Speciality chemicals group AECI announced the appointment of Dr Khotso Mokhele last month as a nonexecutive director of the company.
Mokhele joins the company’s board, which comprises eight nonexecutive members, namely Schalk Engelbrecht, Richard Dunne, Zellah Fuphe, Godfrey Gomwe, Liziwe Mda, Allen Morgan, Litha Nyhonyha and Rams Ramashia.
Mokhele is also the special adviser to South Africa’s Minister of Science and Technology and the Chancellor of the University of the Free State. In addition, he is the lead independent nonexecutive director of welding, cutting and gas products producer Afrox and a nonexecu- tive director on the boards of platinum-group metals company Zimbabwe Platinum Holdings, local packaged goods company Tiger Brands and renewable bioresource company Hans Merensky Holdings.
His academic qualifications include a PhD in microbiology and an MSc in food science, both from the University of California, in the US. He also holds nine honorary doctorates from universities in South Africa and the US.
The company has noted that Mokhele’s appointment to the AECI board is effective from March. His appointment comes after the company entered into an agreement to acquire 100% of Malawi-based agricultural company Farmers Organisation Limited (FOL) products producer Rendale Holdings in the second half of last year.
FOL is a distributor of agrochemicals, seeds and spraying equipment on behalf of multinational producers. It is headquartered in Blantyre, Malawi, and also has distribution centres in Lilongwe and Mzuzu, also in Malawi. In its previous financial year, the company generated revenue of $14-million.
According to the company, the acquisition is in line with its strategy to expand its agrochemicals business into Africa through South African agrochemicals solutions provider Nulandis, which is leading this strategic growth thrust.
Nulandis develops, formulates and dis- tributes its own in-house product range and is a distributor for key multinational suppliers and other strategic partners.
The acquisition further provides Nulandis with a springboard into the market segment in Malawi and in other countries in Southern and East Africa. In addition, AECI notes that there will be further opportunities for Nulandis to expand sales of its in-house products through FOL.
As a chemicals group, companies, that form part of AECI include, among others, Crest Chemicals, Chem Systems, Chemifit, ImproChem and Chemical Initiatives.
Structure and Composition of the Board
AECI has a unitary board structure led by an independent nonexecutive chairperson to and eight other independent nonexecutive directors, as well as two executive directors.
The board charter as well as the terms of reference of the nominations committee detail the procedures for appointments to the board and such appointments are formal and transparent and a matter for the board as a whole.
Nonexecutive directors are appointed on the basis of their skills and expertise appropriate to the strategic direction of the company. Diversity, race and gender are also taken into account when appointments are made to the board. Through its nominations committee, the right balance of skills, expertise and experience is achieved.