Senior Management at Advance Africa

Professor Emeritus Thomas Hecht (PHD)

Prof Tom Hecht is regarded as a leading authority in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science throughout Africa and the West Indian Ocean region.

He brings 40 years’ of science, research and industry development experience to Advance Africa, making it one of the most qualified consulting companies in this subject matter. Tom is highly regarded by his peers and has published in excess of 150 peer reviewed scientific papers.

Grant Merrick

Grant is a founding member of Advance Africa and specialises in the assessment of the economic feasibility of new and existing agricultural and aquaculture businesses. Grant has in excess of 25 years’ experience in operational and general management of large agricultural and aquaculture businesses, allowing him to apply such first-hand experience in assessing new businesses and approaches to business development.

Fred Formanek

Fred is a founding member of Advance Africa and is currently the Managing Member. He has in excess of 25 years’ experience in project and business development and has served on numerous boards in Southern Africa for companies specialising in Agriculture and Aquaculture.

He brings solid large-scale project management and business development experience to the Group. Furthermore, Fred is the core member of the team with regards to market related assessments of aquaculture products, with significant experience in market research and development in Asia .

Franco Giovanni Pellegrini

Franco has led many development and design teams throughout Africa on behalf of Public and Private sector organizations.

The work he has successfully undertaken spans most sectors and elements of the built environment including: complete new towns with all aspects of associated infrastructure and services (for new mining projects), hospitals, schools, commercial and industrial developments, airports and harbour infrastructure.

Advance Africa Qualifications

  • PhD – Fisheries Science
  • PhD – Conservation Ecology
  • MBA – Finance Strategy
  • BSc ED – Biology and Geography
  • BSc – Honours Science
  • BSc – Honours Environmental Management
  • B.Arch – Bachelor of Architecture
  • MSc- Agri (Aquaculture)
  • MSc – Environmental Planning
  • MSc – Fisheries Science
  • MSc – Geography
  • BTech – Quantity Surveying
  • Certified Associate in Project Management
  • MSc – Environment and Development
  • MSc – Estuarine Ecology
  • BSc – Honours Microbiology
  • BSc – Honours Building Management
  • BSc – Honours Ichthyology and Fisheries Science
  • MSc – Animal, plant and Environmental Sciences
  • MSc – Environmental Management
  • BSc – Zoology
  • BSc – Honours Marine Biology
  • BSc Honours – Geography
  • MPhil – Environmental Management
  • BCom – Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE)
  • Post Grad – Sustainable Development
  • Diploma- Building Science
  • BA – English Lit. and Philosophy
  • BA – Geography
  • BSc – Human Life Science
  • BA – History


  • Hecht, T. and Jones, C.L.W. 2009. Use of wild fish and other aquatic organisms as feed in aquaculture – a review of practices and implications in Africa and the Near East.
  • M.R. Hasan and M. Halwart (eds). Fish as feed inputs for aquaculture: practices, sustainability and implications. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 518. Rome, FAO. pp. 129–157.
  • Potts, W., Hecht, T. & Andrew, T.G. 2008. Does reservoir trophic status influence the feeding and growth of the sharptooth catfish, Clarias gariepinus (Teleostei: Clariidae)? African Journal of Aquatic Science, 33 (2): 149-156.