Doing Business in South Africa

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Name: Doing Business in South Africa
Date: January 14, 2020
Time: 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST
Registration: Register Now
Event Description:

Is your business looking to expand to new high growth markets overseas? Join Automation Alley for an event focused on trade and investment opportunities in South Africa. A country of 58 million people, South Africa enjoys relative macroeconomic stability, has a largely pro-business environment and is a logical and attractive option for U.S. companies seeking to enter the Sub-Saharan Africa marketplace. The nation is the most advanced, diversified and productive economy in Africa. 

This event will include information on Automation Alley's trade mission to the annual Africa Health Exhibition in May 2020 in partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. This is the Sub-Saharan region’s largest health care event and will attract more than 10,000 health and trade professionals from 67 countries around the world. 


Richard Zurba, Director, Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers, Africa Trade Office

Richard Zurba has over 20 years of experience assisting Michigan companies into the African market. He is the director of Zurcom International (Pty) Ltd., which is the contracted representative for the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers representing Michigan, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin in sub-Saharan Africa since 1999. His firm also represents Maryland and Virginia. Zurba came to Africa in 1993, working in the D. R. Congo for World Vision Relief, involved in humanitarian relief projects relating to ethnic cleansing, agricultural resettlement and the Ebola outbreak responses. He moved to South Africa in 1996, as an export manager for a South African firm, selling into 20 African countries.

In 1999, he opened the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers Africa Trade Office in Johannesburg. Activities of the office include international business development in areas such as assistance with locating distributors/buyers for American products, trade missions, market research and other advisement services. Zurba is the Coordinator for the IBG Global partnership, providing trade network services throughout the entire world through 22 partner companies, with offices in 60 countries servicing over 150 country markets, assisting companies to create wealth through exports and investments. Since inception, Zurcom has worked with approximately 4,000 different company projects in relation to international trade directions, particularly entering Africa. While working with various American interests, the firm has also worked substantially with Indian, German, Dutch, Singaporean, Thai and other governments and nationally based companies. The team has staff persons in South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe covering all major regions of the African continent.

Zurba has a B.A. (Alberta, International Relations), an M.A. (London School of Economics, International Relations) and an M.B.A. (Western Ontario, International Business). He has led development projects in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Guatemala, Austria, Malawi and the Bahamas in years prior to his move to Africa.

Phumzile Mazibuko, Consul General, South African Consulate in Chicago

Phumzile Mazibuko is the Consul General of South Africa in Chicago, where she is responsible for the overall management of the Consulate General. The Consul General is keen to promote trade and investments, enhance people-to-people cooperation in the field of arts, culture, education and effectively render consular services to South Africans in 14 states in the Midwest region of the United States. The Consul General’s consular jurisdiction includes Illinois, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Indiana, Oklahoma, Ohio, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas and Arkansas. Mazibuko has served in different capacities within both the national and provincial government in South Africa. She is a career diplomat having served in the South African High Commission in New Delhi, India.

She is a graduate of the University of Johannesburg (UJ), formerly known as the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Humanitarian Law & Refugee Law.

One-on-one meetings with Richard Zurba, director Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers,  Africa Trade office, will be available for companies on Monday, Jan. 13 and Tuesday, Jan. 14. Please contact David Newhouse, MEDC, for an appointment. He can be reached at (517) 331-6715. 




Event Sponsors:
  • Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Automation Alley
2675 Bellingham
Troy, MI 48083

Date/Time Information:
Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020
Noon-2 p.m.

Contact Information:
Contact Automation Alley at 800-427-5100 or

This is a free event but registration is encouraged.
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