Executive Chairman, Panafrican Equipment Group
With over 25 years of experience in building businesses in Africa, Canadian entrepreneur Charles Field-Marsham has long been focused on Africa’s potential.
Charles’ career began in 1991, when he joined Credit Suisse First Boston in New York as a financial analyst. In 2004, he founded Toronto-based Kestrel Capital Management Capital (KCMC), which provides strategic, investment and management consulting services to businesses in Canada, as well as internationally.
Between those two ventures, Charles spent a decade in Kenya, working on a variety of business and charitable projects. These included establishing Kenya’s leading stock exchange brokerage firm, purchasing and streamlining production of a fluorspar mine that became one of Kenya’s largest sources of foreign currency earnings, and founding the company that he is most closely associated with today: Panafrican Equipment Group, a leading distributor of Komatsu mining and construction equipment across Africa.
Panafrican focuses on large-scale mining, light and alluvial mining, cement and aggregates, agriculture and forestry, civil and infrastructure projects, as well as the power and energy sectors.
In all, Charles’ companies employ over 400 people, with operations in Canada, Dubai, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. In January of 2020, Charles invested in and became a board member of Slingshot Sports LLC, a leading brand of kiteboarding equipment, headquartered in Hood River, Oregon.
Charles’ educational background includes studying at Upper Canada College in Toronto and McGill University in Montreal.
Charles is dedicated to fostering strong communities where he lives and works, and is involved with many charities and not-for-profit organizations. Charles sat on the boards of The Foundation of the Hospital for Sick Children, Grand Challenges Canada, and the African Medical Research Foundation Canada (AMREF). He was also a founding donor and board member of The Next Canada, an entrepreneurship program that accelerates the growth trajectory of aspiring Canadian entrepreneurs.
In addition, Charles is the principal benefactor and chairman of the Kenya Scholar Access Program (KENSAP), an initiative that since 2004 has helped secure full scholarships for more than 256 Kenyan students at top-tier American universities, including Harvard, Yale, MIT and Princeton.
The flagship of his family’s charitable work is the The Charles and Rita Field-Marsham Foundation, which sustains the many philanthropic ventures that Charles and his wife select, nurture and manage across Africa.