Manji Mannathoko was
born in Mafeking, South
Africa. As a child she
grew up in Gaborone,
and later lived in several
places in Botswana.
Manji’s father taught her early on that educaion
is an inheritance no one can take away. Manji
earned her diploma in accouning and business
studies at the University of Botswana and became
a Chartered Management Accountant
through the Insituion of Chartered Management
Accountants in the United Kingdom.
Manji’s career has developed from financial
accouning, management accouning/business
analysis, and lately project cost control and
analysis. As a management accountant between
2000 and 2006, she developed a key performance
indicator tracking report that enabled management
to keep abreast of the oil industry
opportuniies and risks and make informed decisions.
She also represented the company at the
Oil Industry Fuel Pricing Commitee, established
by the government.
Currently Ms. Mannathoko works as a project
cost analyst at Debswana Diamond Company
in Botswana. Though based in the capital city,
Gaborone, Manji supports one of Debswana’s
biggest projects to date, the Jwaneng Mine Cut
8. Cut 8 is an expansion project which will ensure
coninuous producion at the mine unil at least
2024, extending the life of Jwaneng Mine by an
addiional 7 years. Jwaneng Mine is currently the
richest diamond mine in the world by value.
Debswana Company is a key player in the naional
economy of Botswana, and contributes
about 33% of gross domesic product (GDP), It
is recognized as one of the most successful public-
private partnerships in the world and has become
part of the fabric of Botswana, enabling
her people to unlock the value of their precious
natural resource and the potenial of their country.
The company contributes 30% of the gross
domesic product, 70% of foreign exchange
earnings, and 32% of government revenue.
Manji was introduced to project controls in
May 2008, by a projects controls manager from
US. At that ime, Ms. Mannathoko was a project
accountant looking for job enrichment. Project
controls was new to the company, and Manji
wanted to be part of the new journey and see
what it brings to the organizaion. She was given
a fair warning that projects controls focus is different
from finance. Also, her mentor preferred
to work with somebody who had an engineering
background and this posed a huge challenge on
Manji—the learning curve was steep, and she
had to learn fast. Despite all the challenges,
Manji saw this as an opportunity for personal
growth and to broaden her horizons. The fact that business analysis has always been her passion helped to
overcome iniial difficulies, as well as see good balance in business
and project analysis.
Manji is fortunate to have three mentors: one from Australia
and the two from the US, with a wealth of engineering,
procurement and construcion management (EPCM) experience.
Manji pursued and acquired both CCT and CCP qualificaions
in 2011. She perceives project controls as a wide field,
where learning does not stop, but the curve is far from steep
now. Each project offers new learnings and Manji is now in a
posiion to tackle new challenges and expand her range of
AACE Internaional was introduced to Manji by a women
member in South Africa. Manji is very grateful to her. As the
only person in the country with AACE cerificaion, Manji admits
that it can be a bit lonely at imes. So, she has introduced AACE
to several other ladies in Botswana, and one of them is planning
to take the CCT exam. Manji also looks forward to atending an
AACE Annual Meeing in the near future.
Manji says, “Learning does not end and the range of learning
is controlled by you, no one else. Do not be afraid to venture
into unknown territories. Change is inevitable.”
Article by Marina G. Sominsky