Collen Mashawana, one of 100 most influential Africans for 2020 Reputation Poll International

CCollen’s career began at Microsoft South Africa after obtaining a Diploma in Information Technology (IT).

In 2022 hIeNDcompleted his Masters in Business Administration from Henley Business School. In 2018, Collen was honoured by the Department of Social Development with an Award of Entrepreneur of the Year through the South African Men of the Year.

Collen Mashawana has further been nominated as one of the 100 most influential Africans for 2020 by the Reputation Poll International which features 47 women and 53 men. His education and experience prepared him well to provide him with a broad understanding of the South African technology and business landscape that would later position him to devise feasible solutions to relevant problems in South Africa.

He has over the years devoted a lot of time in understanding Government’s service delivery mandates and is currently one of the most critical thinkers and notable leaders in the South African business environment. This has informed his strategic approach for Afribiz Invest, an Investment Company he founded in 2005 with the aim of making a meaningful contribution to the economy of South Africa.

Afribiz Invest is an investment company investing in the African continent’s strategic sectors, with a focus on infrastructural space. The company has shown considerable growth despite the world challenges and employs more than 500 people, while simultaneously empowering thousands more. This is driven by its ambitious mission to create value and drive economic transformation across the African continent.

In South Africa the company is involved in different mega mixed development projects like the Rama City in the North West of Pretoria and the West Rand Mega Park. The two projects have a development value of over R30 billion set to create over 50 000 jobs. In 2022 they expanded into the UAE market and partnered with Al Hatmy in Dubai which is a design and engineering consultancy firm operating in the UAE for the past 40 years.

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Under Afribiz Invest, Collen has consolidated his businesses into a single holding company, focusing on Consulting Services, Construction, Property Development, Energy, ICT, Mining, Training, Security and Financial Services with over 20 subsidiary companies within the infrastructure space.

The House Appeal Initiative was also launched to provide hundreds of people with safe
shelter. Not only has this

You have to dream big philanthropist and be different to be able to set yourself apart, that’s what we’re doing.”

Through Afribiz Invest’s subsidiary entities, he has built over 40,000 houses for the less fortunate, which was driven by the impact that these houses will have on humanity. It is this drive that ensures he goes out himself and oversees the building of these houses; that food is distributed to the less fortunate and that Health Care is provided for those who cannot afford it. His entrepreneurial path amounts to a full portrait of impressive anecdotes.

These vehement gusts of undertakings touch on all the main points that make up Collen Mashawana’s exemplary life. He also partnered on philanthropic initiatives through the Collen Mashawana Foundation which aims to aid the lower disadvantaged demographics.

The Collen Mashawana Foundation was specifically established to create a vehicle that strives to enhance equality and social inclusion for all.

One of 100 most influential Africans for 2020 Reputation Poll International
The Collen Mashawana Foundation is an African-based NGO founded by Collen Mashawana.

It has over the past 11 years contributed millions of Rands to a wide range of meaningful causes including disaster relief, food & water security, housing and integrated care for the elderly, people living with a disability and child-headed homes. More specifically, during the COVID-19 crisis in the year 2020, the Foundation reached out to aid communities that were most affected by the pandemic by handing out over 10 000 food parcels in Limpopo, Gauteng, the Northern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal.

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The House Appeal Initiative was also launched to provide hundreds of people with safe shelter. Not only has this philanthropist invested a substantial portion of his own resources, but he has also helped put in place a charge for other individuals to do the same through the “One-Brick-At-A-Time” and invited local businesses and members of the community to join forces by donating building materials, furniture, and solar panels for the vulnerable groups. The Foundation has more significantly played a role in aiding the victims of the KZN floods who were left vulnerable to poverty.

Through the KZN Rebuild Intervention Project, the Collen Mashawana Foundation stepped up efforts in prioritising people who were displaced by the heavy floods. The Foundation has built them safe houses and restored normalcy to hundreds of families.

It was also identified through the various initiatives implemented or supported by the Collen Mashawana Foundation that there was a lack of equitable access to water. In response to this, the Foundation launched a water relief program that seeks to prioritise women who fall under the elderly category to provide them with safe and clean water.

The programme also assists communities with no access to clean water by providing purified boreholes. In addition to some of these notable programmes, the Collen Mashawana Foundation joined hands with the Old Mutual Foundation and the Centre for Mental Wellness and Leadership to address Sexual Gender Based Violence Femicide (SGBVF). The program which was launched in Thohoyandou in 2022 was an intervention for violence.

“One Brick At A Time”
Through the agency of the ‘One Brick At At Time ‘ flagship campaign, the Collen Mashawana Foundation has built 100’s of homes for the disadvantaged, with a vested interested in the elderly, child-headed homes, and those living with disabilities.

perpetrated against a person’s will based on gender norms and unequal power relationships. Along with his incredible generosity as a philanthropist, Collen Mashawana is also known for his humility and commitment to social equality, showing that he has strong values and knows what it takes to create an extraordinary life.

During Collen’s notable career, he has served as a transdisciplinary Executive and a Board Member of Multinational companies in the Construction, Engineering, and IT Sectors, namely, Dimension Data, Internet Solution and Group Five, successfully contributing to the industry’s roadmap for a world changed by COVID-19. There is certainly a parallel between his career and his philanthropy journey, which has led to his remarkable impact in society.

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“The Beauty of Life does not depend on how happy you are but on how happy others can be because of you.”

Raised from a business background with humble beginnings, Collen always had a natural inclination for business endeavours, and as such, has left a territory of valuable experiences which has touched many lives.

Collen describes his professional journey as ‘exciting’ but notes that he has also encountered obstacles along the way. Overcoming these challenges is in-keeping with the great crises of life, wherein we are brought face to face with certain challenges and called upon to make decisions of such importance that they often require a complete reversion of ideas and ideals, even of our most cherished principles as hitherto conceived.

It takes a certain amount of character to overcome life’s challenging vicissitudes, but very much in-keeping with the general note of his career, Collen has persisted unchanged by virtue of upholding the highest moral ideals with unflinching candour.

– CAJ News

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