our ethos

Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.

Desmond Tutu

who are we?

powerhouse africa is a broad-based, black owned and economically empowered private equity company with a focus on providing innovative investment solutions that positively impact on environmental, social, and economic development across sub-Saharan Africa.

the business is led by a highly experienced and founder-led management team, all of whom have created consistent, successful organic growth and returns for major local and international organisations. powerhouse africa is a collaboration of these business leaders to deploy their individual expertise to a professional entity that has a fundamental philosophy of making an impact to the African continent and its people.

we believe that through our unique blend of skills, perspectives, and experiences we are ideally positioned to make informed investment decisions on behalf of the clients’ funds that we manage, and to ensure that these clients achieve their financial and social responsibility goals.

in addition to ensuring the interests of our investors, we will, through active board participation and stewardship, look to support our portfolio companies in their aspirations and in the process assist them in seeing the advantages of adopting a sustainability-focused strategy.

augmented to our own experience and knowledge, the powerhouse africa team can call upon, and relies on, its established relationships and partners from which to draw in-depth knowledge and support.

our philosophy

sustainability noun: … meeting the present generation’s needs, without compromising the future generations’ ability to meet their needs

responsible investing … an approach to investing that aims to incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investment decisions, to better manage risk and generate sustainable, long-term returns.

our job

we aim to offer access to investments that boosts the African economy, help achieve public policy goals, including social upliftment, whilst at the same time safely investing capital in assets that offer attractive long-term risk-adjusted return profiles to our clients

our mission

through our business and investments do our part in developing the African economy, supporting societal needs, and protecting its environment for future generations

impact investing focus

our investment objectives are to invest into businesses or projects that have a measurable, beneficial social and/or environmental impact with a commercially comparable, and acceptable, financial return.

be the change you wish to see in the world.

– Mahatma Gandhi –

how we create long-term value

organic growth approach

we adopt a long-term capital approach to investing in early stage, mid-size or strategic businesses and look to grow these businesses/projects with the management team, and to support them into other African markets; and to find synergies across the portfolio assets.


we believe in collaboration and leveraging best-of-breed, whether it be finding, assessing, or managing our portfolio investments. we work with partners that represent key expertise and that understand and share the powerhouse investment philosophy. where we look to invest into developmental or greenfield projects and investments, we will partner well-established and reputable partners both to ensure project success and to mitigate risks associated with early developmental projects.

sectoral focus

our core focus is private equity investment where our ability is to identify unique investment opportunities and through stewardship and leveraging of our experience and networks manage these opportunities to meet our impact-focus; while ensuring that we meet and even exceed investor expectations.

impact investment

we support the premise that investment with an impact focus will ultimately produce sustainable long-term returns, not only to the impact benefactors but to the investors that enable these investments. with an impact focus at entering an investment we are giving consideration of how the exit of the investment will play out and ‘sustains’ our impact focus.

our leadership


Lionel Jacobs

(Executive Chairman)

PowerHouse Africa is considerably fortunate to have the calibre of Lionel leading and being actively involved in the business. Lionel served as an executive director of Bidvest Group Limited from 2003 – 2013; Having been a key individual in the most successful and recognised conglomerate in Africa, Lionel’s experience extends across the entire business value chain, from production to consumption. In addition, he provides extensive board and governance experience and has a deep understanding of corporate finance and banking through numerous mergers, business sales and active role in the establishment of Bidvest Bank. It is this breadth and depth of leadership and business acumen that will be brought to bear on the PowerHouse Africa endeavours and investments. He was a pioneer in the establishment and understanding of BEE policy and structures, and we are grateful that Lionel has chosen PowerHouse Africa through which to exercise and express is philanthropy and legacy.


Ian Carr


Ian brings a wealth of leadership and knowledge to the PowerHouse Africa team, most notably he represented the global bank of HSBC as Managing Director and acting CEO of HSBC-Africa. Preceding this role and responsibility he held the position as HSBC-Africa’s Head of Corporate and Investment Banking. It is in this role that he headed the expansion of HSBC business activities into Africa. Ian has managed and lead the activities of corporate finance and oversaw all aspects of establishing business hubs across the African continent. In addition, Ian has over 20 years of experience in Africa through many senior roles in organisations such as Nedbank, Standard Bank, and First National Bank, and has a significant global network.

Lionel and Ian are supported by a team with a wide set of experiences, competencies, and history of working with prominent local and global organisations:









Khutso Mampeule

Khutso is the Executive Chairman of Lefa Group Holdings, an investment and advisory company he established in 2003. He is also non-executive director of JSE-Listed Niveus Investments Limited and Comair Limited.

Until May 2007, Khutso was the Group CEO of the South African Post Office. His previous positions include CEO of Old Mutual Employee Benefits, and CEO South African Express Airways.

Khutso has significant experience in acquiring stakes and/or forming joint ventures with target companies and has been involved in numerous capital raisings and BEE transactions.

James Burgess

James has over 20 years’ experience in banking and treasury through roles in organisations such as Sappi, Nedbank, and Macquarie. At these organisations, he held the position of treasurer, which has provided experience in balance-sheet management and structuring of finance arrangements for various banking investments.His most recent role was as Director and Treasurer to Macquarie South Africa and as a member of the Stock Brokers Association of South Africa served as Macquarie Securities’ Stock Broker in Control.

As treasurer for Nedbank’s London Branch, James was responsible for all Nedbank’s foreign currency fundraising and liquidity position; setting up the Bank’s European Medium Term Note Programme.

Leapeetswe Papi Molotsane

Papi brings a wealth of experience from his leadership on a number of Boards of major listed companies, spanning across transport, telecoms and agriculture.

He served as CEO of African Commodities Group prior to which he was appointed to deliver Telkom’s growth strategy as CEO. Under Papi’s leadership, Telkom’s share price improved by 34%.

Papi was appointed as Group Executive of Transnet where he was responsible for driving the group strategy and was actively involved in overseeing the passenger rail, port operations, engineering, road freight and petroleum and gas pipeline divisions.

Gregory Starke

Greg has spent the past five years at Kensani Capital as group COO where he has been involved in all aspects of the operational side of the business as well as the bidding, development & construction of energy projects. In addition he has managed various aspects of the group’s private prison facility.

Prior to joining Kensani, he spent 13 years building a specialist medical device company focused on the development of heart implants, which were used by all cardiac hospitals in SA and around the world.

Greg has a BSc(Mech) Eng and a PhD in computational mechanics.

PowerHouse Africa was formed by an experienced and highly networked team of entrepreneurial shareholders to find and manage impact investment opportunities across Africa

Powerhouse Africa Asset Management (Pty) Ltd is a registered Financial Services Provider (FSP No. 47362)