Key Personnel

Dr Geoffrey P Cowley (Chief Executive)

Over the past 35 years Dr Cowley has built a successful career in business, both in the public and private sectors. He has been CEO of major corporations in Africa, Russia, Canada, UK and the Middle East, including senior executive positions in Anglo American Corporation (RSA), De Beers (RSA), British Energy (UK), British Rail (UK), Murray and Roberts (Dubai), the Press Corporation (Malawi), Basic Element. White Tiger Gold, Kinross, CIC Gold Ltd, Cobra Resources plc, He has advised several governments on economic growth and expansion (Oman, Malawi, South Africa and Romania), been closely involved in the privatisation of British Rail and British Energy and was one of two UK representatives on the Business Council for Europe Africa and the Mediterranean, (BCEAM ,Group 7 initiative). For several years he also worked as Senior Advisor on Africa to the World Economic Forum, regularly attending the annual meetings in Davos. He has held several non executive directorships of mining and manufacturing companies, has a Master’s Degree and Doctorate in Engineering, is a chartered engineer and also holds fellowships of several major professional institutions in the UK. In 2014 he was awarded the “Medal of Excellence” (Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, UK) for his contribution to the mining industry.

Roger Martin (Director of Operations)

With a B.A. in Economics joined Laporte Chemical group and trained in Project Management, moving to Rothmans International as divisional Production Engineering Manager. In late 1970's and early 1980's worked with P.A. Consulting and Handley-Walker Ltd prior to founding an independent consultancy specialising in project management and operational performance improvement in Europe, US, Far and Middle East and Africa in both public and private sectors .He has worked with EDC Holdings Group for many years on projects covering acquisition integration, change management, operational performance improvement and major project control with particular emphasis on the direction, management and achievement of project teams undertaking targeted capital projects around the world.

Hugh Blakely (Chief Financial Officer)

A senior financial executive, with an extensive career in finance, operations, and general management. A respected problem solver, professional, and coach who creates motivated workforces to ensure successful and sustainable organizational and cultural change. Mr. Blakely has been recognized for setting and achieving high standards, without sacrificing quality service. Areas of expertise include: mergers and acquisitions, treasury management, financial reporting, and corporate governance. Mr. Blakely has had extensive experience in Russia, North America, and South America. He is a Chartered Accountant and has been Chief Financial Officer for public corporations in both the mining and manufacturing sectors.

Key Advisors

Igor Lavs (Advisor, Europe)

An economist by profession and a former President of the Executive Council of Ljubljana, he is a specialist in crisis management, economic policy analysis, financial modelling and corporate restructuring. He works closely with the group and supports our work throughout Europe. In addition he is the founder and executive director of L&I Consulting, in Serbia.

Rani Jarkas (Advisor, Asia)

Rani Jarkas is a highly experienced financial services executive, with over 20 years of international banking experience. Currently, Mr. Jarkas is the Chairman and CEO of Cedrus Investments, a global boutique investment firm he founded over decade ago. Cedrus Investments has offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Jakarta, Cayman Islands and New York. Prior to founding Cedrus Investments, Rani Jarkas held senior-level asset management positions at some of the world’s leading investment firms, including JP Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch and CIBC Oppenheimer. He is fluent in English, Arabic and conversational French. Mr. Jarkas is a Certified Financial Manager and holds B.A.s in Finance and Accounting.

Simba Makoni (Advisor, Southern Africa)

Simba Makoni has many years experience in African politics and business having held several ministerial positions including Minister of Industry and Energy Development and Minister of Finance and Economic Development in Zimbabwe before resigning from the cabinet and ZANU-PF due to policy differences and standing as an independent candidate for the Presidency of Zimbabwe. As a former Executive Secretary of SADC (South Africa Development Community) he is well known and respected amongst his peers and takes a continued interest in the Development of Southern Africa in general, and Zimbabwe in particular, where he is currently the President of the MKD Party. He has been MD of businesses in Media and Distribution and is currently President and CEO of Makonsult which he established in 2001 concentrating on business development in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa. He graduated in UK with a BSc(Hons) in Chemistry and Zoology following which he completed a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry. He has been associated with EDC Holdings Group for over 15 years and continues to support and promote our activities in Southern Africa.

Rolf Patel (Advisor, Central, Eastern and Southern Africa)

A former Minister of Energy and Mining, Economist and one of the founders of the multi party democracy movement in Malawi Rolf has active business interests in the manufacturing of Ethanol, Mwabvi Coal Ltd and regional transport logistics. He has been associated with EDC Group for many years and as a seasoned and well connected and respected businessman and politician, advises the group on regional activities, priorities and opportunities.

Dr Wilem W Frischmann CBE (Infrastructure and Environmental Engineering)

Dr Frischmann is an engineering expert who has considerable expertise in the design, management, supervision and auditing of complex large-scale infrastructure, environmental and mining projects around the world.

His honours include, CBE, HonDSc, PhD, Diploma of Imperial College, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the Institution of Structural Engineers, Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineering, Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Fellow of the City & Guilds of London Institute, Fellow of Consulting Engineers. Winner of the 2013 Outstanding Personal Contribution Award, presented by British Experitse. Awarded the “Golden Global Excellence Award” for Outstanding Performance in the field of Infrastructure Development and an “Excellence Award” presented to the company by the Institute of Economic Studies in India. He is a visiting Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, City University, London.

GowlingWLG (Legal Advisors)

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