HARARE – The African Medallion Group (AMG)’s special coins to commemorate the African Union (AU)’s 54th anniversary have risen by 1 400 percent in value — barely two weeks after they were launched.
This also comes as the Frank Buyanga-led outfit has launched at least two batches of these unique medallions — as represented by the first 10 in early April and another 100 last month — and the South African-based company has inked a deal with Visa International to facilitate easy payment for the product, and others by foreign buyers.
In terms of bids placed with AMG since late May, the company has seen or witnessed the nominal value of its tokens rise from $5 each to about $70 as at June 3.
“We are pretty humbled, if not astounded, by this performance, especially with regards to the Africa Day medallions. As stated in our founding documents, our mission is to provide investors with something that will not only deliver earnings, but do that in the shortest possible time,” Sherry Leeya, an executive with the company, said.
“As it is, it seems that we are on course to fulfilling that mandate and objective of giving people access to a highly valuable investment instrument as well as tried, and tested metal or commodity,” she said.
And the development also comes as debate over the use of these souvenir coins as a future currency grows in Zimbabwe.
In his preamble to the AU medallion launch, Buyanga said they “believe demand would rise… and any further purchases will be done in consultation with the (original) 100-piece holders through a closed loop trading system”.
“This gives all initial subscribers potential to secure greater returns in future. The guaranteed buy back amount is fixed at $5 (per) each medallion. However, future value will be determined in trade amount,” the Hamilton Property Holdings boss and project promoter said.
Having released an initial 10 medallions in South Africa and which were quickly bought by Durban businessman Sandile Shezi, AMG believes its yellow metal-backed products would be key for beneficiation and wealth preservation for continental investors.
The rare tokens not only come with a certification seal and Buyanga’s signature, but currently reflect a buying price of $70 within 10 days of launch.
A gold investor himself, the flamboyant businessman and his company say their initiative was meant to avail to people — from all walks of life — an opportunity to invest in this profitable precious mineral.
In line with his vision of an Africa benefitting more from its natural resources, Buyanga has recently called on the continental leadership to rethink the strategies of raw material exports — other than finished goods — and its impact on jobs.
Along with many other pro-African development proponents, the Pan African Business Forum executive said it was puzzling that “despite its riches, Africa remained poor” and this paradox particularly manifested itself in the agricultural sector — where 60 percent of the world’s arable land was on the continent, yet it imported nearly 90 percent of processed foods.
The problem, Buyanga said, emanated from lopsided trade agreements with the West or foreign companies as well as illicit financial flows.
Thus, the beneficiation of gold, full realisation or use of resources such as land, energy and even ocean economies would also spur the continent’s massive industrialisation.
And as Africa embarks on this new journey, it must ensure that women and youths are at the centre of these initiatives.
Recently, Buyanga also said it was regretful that many were still clamouring for government and donor support when a shift in national focus could help eliminate this dependency syndrome, and high poverty levels.