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Akinwumi Adesina: Africa's Optimist-in-chief & ALM African of the Year 2019
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Category Publisher’s Porch
It is Africa’s time!
No doubt, perceptions about Africa, especially in the west, is far from the realities on the ground. These not-so-correct perceptions have adversely affected trade on the continent as the average western business person would rather trade with other blocs than with Africa, in spite of the tremendous potentials and opportunities that Africa has to offer. As a result, the continent continues to lag behind, on most business leaders’ trade partnership agendas. Between 2014 and 2016, US exports to Africa fell by almost half, from $38 billion to $22 billion. Also, the latest available UK continent-specific export data showed that total UK exports to Africa in 2018 stood at only 2.3%, compared to 46.6% to neighbouring Europe, 24.1% to Asia and 15.3% to North America. However, the prevailing circumstances in most African nations notwithstanding, savvy business leaders and leading governments have continued to sustain the truism that Africa represents enormous opportunities as the last trade frontier. This narrative can be seen in the swelling number of business and investment conferences centred on Africa, and more nations and governments joining the Africa business and investment talk circuit. With the United Kingdom and Russia being the most recent, following the January 2020 UK Africa Investment Summit, and the Russia-Africa Summit in October 2019, these events all underlining the scramble, as it were, for what opportunities that Africa represents.
While this global attention on the continent has not risen out of just sheer love for the African people, but in furtherance of the strategic interests of these nations, which often goes beyond only trade; it does signal the beginning of mutually beneficial relationships that could significantly leapfrog the continent in the areas of critical development indicators much needed in Africa today. Some of these vital areas are in jobs creation, healthcare delivery, education, energy and infrastructural development, among others. To buttress the case for jobs creation, according to the United Nations statistics for 2015, there were over 226 million youth between the ages of 15-24 in Africa, and a staggering 75% of Africans are under the age of 35, making her the world’s youngest continent. Moreover, the share of Africa’s youth in the world is forecasted to increase to 42% by 2030 and more than double the current levels by 2055. These young people need jobs, and every possible opportunity they can get, be it in education, healthcare, and the various fields of human endeavour. They also represent tremendous value and are potentially Africa’s greatest asset. The distinct role of the Dr Akinwumi Adesina led African Development Bank Group in leading investments into Africa is unequalled, through
4 | African Leadership | March - April 2020
the provision of both financial and technical support to its member nations. The quality of data, facts and figures, products generated by the bank, multi-level engagements and partnerships, and her expert advice are unmatched. And the continued impact and success of its flagship Africa Investment Forum, and its 2019 edition with 56 boardroom deals valued at $67.6 billion tabled is both refreshing and a game changer for the continent. This is the way to go, and as President Adesina proclaimed recently, Africa is indeed bankable. Little wonder he was voted by our readers and Africans from all shades of thought as the African of the Year 2019.
Moreover, the share of Africa’s youth in the world is forecasted to increase to 42% by 2030 and more than double the current levels by 2055. These young people need jobs, and every possible opportunity they can get.
Publisher’s Category Porch
As we take on the 2020s decade, It is therefore time for Africans to lead the charge for an African renaissance; and for leading OECD countries and the rest of the west to prioritize trade and investments engagements with Africa above aid and every other equally good considerations. While several African countries would still require aid in the coming years, what is more essential and mutually beneficial would be to deepen fair trade engagements and well-thoughtthrough equitable investments agreements that embraces international scrutiny and meets best practices, as this would ultimately result in more jobs creation, technology transfer, improved infrastructure, and a lift in the overall standard of living of the people. It is projected that by 2030, African countries will have the highest number of workingclass populations with greater purchasing power and improved overall livelihoods according to the AfDB outlook 2019, thereby creating a robust middle class with high purchasing power – an amazingly huge market by all standards. This, by implication, means that 30% of Africans by 2030 will have regular income, be able to afford quality education for their children and can provide a paid holiday annually. Also, 45% of Africans are predicted to live in cities which will make the continent the most urbanized continent in the world. Herein lies opportunity for trade with the continent. Africa - an Integrated Trade Region According to the AU, Africa currently has the lowest percentage of intra-regional trade in the world at 18%. However, African ExportImport Bank believes that this figure could more than double within the first decade after implementing the recently signed Africa Intercontinental free trade deal.
Hence, from the foregoing, Africa’s economic attractiveness and appeal continue to be on the rise. Since the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) was approved by the US Congress in May 2000, and the very first Forum on ChinaAfrica Cooperation in November 2006, major leading economies, are strategically positioning themselves for the future prosperity that is trade and investments in Africa. In closing this piece, what quickly comes to mind are myriads of questions such as – does Africa clearly understand the sheer scope of the opportunities that lie within her boundaries? Do we have integrating mechanisms to maximize the benefits of the FDI these summits may likely generate? Is the future wealth of Africa sustainable, judging by the level of future skills deficiency on the continent today? Do we have our trade deals structured and designed to ensure the terms of engagement with foreign investments are not dangerously skewed in favour of some of the socalled investors, almost making certain “FDIs” look like daylight robbery? How productive are the conversations around the AfCFTA and how ready are the African nations signed on implementing this agreement in individual countries? Answering these questions may well help us structure better deals for the future of our unborn ones, as we explore home grown solutions and strategies for the future we seek. Conclusively, in an age of ever-complex and interconnected challenges and risks, we are greater together than the sum of our individual parts. Let us harness Africa’s investment potentials – let us harness the future today!
As we take on the 2020s decade, It is therefore time for Africans to lead the charge for an African renaissance; and for leading OECD countries and the rest of the west to prioritize trade and investments engagements with Africa above aid and every other equally good considerations.
Ken Giami www.africanleadershipmagazine.co.uk
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8 | African Leadership | March - April 2020
Africa's Optimist-in-chief & ALM African of the Year 2019 Easily one of Africa’s most illustrious sons, the continent’s promoter in - chief, and President African Development Bank Group Dr. Akinwumi Adesina’s pro-Africa shuttles across the globe is receiving attention. He recently emerged African of the Year 2019 in the continent’s premium votebased poll, which attracts over 1 million votes from Africans across the globe and reserved for Africans who are contributing towards promoting the continent and positively altering her narrative. Often described as Africa’s Developer – in – Chief; Optimist – in – Chief and Economic Commander, Dr. Adesina believes that Africa does not need to beg to be developed and he tells us why in this exclusive interview. Dr. Akinwumi in this interview with African Leadership Magazine also speaks on the Bank’s activities, investment in Africa and the gains of a connected continent. Excerpts:
The African Economic Outlook report 2020 was recently launched by the African Development Bank which called for an urgent investment in education, due to the large skills gap and mismatch. What informed this position? Yes. So, the African Economic Outlook Report was launched recently and I must say I am really proud of the report, as well as the continent. So, simply put, the report say that Africa’s growth rate last year was 3.4%; this year it is projected to be 3.5% and next year it is anticipated to be 4.1%. However, that doesn’t tell you the whole story. We actually have 20 countries that are growing by 3.5% and another 20 countries that are growing at above 5% well above the global average. Look at Rwanda for instance, which is growing at over 8%, Ghana 7.4%, Ethiopia 7.4%, Benin 6.7%, among others. But what is actually mindboggling is that those growth rates are not contributing towards reducing the number of the extremely poor people on the continent. So this is good, but like I said, nobody eats GDP. Growth must be felt in the lives of the people. Growth must make a difference in our lives - things like access to quality healthcare, access to water sanitation, access to education, and access to quality life. So, the report shows that Africa needs to do more in the area of education. We are doing pretty much at the moment, but we need to do more, like invest in physical infrastructure. But physical infrastructure is not enough. Our report shows that, if you invest in infrastructure and
So, we are investing in the jobs of the future and not the jobs of the past. That said, I am very excited about Africa’s prospects. That’s why they call me Africa’s Optimist in Chief and I like it.
human capacity, we can increase the GDP to more than 30%. So, it’s not just about investing, but, strategic investments. We are in the era of 4th industrial revolution. You have automation, artificial intelligence, robotics, biotechnology and nanotechnology. So we have got to retool and reskill, because all these new developments means that the world is moving rapidly. So, as a bank we have launched a program called Jobs for Youths in Africa, to help the continent create twenty-five million jobs over the next ten years. We are investing and working with Microsoft and Google to set up coding centres across the continent, because coding would be the currency of the future. So, we are investing in the jobs of the future and not the jobs of the past. That said, I am very
So, I said to myself, the future of African youths does not lie in Europe, it doesn’t lie in Asia, United States, Latin America or anywhere else, it lies in an Africa that is growing well.
excited about Africa’s prospects. That’s why they call me Africa’s Optimist in Chief and I like it. Every year, Africa churns out about 12 million young graduate into the labour market, with only about 3 million getting job placements, and this has raised a lot of concerns. How else is the Bank looking to help in addressing this obvious challenge? Three days after my election and resumption in 2015, I went to Goree Island in Senegal, which was one of the major spots for slave trade. There is this door that is called the ''door of no return'', where they show the slaves to their boats and they will never comeback as the ship sets sail. Africa lost so many of our brothers and sisters. When I got back and I sat in my office, just ruminating over the experience, because I was overwhelmed by it. And I said myself, “these strong Africans were taken against their own volition and thrown into these rickety boats and big ships and taken to the UK and US; but today, we have our young people, on their own volition jumping into these boats to go to Europe.” You can see the irony. So, I said to myself, the future of African youths does not lie in Europe, it doesn’t
lie in Asia, United States, Latin America or anywhere else. It lies in an Africa that is growing well, an Africa that is able to create quality jobs, and able to provide opportunities for its young people. That is why for us, when you mention the issue of unemployment, we say that its because we are not investing in our young people. The education system is not teaching them to be entrepreneurs. What did Jack Ma study – English. In 1994, Jack Ma didn’t know a thing about computers. Within a space of 10 years, he built this global brand called Alibaba. So, entrepreneurship is critical. Secondly, we need to train them in high growth areas. I have nothing against Arts, Literature and others, but the jobs of the future are going to require science, engineering, physics and maths. We have just about 3% of our graduates studying in these areas. We have some of the centers that we are working on – we have one in Kigali, the Kigali institute of Science and Technology, which is producing world class masters' students. Today, we are partnering with the Carnegie Mellon University. One of our students, 3 years after graduation, set up her own digital business, which she has just sold for $21 million. So, that tells you that opportunities
10 | African Leadership | March - April 2020
abound in this sector. Agriculture is also another sector that create tremendous amount of jobs for our young people and I am very excited about this. You have remained one of the continent’s major promoters of Agriculture, why is this a priority for you? I schooled in the United States, in Indiana, and I have seen how much wealth is involved in Agriculture. I also realized that the wealthiest people in the United States are Farmers. Do not forget that, Jimmy Carter, the former president of the United States was a peanut farmer. Agriculture is not about peasantry. The food business is the biggest business in the world. I am sure you have had your breakfast, you are going to have lunch, and you will have dinner. The size of the Agricultural market in Africa is going to be worth a whopping $1 Trillion by 2030. So, what is all the fuss about Oil and what is all the fuss about Gas. The key is to see Agriculture as a business. You produce, you store, you process and add value and you export. Africa is responsible for about 75% of the world’s production of Cocoa beans. Without Cocoa, you can’t have chocolates. Africa accounts
for only 2% of the world’s chocolate market that is worth $1.2 Billion every year. You can see the irony. Check the case of coffee – we produce most of the coffee beans, but when you go to Starbucks, you pay more for coffee. The case of cotton is the same. We export cotton, and we import textiles and apparels. The price of all these raw materials may drop, but the price of the products will never fall. So, as far as I am concerned, Agriculture is about value addition. It's about industrialization. During the African Investment Forum last year, AfDB together with credit Suisse, provided Ghana with a total package of $600 Million to help them with their cocoa centre - to help in the industrialization process. I was so proud when the president of Ghana brought some nice Ghanaian chocolates and showcased it to us. The biggest sector that can create massive amount of jobs is agriculture, but we must change our mindset. Agriculture is not a way of life, but a business. How do you think Kentucky fried chicken makes money? how about Kelloggs? They all specialize in processing and value addition.
How can we change the mindset of people towards Agriculture, especially the young people? If you are a mechanical engineer, working for Ford or Toyota, it’s a dirty piece of work. If you are an architect or a civil engineer, its all the same. It’s the same for farming and agriculture. Agriculture is the coolest thing you have; the sexiest profession you have. When I was Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria, I helped turn the sector around and made it into a business. I attracted young people. I used to wear my bow tie and people will wonder what type of Agric Minister is this. I will tell them, “look, I want you to know that Agriculture is cool.” We must understand that the opportunities are immense. Opportunities are there in commercial production, there are also opportunities in logistics, and transport, marketing, packaging and a whole lot in the value chain. One of my best moments as a minister was when Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, walked into my office one day, because he and I used to have a lot of arguments about policies and because he used to be the biggest importer and
The first year, 2018, we were able to secure investment interests of about $38 billion in less than 72 hours. In 2019, we secured investment interest for projects worth $40.1 billion all in less than 72 hours.
I wanted him to be the biggest producer. So he came into my office one day and said, “Minister, I have decided to change my business model and I want to move from being an importer to a producer and I said well done”. So, I said what does that mean, and he said, “I am going to put $300 Million on the table and I want to go into commercialized production”. I called my wife and also called Koffi Annan, bless his soul – he used to be my mentor. Three months later, Aliko comes back to me and says, “Minister I think I changed my mind,” and I said, "what did I do wrong", and he said, “I changed my mind from $300 Million to $1 Billion”. Today, he is investing well over $8 Billion in Agriculture. When you started your presidency at the Bank, you did say that it’s not a job for you. You said that this is more like a mission. Can you elaborate on this? When I took this job, I said it’s not a job, but a mission, because there is nothing more important than to be given the opportunity to change the destiny of your own people. So, for me it has always been, what can we do better and faster. My principle for work is quite simple, I ask myself, "what are you ashamed of" and
I do the opposite. As you know, a very large percentage of our people do not have electricity and when I came, I said this has to be a priority – to light up Africa. Thomas Edison invented the light bulb in 1862, so why is it that we cannot light it up. Secondly, we were spending more than $35 billion importing food, when God has blessed us with land, water, good rain and sunshine. What’s that brain behind that? So, my second priority was, feed Africa. Third mission – I looked and saw that Africa was exporting a lot of its raw materials - gas, oil, minerals, metals, Agricultural products. Again, that was a no - brainer, just industrialize and add value to what you have. The secrets of nations wealth is very clear. The nations who export raw materials become poor; the nations who export value products become very wealthy. So, industrialize Africa was the third priority. The forth was that, we looked at the 54 countries, isolated and trying to compete against each other and I said, no, we need economies of scale in production, trade and investment. So, the forth priority was to interconnect Africa. The fifth priority, improve the lives and living conditions of Africans, because, even if you have all the above, and your GDP is growing,
no one eats GDP. We have been on this in the last four years and I can tell you that we are so proud of ourselves, proud of our shareholders, and proud of the continent. We have worked so hard. In the last four and half years, we have been able to connect 18 Million people to electricity. In Agriculture, we have been able to connect 140 million people to technology and the required skills to grow. We have been able to get 13 million people to access finance. We have also been able to invest in transport. We have been able to provide improved transport systems for about 101 million people. When it comes to water and sanitation, we have been able to impact 60 million people. That’s about 733 million people. While I am proud of this, I know it is not a finished work. When we come out, we still see a lot of needs. I am very bold to say that, development is not theory, it must translate into meaningful changes in peoples lives, that’s when the rubber meets the road. For me as the president of the bank, it’s a mission, it is a heartbeat for me. The quality of lives of our people must get better and better every day. Investors appetite for the continent in the areas of Energy and Infrastructure seems to
This is a resurgent Africa, a more confident continent. This is an Africa that needs to continue to showcase itself to the world. It is not a continent that is going to beg to be developed.
12 | African Leadership | March - April 2020
be dwindling, owing to policy inconsistency among others. How do you address investors’ concerns regarding policy issues and other associated problems? Well for me, I don’t like to look at a glass as half empty. I like to look at it as half full. Lets take infrastructure, Africa has an infrastructure deficit – roads, rail, port and taking together, the total financing need is about $68 billion to $108 billion a year. So, it depends on how you look at it. Those numbers don’t scare me, because, I look at it as $68 billion to $108 billion a year investment opportunity. It’s a huge market of unmet demands. The lenses through which you look at
see in the sky, but where are they today? At some point in the year 2000, the whole of subSaharan Africa didn’t have as much phone lines as the whole of Manhattan. Today, you have more than 400 million telephone users in the continent. So, technology changed the whole dynamics. Private sector brings innovation. Fourth point is that we have to make sure that we are building quality infrastructure. You build a road, today and the rains come and washes it away after six months – no, that’s not accountability. So, we must build quality infrastructure that will last for a long time. At the end of the day, its about investments and I am excited about Africa. You look at us with a population of 1.2 billion people today and things will determine how you approach them. I look at them as investment opportunities. So, when you take the case of Infrastructure, people will tell you its because of risks that they are not investing. If you know how to swim, you will never be scared of water. If you don’t know how to swim, every time you look at water, what you see is risks. So, just learn how to swim. Africa is not as risky as people tell you. There was a report, the Moody’s investors report, which shows that from 1986 to 2016, the loss rate on loans globally has Africa as the second lowest default rate globall, second only to Saudi Arabia and the Middle East countries. Much lower than Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean. So, it is not the risks, because the data doesn’t confirm so. I am not denying that there are no risks, we have risks everywhere. In Africa, the risk is exaggerated. A lot of it, is perception of risk. As you know capital is going to all those places with higher risks. Let’s come to the substance of the issue on how to deal with this. For regional infrastructure connectivity, as a bank, we have done almost $20 billion in the last four years. We have invested in roads, ports, bridges among others. We have also invested in the Sene-Gambia bridge,
connecting Senegal and Gambia. They awarded it since 1974, but we just finished it this year. We did the Lome Container port. We also did the Walvis bay port in Namibia. This has helped enlarge the volume of trade going on in that region. We co-financed the largest concentrated solar power plant in Morocco. We financed about 1000 Kilometer stretch of roads coming from Addis Ababa to Nairobi and this has helped to increase trade between those two countries, by about 400%. We are also going to finance the Lagos-Abidjan Express way, that will open up opportunities across this region. So, we are investing in infrastructure. However, two things are very important – first is that the policy environment must be stable, because, returns on infrastructure is a long term plan. So, policy consistency is key. Election cycles come and go, people win, some loose, but businesses must continue. In the energy sector, the tariff is so low, and those that are investing cannot make money. Third concern is that infrastructure doesn’t have to be done by governments alone. In fact, majority can be done by the private sector. As kids growing up in Nigeria, we used to see landline telephones and as kids, we would fly kites and it would get stuck in the lines that you
The day that our continent get it right with women empowerment, Africa will grow in a phenomenal way. When women earn income, they spend 90% of that on their children and family.
projected to be 2.4 billion by 2050, and I say this is a huge advantage. Last year, foreign direct investment in Africa grew by 11%, while Asia was only 4%. The developed economies had their foreign direct investment decline by 23% and globally, foreign direct investment declined by 13%. Our labor force alone is about 705 million people and its going to grow by over 1 billion by 2050. So, if you are not in Africa, where are you? Africa is the frontier and that is why I am driven to make sure that we put our best foots forward. Africa is going to develop by the discipline of investment and doing the right thing to attract the right investments. We set up the Africa Investment Forum 2 years ago In South Africa. We got our development partners from around Africa, and worked with so many other banks, including the African Finance Corporation. We set up this as a platform that would attract investments to land in Africa, like an aero plane, landing on a smooth landing strip. We are trying to make sure that we reduce the market risks, financial, political, and all other risks to the barest minimum. It’s a forum that abhors speeches – no heads of state come and give speeches. They come as chief executive officers of their countries. The project developers, project promoters, financiers, insurance
companies and investors were all in a boardroom session and the heads of state will make pitches about their countries and why they will do somethings differently, after which deals are sealed. The first year, 2018, we were able to secure investment interests of about $38 billion in less than 72 hours. In 2019, we secured investment interest for projects worth $40.1 billion all in less than 72 hours. So, what does that tell you? We are brimming with opportunities. This is a resurgent Africa, a more confident continent. This is an Africa that needs to continue to showcase itself to the world. It is not a continent that is going to beg to be developed. When will Africa host world leaders on the continent, towards attracting investment into their countries, a position that was reechoed by some during the last UK - Africa summit. My take is that, Africa is not going to beg to be developed. Those who understand risks and return are already voting with their money. I just gave you the numbers. The African Continental Free Trade Area, which bring together all the economies of the continent, is worth $3.3 trillion. So, African countries individually are not going to be negotiating trade deals with other countries, because that would be a
negotiation from the point of weakness. African countries will be negotiating from the point of collective strength. The continent can say to the EU, here is our market, instead of negotiating with individual countries - now we want to deal with you as a continent. I addressed the UK House of Commons and the House of Lords and told them that they have to understand that the game has changed. The kid of yesterday is an adult today and we need a partnership of equals. The engagement has to be different. With a $3.3 trillion economy, Africa doesn’t have to beg anybody. That changes the dynamics of engagement. We at the African Development Bank have continued to push for a universal access to electricity, the ports, the rail and the roads, so that we can trade and be competitive. I don’t think Africa needs the heads of governments to come to the continent, because, its not governments that invest, it’s the private sector and they are already voting with their feet and their pockets. I think Africa just has to continue to do the right thing – have good macroeconomic stability; make sure the exchange rate is stable; make sure you are dealing with corruption, transparency and accountability in the public space; and have the incentives to attract the private sector to come. The interest rate all around
When I took this job, I said it’s not a job, but a mission, because, there is nothing more important than to be given the opportunity to change the destiny of your own people.
14 | African Leadership | March - April 2020
the world is very low, people are investing in money market that are giving them negative returns. However, anyone who understand basic economics that talks about the law of demand and supply, will tell you that, when the demand is high, the price is high. So that means that Africa needs energy and it doesn’t have enough; it needs ports because it doesn’t have enough; it needs rail because it doesn’t have enough. It means the return on your investment will be high. Over 55% of the continent’s population are women and we would like to know how the Bank is engaging this important segment of the population? The day that our continent get it right with women empowerment, Africa will grow in a phenomenal way. When women earn income, they spend 90% of that on their children and family. I took a trip in 1992, from Lagos to Abidjan, at that time I was working in Bouake, as the chief economist for Africa Rice Center, and I got on an aeroplane with my small computer. So, when I got on the plane and saw all these women – market women, and they were very fat and I was wondering, how come all of them are so fat. All of a sudden, I realized that they were not fat as I thought, they only wrapped bails of
So this is good, but like I said, nobody eats GDP. Growth must be felt in the lives of the people. Growth must make a difference in our lives.
clothing around themselves. They were doing that because, the customs people were over taxing them. I was still trying to find a spot for my luggage and I requested the Air hostess to help me. She said, "you see these women, they are market women, they look like illiterates, but they fly this route twice a day. This is their plane; we make room for them to put whatever they want to put, but we will put your bag in the holding area". It never left my imagination. So when I had this God given opportunity to serve as the president of the Bank, I sat down and said to myself, when we had structural adjustment in Africa, the women saved the continent. 75% of all our trade is done by all these women. So, I said as a bank, we must do something different for them. We launched what is called, the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa, AFAWA – which focuses on leveraging $3 billion for businesses of women in Africa, the biggest of such projects in the history of the continent. President Macron of France was quite helpful when he invited me to Paris for the G7 meeting. He helped to organize and reached out to all the G7 leaders and collectively, they put together $351 million that will help us to set up a risk sharing facility, that will reduce the risk of lending by Banks to women. Now we have
over $411 million. We are working with the Africa Guarantee Fund, and they are setting up facilities with Banks. When a Bank lends to women businesses, we will cover up to about 75% of any loss that may accrue from the borrowing. I know the women are not going to default, because 98% of the women pay back their loans. Men are the ones that don’t pay back their loans. The women are bankable and the reason the Banks are not lending to them, is because they are biased. Banks ask them for collateral, when you know in Africa, they don’t own land. So, we are putting our money behind them and we are supporting them. We are supporting another fund, called the Alitier Fund, jointly set up by a South African and a Nigerian – a private equity fund that we have supported to raise more money for growth businesses for women. So, all that we are doing for women came from my experience on the plane from Lagos to Abidjan. You have been Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture, and also worked with the Rockefeller foundation, and you have shown excellence. What drives your pursuit for excellence? First I think it’s God’s grace, because, those who know me will tell you that I am constantly charged and always want things to be better. I also believe that life itself is only useful to the extent that it is used to make the life of other people better – otherwise, what’s the use of life itself. Its not about you, but about what you use your life for. So, I am constantly driven by that. I handed over a map to a minister in a particular country, and he said to me, "this is a beautiful map" and I said, "minister, it is not a beautiful map, the red there indicates those without food, water and sanitation." For me, I do what I do with all my heart and with a sense of accountability only to God. I came out of a very poor background, my father and grandfather worked as laborers in other people’s farms. So, for me to rise to the global stage
today, it has been God. I always say, "how can we make things better?" My life, my ideas, my partnerships, my contacts, my innovations and creativity that God has enabled me with are all directed to one thing, which is making things better. I think that would be a life worth living. What would you say to those who voted you African of the Year 2019? You know, I didn’t even know that anything like this was going on, until a friend of mine told me that there was a voting going on. So, I feel tremendously honored and very grateful. I feel tremendously encouraged by this and inspired. I am an African and proudly African, and I know that the responsibility that I have been given is to do all that is within my power, by God’s grace, to constantly move Africa forward. So, I want to thank Africans for the confidence, but it’s not a confidence I take lightly. Awards are good, but they are not for you to just take and have it. Awards are
supposed to inspire you to do more. My definition of awards, maybe I should just give it to you, because, it helps keep me in check. A-means accepted; W-with; A-an agreement; R-regarding; D-doing more S-selflessly. So, all I can say to all those who nominated and voted, God bless you all. My team and I at the Bank work every day to make things better in the lives of Africans. The heads of state support us very strongly, the private sector, the civil society, they all support us very strongly. I am not working alone; I am working with so many people. At the end of the day, it is about doing more and doing it selflessly. We promise that by the grace of God, we will do more selflessly.
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Africa is responsible for about 75% of the world’s production of Cocoa beans. Without Cocoa, you can’t have chocolates. Africa accounts for only 2% of the world’s chocolate market that is worth $1.2 Billion every year.
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The Inspiring Journey of Africa’s Female Leader of the Year 2019 RAWYA MANSOUR
‘‘ Long before Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals became the buzz, there was one woman’s commitment to Environment & Health Protection; Climate Action; Food Security; sustainable communities; poverty eradication and gender equality. This sums up the life of one of Africa’s Amazon on Heels – Rawya Mansour. An interior Designer by training, she abandoned the allures of this profession to pursue a people-centered life. 20 years on, the world is celebrating her contribution to solving humanities raging problems. Rawya Mansour was voted African Female Leader of the Year and she tells us how it all began; her work, life and persuasions. Excerpts:
Over 20 years ago, you made a life changing decision to move from being a renowned interior designer to a leading voice for gender equality, climate change and social entrepreneurship, when you said, “I want to not only make the lives of the rich beautiful, but to enrich the lives of those most segregated”. Looking back today, tell us how this journey has been thus far? The journey has been long and full of challenges and obstacles to overcome, yet at the same time it has been an enriching and rewarding journey weaving together environmental and health protection, climate action, food security, sustainable communities, poverty eradication, and gender equality. I started with the simple wish
It has been a journey of continuous learning and growth which started before the launch of the Global Goals and before climate action was placed so prominently on the global agenda.
of improving the lives of the disadvantaged in a rural community I had visited and later decided to step up beyond charity and embraced a calling to address some of the key issues facing our world today in a sustainable, and scalable manner. It has been a journey of continuous learning and growth which started before the launch of the Global Goals and before climate action was placed so prominently on the global agenda. I had to trust in my vision and preserve with my mission to bring my project to life despite criticism and
judgment. Looking back from today’s vantage point, I couldn’t be gladder that I was steadfast in my belief in my project and relentless in my quest to realize my vision. Today my social enterprise has grown over the years and is now expanding beyond Egypt, with new projects and initiatives on the horizon. We have made achievements that have been recognized not just in Egypt and in Africa, but internationally as well. I have recently come to the realization that as my project grew over the years, it incorporated one global goal after the other; even before the Global Goals were launched. Today I am incredibly proud that my project is an example for the incorporation of all 17 Global Goals. My journey is far from over and I am more committed than ever to utilize my experience to date and the achievements we have made thus far to fight for equality, prosperity and sustainability. I hope my story inspires girls and women all over Africa and the developing world to pursue their dreams and contribute to the prosperity of our continent.
You have developed some remarkable and innovative approaches to organic Agrobusiness in Egypt. Tell us about these innovations? By 2050, we will be nine billion inhabitants on this planet, adding an additional 2 billion more mouths to feed at a time when the effects of climate change are more visible than ever. The main threats currently facing Egypt and Africa are food insecurity, water shortages and energy scarcity. With rapid population growth that does not seem to slow down, Egypt is highly vulnerable to climate change due to its dependence on Nile water with 98% of its population living on 4% of its total land area in the Nile Valley. It is estimated that by 2050, at least 12-15% of the most fertile land in the Nile Delta will be negatively affected by sea level rise and saltwater. It is also expected that the productivity of two major crops in Egypt- wheat and maize- will be reduced by 15% and 19%, respectively . This will amplify the demographic and socio-economic challenges facing Egypt and these problems will continue to persist unless a solution is found.
I also realized that female farmers were being paid half the wages paid to male farmers for the exact same job and decided that I had to take a firm stand and immediately change this.
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The key solutions to this problem are sustainable development projects that embrace green technologies and contribute to the growth of the green economy. A related problem is the improper disposal of all kinds of waste in Egypt. In 2002, according to World Bank statistics, the cost of environmental degradation in Egypt reached L.E. 16.9 billion, much of it from the annual practice of burning rice straw. According to the Head of the Egyptian Farmer’s Union, the rate of rice straw burning has dropped drastically this, yet the damage from this harmful practice has already been done and must be addressed. Improper waste management practices have endangered the lives of up to 15 million inhabitants, as farmers rely on burning their waste and thereby affecting public health, eroding agricultural lands and generally contributing to environmental damage. Against this reality and stemming from my strong desire to make a difference, I came up with a vision of turning
Against this reality and stemming from my strong desire to make a difference, I came up with a vision of turning this risk into an opportunity through recycling waste into organic fertilizers, bio char and renewable energy in a circular economy.
this risk into an opportunity through the recycling waste into organic fertilizers, bio char and renewable energy in a circular economy. The solution I came up with was organic farming and developing, zero waste entrepreneurial eco-villages in Africa’s desert areas to cultivate new lands for organic agriculture on the continent. This would decrease heavy density in poor urban areas through encouraging migration to desert areas that would become new rural areas through the creation of new zero-waste ecovillages. Through Corporate Social Responsibility funds, I came up with the solution of designing and manufacturing a machine which would transform rice husk, straw and other agriculture waste into bio char and products that are productive for the environment and which would enhance organic agricultural production. You founded the RAMSCO group of companies-a company that has made giant strides in the area of Agro-business. Tell us about your company and its many business ventures and successes? RAMSCO is a project encompassing sustainable
agricultural development and production to achieve the objectives of food security, poverty eradication, combating malnutrition and the mitigation of the effects of climate change. The company’s high-quality organic agricultural products which have been cultivated sustainably by an equal-pay workforce are available to consumers in Egypt’s largest supermarkets. The company’s research center continues to develop and test solutions and technologies for adaption in the project. The vision behind this group of companies is based on a long journey of research, concept development, and successful pilot projects that have confirmed the impact and importance of the green economy in achieving sustainable development objectives. The next step it to launch sustainable environmental villages, the concept for which is currently being developed. You have been a champion for gender equality-your company introduced equal pay for men and women in Egypt. This is revolutionary. How has this helped women within your establishment?
As a woman in business, I know all too well the glass ceilings and walls that hold back women from realizing their full potential and fully contributing to the economy and society. Having grown up as the only woman amidst four businessmen brothers, I have led a personal and professional life that has had me to fight to shatter barriers and assert my leadership as a woman in a world dominated by men. I am therefore incredibly proud that my project fully espouses and promotes gender equality, setting an example that I hope will be embraced everywhere in Egypt and Africa. As my investment in the agricultural production component of my project grew, I learned that agriculture employs about 45% of all women in the Egyptian labor force and that Illiteracy rates for women in Egypt are estimated at one third of women compared to only 15% of men. Rural women working in agriculture are usually seasonal workers surviving on unstable
earnings and vulnerable to food insecurity and early marriage. I also realized that female farmers were being paid half the wages paid to male farmers for the exact same job and decided that I had to take a firm stand and immediately change this. I therefore introduced equal pay, and this not only raised the confidence and autonomy of these women, it also gave them higher bargaining power within their homes and their communities. I have also always believed in the capabilities and transformative leadership of women, and therefore invest in training and capacity building within my organization. My proudest achievement is the fact that capable and empowered women who receive equal pay and full health insurance now run my research center. You are a beacon of hope for women across the continent. Can you share your top 5 secrets of enduring and sustainable success in life and business? I am honored to be in position to provide some lessons learned through my journey so far with our continent’s talented and capable women and girls as they embark on launching their own initiatives.
These are the five main lessons I have learned so far: Lesson 1: Follow through with your idea and dream till the very end with conviction, perseverance and hard work. Develop a very thick skin in the face of the criticism, obstacles and challenges that are bound to face you - and anyone - starting something new. Don’t give up even when you feel stuck on your way to your desired goal, and instead channel your energy to dig a tunnel, take a detour, and do whatever is needed to get there. Lesson 2: Remember that everything in life is a work in progress and that learning and growing is a big part of the journey. It is important to reflect on what you have achieved so far and what you can do better, and to make necessary changes to your model until you get it right. Lesson 3: Involve your family and loved ones in your journey. They are your biggest fans and the ones who want to see you succeed the most. They will always share and support your success, so please consider the advice they give you and consider reaching out to them for support whenever you need it.
Your team is your greatest asset and your best ambassador: chose it well, invest in it, nurture it and motivate it.
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Lesson 4: Your team is your greatest asset and your best ambassador: chose it well, invest in it, nurture it and motivate it. Lesson 5: Whatever you do, do it with integrity, ethics, and consideration for others. You have a grand vision and dream of an eco-village in the Mediterranean. Can you share this dream with us? (EZE) is Entrepreneurial, Zero = 0, Eco village. The vision behind this eco-village is empowering entrepreneurs and communities for sustainable development through following a market-driven approach. We aspire to create inclusive sustainable communities in North Africa, Middle East, and the Mediterranean region to improve quality of life and generate employment opportunities. We envision to become the leading entrepreneurial integrated zero-waste eco-village in the region; one that will set the path for an organized marketdriven eco-village movement through social agriculture and eco-tourism. The first steps have been taken with the signing of a MOU with the mayor of Matera, myself and Egyptian business Naguib Sawiris in 2016. We are still awaiting the allocation of
land for this project, and in the meantime are working hard on developing our concept. You are the co-founder of "We Are The People." Tell us about this project? I am the founder of “We Are The People” an NGO working closely with the Basilicata Region of Italy in order to bring the first ecovillage to existence. With you as my witnesses, I promise that I will fight to bring this dream into reality in the same manner that I fought for close to two decades to bring my agri-business to the pioneering position it is in today. The SDG goal 5 calls for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and girls by the year 2030. Is this goal achievable within the time frame? Achieving this goal will depend on each and every one of us because eliminating all forms of discrimination against women and girls requires action on the individual-level, on the community-level and on countrylevel. We can all be champions for gender equality in our homes, workplaces, educational establishments and communities. I personally started with a decision to strictly implement
I personally started with a decision to strictly implement equal pay in my business and to invest in women and provide them with opportunities for career development and growth.
equal pay in my business and to invest in women and provide them with opportunities for career development and growth. Luckily, closing the gender gap and promoting the equality of women and girls is now on the forefront of the international agenda. I believe that we can make very meaningful strides in the achievement of Goal 5 by 2030 years if we all play our part, no matter how small we may perceive it to be. It all starts with a decision to act and espouse the principles of gender equality principles in everything one does. What would be your charge to African Women across the continent? Embracing this honor, I commit to continue championing gender equality on the continent, and to support and mentor women across Africa. My message to the women and girls of Africa is this: “We are capable, we are forces for change, and we are stronger when we encourage each other to pursue our goals and when we celebrate each other’s’ achievements” How do you feel emerging AFRICAN Female Leader of the Year? I am deeply humbled and honored to have been nominated as African Female Leader of the year and couldn’t be more grateful to those who voted for me. I see this as more than a recognition, but an encouragement to take the work I have been doing to the next level. I accept this designation with responsibility and determination to shed light on the importance of investing in climate-friendly solutions that enhance our food security and sustainable development in Africa. I am conscious that this presents me with a new platform to advocate for gender equality across the continent, and I am delighted to embrace this opportunity.
INVESTING IN THE EMPOWERMENT OF CITIZENS
The banking ecosystem in Nigeria is in a state of constant change which is evident in the increased use of technology and other innovations to create a seamless banking experience for customers. In this exclusive interview with African Leadership Magazine, Dr Adesola Kazeem Adeduntan, Managing Director/ CEO, First Bank of Nigeria, shares with us the impact of technology on the banking industry as well as initiatives created to tackle unemployment in the nation. Excerpts: As a top Executive who is considered by many to have exceeded expectations, what were your career high and low points, and what did you learn from these situations?
Dr Adesola Kazeem Adeduntan Managing Director/Ceo, First Bank Of Nigeria Limited & Subsidiaries
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On assuming the leadership of First Bank, there was the herculean challenge of transforming the Bank to regain its pride of place in the league of top Nigerian/African banks. The risk management framework and practices of the Bank needed to be strengthened in order to restore stakeholdersâ€™ confidence. You will agree with me that
One major important shift that we have seen in banking today is the transition from a banking/regulator-led service delivery model to a customer-led model. Global trends in the use of technology in other business sectors have led to customers demanding for banking services to be delivered nontraditionally.
even in the face of unfavorable external conditions. With the continent’s population tipped to double by the year 2050, there is an urgent need for governments and entrepreneurs to create more jobs. What in your own view should be the priority for leaders across the continent towards job creation? Historically, population growth has come with emerging needs, challenges and opportunities. We have also found out that the capacity of human beings to innovate increases in times of great need. In my view, to ensure that Africa does not run into a population crisis, there is need for the continent to create jobs more quickly to sustain the expected addition to its population in the medium to long term. Specifically, African leaders should prioritize the following: --
at the time we took over the leadership of the Bank in 2016, the macroeconomic environment was unfavorable. As such, the task of delivering on the transformation and restoration objectives seemed highly daunting and petrifying. Looking back now, it is evident that the Executive leadership team of the Bank has made tremendous progress in re-establishing the Bank’s market leadership as Nigeria’s bank of first choice. As a business in the financial services industry space, we are adjudged by financial analysts and business observers largely by our share price and financial performance. Given this, one of my high points within the last one year was seeing our share price and financial performance increase beyond analysts’ predictions. This is reflective of the hard work of the entire First Bank team, from the Board, executive management to staff members of the group. In all of these, my key takeaway is that with the required level of focus and hard work, one can achieve remarkable outcomes
Identifying target sectors that could deliver significant job opportunities; and improving access to finance for such sectors; Driving a deliberate strategy that will help to develop and/or enhance the requisite skills and capabilities of the African workforce; Focusing on building suitable infrastructure in priority sectors/subsectors that have the highest job creation potentials; Removing regulatory impediments to growth in identified sectors.
Overall, it is critical for leaders in Africa to commit to investing in the empowerment of their citizens to shift the economies of African countries from being consumer driven to solution driven by investing heavily in education and skill acquisition, research and development, and providing an enabling environment for conversion of ideas into economically viable businesses/ enterprises.
From your viewpoint, what impact has digitalization and advances in technology made in the banking sector? Digitalization and technology have and are still revolutionizing banking. We have evolved from one branch banking in the 1990s to branchless banking. Now, customers can safely access and perform transactions on their mobile devices from any part of the world. The innovative use of technology has made these major transitions possible. One major important shift that we have seen in banking today is the transition from a banking/regulator-led service delivery model to a customerled model. Global trends in the use of technology in other business sectors have led to customers demanding for banking services to be delivered non-traditionally. Consequently, technology and digitalization have shaped our products offerings, service channels, as well as our engagement models. We have also seen remarkable improvements in process efficiency, service delivery, and fraud protection. Also, technology has changed the face of competition, as financial technology companies, non-banking startups and established companies compete directly with banks by offering similar services in a nontraditional way. Banks and banking regulators are becoming more agile in their approach to the business of banking. Collaborations between banks and companies in other business sectors have become possible and seamless today; thanks to digital technology. In Africa, we have also seen how technology has driven financial inclusion, providing financial services to people in remote areas who hitherto would have been shut out of the banking system. From a social and economic empowerment perspective, innovation in this context has been life changing for these communities.
The unemployment rate in Nigeria is at an all-time high. What are some of the contributions FirstBank has made to resolve this issue?
The vision of FirstBank is to be the clear leader and Nigeria’s bank of first choice. How would you say the organization has fared in delivering its mandates?
At FirstBank, we recognize that unemployment is a major challenge for Nigeria, and we are intentional and deliberate about using our platforms and products to support wealth and job creation.
Our aspiration to be Nigeria’s bank of first choice means that at every given time, we are the preferred bank of every Nigerian. This aspiration can only be a reality by staying ahead of the competition in innovation and service delivery. We are committed to ensuring that the FirstBank brand lives up to this, and we have demonstrated it by winning the ‘’ Best Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011– 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance Magazine for the 14th time as well as “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” seven times in a row (this is an award given by Asian Banker), amongst many others.
Specifically, we are driving and supporting job and employment creation through the following initiatives: --
FirstGem: The FirstGem platform was designed to empower women who are critical to nation building. We believe that providing business support in addition to banking services will translate to more startups, more business expansions and ultimately more jobs. The multiplier effects are almost instant. SME Connect Series: This platform is dedicated to capacity building for people aspiring to start their businesses, as well as existing small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs). Future First Programme: This programme was set up to provide financial literacy and caree r counseling for Nigerian students as making the right career choices increases the chances of becoming purposeful and financially fulfilled in the future. So far, we have reached out to and empowered over 15,000 secondary school students under this programme. Endowment Programme: FirstBank is part of and a contributor to about 10 educational university endowment programmes in Nigeria across different focus areas/ disciplines.
We have the largest customer base and footprints in the Nigerian banking industry with over 16 million active customer accounts and about 750 business offices. Financial inclusion and access to finance are major challenges in Africa. How is FirstBank looking to change this situation? FirstBank is actively aligned with the Central Bank of Nigeria in the effort to increase financial inclusion rate to above 80% of the Nigerian adult population. While this is very aspirational, we are very aware of the socioeconomic impact of this programme on the nation. Over the last decade, we have invested in technology that helps to deliver financial services outside the branch location. As at the end of 2017, we had issued 10 million cards to our customers. Presently, one of the Bank’s strategic initiatives is driving financial inclusion through USSD and Agent Banking. In the first eight months of the full launch of our agent banking service, we signed on over 10,000 agents spread
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across every local government in Nigeria. These agents are helping us to drive the financial inclusion goal by providing banking services to customers in their various locations. We have already started witnessing very encouraging outcomes: --
Agent banking presence in 720 local government areas across all states in Nigeria Over 100 billion processed through the agent banking network to date NGN 1 billion transactions processed daily on the agent bank network Average of 170,000 daily transaction counts processed daily on the agent bank network Over 6 million customers are transacting via our USSD channel
Given the above outcomes, we are quite optimistic of our capacity to significantly help Nigeria reach her financial inclusion goals. We are also rolling out similar initiatives in our African subsidiaries based on the experiences from Nigeria.
I absolutely value mentoring as it is a great tool for achieving sustainability both in an organization and in the country at large. In line with this, we have an institutionalized mentoring programme at FirstBank.
Mentorship has been identified as one of the effective tools with which to produce responsible members of the society. What plans do you have towards mentoring young people in your field of expertise? I absolutely value mentoring as it is a great tool for achieving sustainability both in an organization and in the country at large. In line with this, we have an institutionalized mentoring programme at FirstBank. In addition, as my way of reaching out to the youths, I also make out time to honour invitations for lectures and talks in various institutions. On a personal level, I have a fair number of individuals in the financial services industry who are my proteges. As the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, you are one of the most successful Chief Executive leaders in Africa. What are your top five productivity secrets? My top five productive secrets are as follows: --
Utilizing the first hour of my morning for meditation and visioning. This is important as it helps me to focus on the most important things for the rest of the day. Planning my day ahead is critical Time management is key, especially with meetings Clarity in communicating my vision to my team Work life balance; including family/relationship time on my schedule helps me to become more productive at work.
Over the last decade, we have invested in technology that helps to deliver financial services outside the branch location. As at the end of 2017, we had issued 10 million cards to our customers. Presently, one of the Bank’s strategic initiatives is driving financial inclusion through USSD and Agent Banking.
— AFRICAN LEADERSHIP MAGAZINE’S PERSON OF THE YEAR IN THE EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT CATEGORY Professor KARODIA Founder of MANCOSA and REGENT Business School —
Founding Partner of Honoris United Universities
“You only become successful when you help others to become successful” Jack MA
Our congratulations to Professor Karodia on the recognition of your contribution to education in Africa. Your bold leadership and brave ideas have transformed many lives.
ALM Persons of the Year Winners - In Perspective They are trail blazers, Africa’s leading light in business, politics, diplomacy, development and entertainment. They are helping towards positively altering the continent’s narrative – they are African Leadership persons of the Year 2019.
Akinwumi Adesina: Africa’s Developer-inChief With deluge of endorsements from some African leaders and the full-scale backing from the 15 members states of ECOWAS, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina is set to retain his position as the President of African Development Bank, AfDB, for another term of 5 years. Dr. Adesina, Nigeria’s former minister of Agriculture, emerged 8th President of the Bank in 2015, and has since gone on to lead the bank on what many analysts have described as an exceptional tenure. A leader in Agricultural innovation for over 30 years, Dr. Adesina has contributed greatly to food security in Africa, aimed at improving the lives of millions in the continent. The Bank under Dr. Adesina has recorded many firsts and marked tremendous milestones. Last year alone, the Bank recorded the following milestone:
The Bank pushed its High 5 strategy forward in tandem with the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Africa saw continuing progress in the continent’s structural transformation, due to projects financed and supported by the African Development Bank.
Increase in the Bank’s capital, showing the shareholders’ high level of confidence in the institution. The Launch of African Leaders for Nutrition scorecard, co-chaired by, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina and Lesotho’s King Letsie III. The continental Nutrition Accountability Scorecard reinforces commitments by African governments to end malnutrition and promote healthy children. The Bank’s governors, representing shareholders from 80 countries, approved a historic capital increase of $115 billion. The institution’s capital more than doubled to $208 billion, which solidified the Bank’s leadership in financing development in Africa. The increase, the largest since the Bank’s creation in 1964, provided clear evidence of shareholders’ trust.
African Development Bank Group plays a central role in Africa’s development and Dr. Adesina has played his role in the Bank quite well, as an “economic commander” of Africa. The “High 5 Strategy” which include: light up and power Africa, feed Africa, industrialize Africa, integrate Africa and improve the quality of life for the people of Africa, has been remarkable. As a result of Dr. Adesina’s work, the lives of millions of people throughout Africa have been improved. When he gets the nod of the entire continent to lead the Bank for another term of 5 years, he would spend half of the new decade consolidating on the work he has begun in the Bank and would no doubt shape the future of Africa’s
President el-Sisi: In silent pursuit of a peaceful, secure and interconnected Africa For 2 days in December 2019, Egypt hosted African Leaders to the maiden edition of the ASWAN Forum – with an Agenda for Sustainable Peace, Security and Development in Africa. The Egyptian President, Abdul Fattah el-Sisi made this happen. The forum in its thoughtprovoking message maintained that, Africa’s potential is immense, but not fully realized. the continent is home to at least half of the fastest growing economies of the world. It is rich in resources and is riding a wave of urbanization, industrialization and economic diversification. Its importance in the global economy is rising, both as a market and as an engine of global growth. Moreover, the continent is the youngest region of the world. By 2030, one in every five people in the world will live in Africa. This great promise, however, is under threat; undermined by a myriad of crises, challenges and risks to peace, security and development. The continent remains the most burdened with conflict, which inflicts devastating human suffering,
damages economies and social fabrics, and destroys physical infrastructure. The numbers of migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) are at record highs. The menace of terrorism is also on the rise. By exploiting weaknesses and vulnerabilities in conflict zones, terrorist organizations are now able to seize and hold territory; a dramatic transformation with unsettling consequences. Equally alarming is the convergence of terrorist and criminal organizations into a new and hybrid threat that recognizes no borders. While similar in some respects to old challenges that the continent has faced, today’s conflicts and other threats to peace, security and development in Africa are unique in many ways. First, their scale, concurrence, frequency and consequences are unprecedented. Second, they don’t necessarily lend themselves to traditional ways of settling and resolving conflicts. Third, they expose serious weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the continent’s security structures and mechanisms. Moreover, they are happening at a time of shaking global structures; in a world distracted by a plethora of other ongoing and potential crises. President el-Sisi believes that amidst these crises, Africa’s
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leadership is indispensable. He is of the view that It is, indeed, the responsibility of this generation of African leaders, policymakers and intellectuals to provide the home-grown solutions, that the continent so desperately needs, to protect the present and secure the future for generations to come. This would not be the first time that the Egyptian president is taking the lead role in promoting Pan-African programmes. He was also recently hailed by his Camoran counterpart, President Azali Assoumani, recently hailed him for this contribution of the success of the African continental Free Trade agreement. President el-Sisi will no doubt play a key role as the continent looks to redouble growth efforts in the decade.
Ashish Thakkar: Poised to Lead Africa’s Smart Phone Revolution Africa’s leading eentrepreneur and founder of Mara Phone, Ashish Thakkar, is no doubt one of the continent’s champions of the decade. Mr. Thakkar recently launched the first Smart Phone company in Africa – fully built by Africans for Africa. In his speech during the launch of the factory in Rwanda, Mr. Thakkar stated that, “we realized a few years ago that to create positive social impact on our continent and in emerging markets we need to have high quality and affordable smartphones. That’s when we came up with Mara Phones,” His lifelong commitment to solving problems resonates across his business ventures in the continent. Chief among the many problems his businesses seek to solve is unemployment. In South Africa alone, available records show that the factory will create about 1500 direct jobs and over
5000 indirect jobs. Mr. Thakkar, is also the Chair of the Presidential Youth Advisory Group, put together by the President of African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina. The Advisory group was set up with the mandate of creating 25 Million Jobs in 10 years and to benefit 50 million youths. Mr. Thakkar who epitomizes the true African Spirit, will no doubt change the face to Smart Phone industry in Africa, with the Mara Phone Brand, which is already receiving continentwide acceptance.
Rawya Mansour: A Relentless Voice for Climate Change, African Women, & Economic Empowerment In a continent still battling gender inequality and better pay for women, Ms. Rawya Manour remains undaunted. In her words, “It costs nothing to dream, but everything not to.” Having horned her skills designing homes and offices, little did she know that she was called for something far greater. A woman of many talents, Rawya Mansour began her career as an interior designer. After over two decades in the field and gaining a world-wide reputation of artistic taste and excellence, Rawya decided to set her sights elsewhere. As she put it “I want to make not only the lives of the rich beautiful, but to enrich the lives of those most segregated”. In 2007, just before the Egyptian food riots Mansour foresaw the need for a drastic change, and took the matter in her own hands by founding RAMSCO for Trade and Distribution. There she developed and tested a groundbreaking approach to organic agro-business within Egypt, through the invention of fertilizers and agro-technology. Upon the success the pilot project in her research center, Mansour founded the RAMSCO for Sustainable Agricultural Development in 2009. In 2012 Mansour established OASIS (Organic Agriculture for Social International Solidarity) in The Principality of Monaco. Mansour’s work proved to be an incredible tool for climate change adaptation, as she has developed and patented machines that recycles rice straw and other agri-waste (the burning of which
leads to the “black smog” that pollutes cities like Cairo, leading to growing rates of asthma in its residents) and turns it into biochar. Biochar has been proven to be the only way of reversing climate change, as it is capable of reclaiming desertification and decreasing green house gas from agri-waste. Hand-in-hand with combating environmental degradation Mansour works towards poverty elevation and emancipation of rural women. Currently employing young women in organic farming and training on quality packaging to ensure gender equality, women autonomy & financial independence. RAMSCO works with women from the Ismalia and Behera region where women otherwise have low daily wages and social rights as daily workers. By employing these marginalized women they have grown a sense of empowerment and economic autonomy, which has been proven to give them bargaining power in their homes. Furthermore, RAMSCO has introduced for the first time in this region equal salaries for men
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and women farmers, as well as health insurane benefits. As per tradition women farmers in this region receive half the income of a male farmer for the same amount of work. By breaking this tradition and introducing equal pay Rawya Mansour has shattered the status qua by giving women equal rights and status as a man in the workplace. All of this work has been building to the achievement of Mrs. Mansours larger dream of worldwide holistic eco villages in the Mediteranian. These eco villages will continue to carry out the use of Mansours green technology building towards food security and environmental adaptation. Rawya Mansour’s innovative vision is to invest on sustainable projects able to reduce poverty and contribute to “save the planet”. She is the engine and co-founder of the project We Are The People. “It costs nothing to dream, but everything not to” is the motto Rawya Mansour lives by.
Prof. Yusuf Karodia: Educating Africa’s Young People for Purposeful Leadership The annual African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Award is intended to showcase and celebrate Africa’s finest visionary leaders who are contributing to the continent’s growth and development. This prestigious award adds credence to the notion that indeed Africa is Rising and producing the calibre of leaders who are shaping a bright future for the youth of Africa. Professor Karodia has epitomised African excellence during the four decades of him being involved in the education sector and he is known for his hands-on management style and friendly disposition. An astute academic, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Professor Karodia is the visionary founder of MANCOSA and REGENT Business School in South Africa and is a founding partner of Honoris United Universities, the first Pan-African higher education platform. As a young and aspiring educator in a turbulent socioeconomic setting, Professor Karodia quickly realised that promising black students were denied access to university education under the Apartheid regime. The injustice that he witnessed and experienced, motivated him to inspire change. In time and with a massive leap of faith, he established two private higher education institutions that would provide access to quality education at an affordable price, especially for those who were previously denied access. He also recognised that in order to have a meaningful impact, quality distance education was required. The launch of MANCOSA and REGENT Business School was a major disruption in the higher educational environment of the country. For the first time in South Africa’s history, private higher education institutions
were contributing meaningfully to the critical issues of access and affordability, especially at a time when the challenge of massification of education was placed at the fore of the first democratically elected Government’s agenda in South Africa. The intrinsic value of affordable access to quality education remains imbibed in the mission of both MANCOSA and REGENT Business School, which offer distance, online and blended-learning education. He has forged numerous links and networks with educational institutions both locally and internationally. He has also been instrumental in shaping the purpose and role of business education through his role at the South African Business Schools Association, the Association of African Business Schools and the BRICS Business Schools Association, the headquarters of which is located at REGENT Business School. Through the Yusuf Karodia Foundation, Professor Karodia has launched the “Million Books Project” which aims to provide more than a million books to school children across Southern Africa through mobile libraries. Professor Karodia is a strong believer that reading is an essential ingredient for children
to improve their literacy, further their education and to brighten their future. More recently, Professor Karodia established a milestone venture, Mangro Holdings, which is committed to socio-economic upliftment through ethical and responsible investing. In addition to its wide range of new venture creation activities, Mangro Holdings also seeks to invest in small to medium size companies, assisting budding entrepreneurs in reaching their full potential. Through Professor Karodia’s visionary leadership, MANCOSA and REGENT Business School became founding institutions of Honoris United Universities which is the first Pan-African private higher education network committed to preparing and educating the next generation of African leaders and professionals who are able to impact regionally in a globalised world. The Honoris network is built upon its unique “collaborative intelligence” concept and brings together the pioneering efforts of leading tertiary education institutions in North and Southern Africa, to create panregional profile graduates who are competitive in today’s fastpaced and demanding labour markets.
Femi Otedola, CON: Serving Humanity through Philanthropy Mr. Femi Otedola is a visionary entrepreneur whose energy is directed at transforming enterprises and putting them on the path of growth. A strong leader with a track record of achievements in business and always aiming to make things better and adding value in areas where pioneers have trod. He was thrust into the public’s consciousness with his foray into the downstream sector of the oil industry when he started Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited. Zenon disrupted and redefined the standards in the sector and to ensure that his very high standards are met, he also invested in storage, shipping, insurance brokerage and port agency and petroleum retail outlets building a formidable, value-driven presence along the downstream value chain. In his quest to grow his foothold in the sector, he initiated the purchase of majority shareholding in the then African Petroleum Plc in May 2007 and joined the Board as Chairman of the Board of on May 25, 2007. His vision transformed African Petroleum Plc into Forte Oil Plc. The company grew in leaps and bounds to become a model of the possibilities inherent in Nigeria, winning numerous accolades in recognition of the successful business turnaround, diversified portfolio, prompt financial reporting, strong corporate governance and investment of choice within the Oil Industry and the Nigerian Stock Exchange. He resigned from the Board of Forte Oil Plc on the 20th of June, 2019 upon completion of the divestment of his entire direct and indirect holding in the company. In 2007, in firm belief in the Power Reform plans of the Federal Government and overall vision “to be the foremost integrated energy solutions provider in Nigeria” he made the very strategic decision to participate in the Privatization
Programme of the Nigerian Government and his doggedness culminated in the acquisition of a majority stake in the 414MW Geregu Power Plant by a Subsidiary of Forte Oil Plc, Amperion Power Distribution Company Limited in August 2013 (a plant which has since been overhauled and improved to a 435MW installed capacity) contributing approximately 9% of the generating capacity available to the National Grid. The power sector is his primary focus as the Executive Chairman of Geregu Power Plc. He has held several board memberships including President of the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping and as past Chairman of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja. He was appointed Member of the Governing Council of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) in January 2004 and in December of the same year, he was appointed as a Member of the Committee saddled with the task of fostering business relationship between the Nigerian and the South African Private sectors. He was a member of the National Economic Management Team under the Chairmanship of Former President Goodluck Jonathan from September 2011 to May, 2015 and The Honorary International Investors Council
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under the leadership of Baroness Lydna Chalker. Mr. Otedola was further recognized for his immense contributions to the growth of the Nigerian economy with the conferment of the prestigious National Honour of “Commander of the Order of the Niger - CON” by Former President Goodluck Jonathan in May 2010. A philanthropist with deep involvement in educational causes at all levels via the Sir Michael Otedola Scholarship Awards Foundation, he has continued to demonstrate his passion for his Epe community in particular and Nigeria in general, committing huge financial resources to the sponsorship of promising but financially disadvantaged students. The new Augustine University in Epe is also a beneficiary of his huge commitment to educational causes. He has distinguished himself in business, leadership and philanthropy. An accomplished family man, his children are charting varied endeavours and making a name for themselves in arts, entertainment, fashion and business. Indeed, the fruits are not falling far from the tree.
Wizkid The global music sensation and Grammy Nominee, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, popularly known as Wizkid is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. He started recording music at the age of 11 and managed to release a collaborative album with the Glorious Five, a group he and a couple of his church friends formed. Wizkid signed a record deal with Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E) in 2009. He rose to prominence after releasing "Holla at Your Boy", the lead single from his debut studio album Superstar. In 2016, Wizkid achieved international recognition following his collaboration with Drake on the global hit, "One Dance", which reached number one in 15 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. He signed a multi-album deal with RCA Records in March 2017. His third studio album Sounds from the Other Side was released on 14 July 2017. It serves as his major label debut and was primarily a Caribbean-influenced record. SFTOS was supported by five singles: "Daddy Yo", "Sweet Love", "Come Closer", "African Bad Gyal" and "Naughty Ride".
He has sold out concerts across the globe and recently became one of the very few artist in history to have sold out the 02 arena in London. The music star has inspired a global movement and has continued to attract global attention for this dedication and hardwork. His story resonates with young Africans across the continent â€“ who are often faced with difficult childhood, but, hm manage to excel in their chosen fields of endeavor. The young popstar is loved by young Africans who see him as a role model
Edoumiekumo: Blending Academic Excellence & Entrepreneurship at NDU Available statistics from UNESCO have shown that Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the highest rates of education exclusion globally, where over one-fifth of children between the ages of 6 and 11 are out of school. Equally worrying is the fact that almost 60% of young people between the ages of about 15 and 17 are not in school. Without urgent and timely actions, the situation will likely get worse as the region faces a rising demand for education. Yet education represents the biggest route to lifting people out of poverty and setting up society for sustainable growth and development. Hence, the need to invest significantly in Africa's education sector is critical to the future of the continent. More importantly, education that blends academic excellence and entrepreneurship will no doubt leapfrog the much-needed development in the continent. Niger Delta University, in Nigeria’s south-south region, is doing just that. Lee Kuan Yew In his famous book, “from third world to first world,” maintained that for things to work in the third world countries, it often takes the push, persuasion and efforts of individuals eager to make a change. Nothing can be truer, as it took the leadership foresight of an erudite scholar and distinguished academic, Professor Samuel Gowon Edoumiekumo to move the Niger Delta University to an ivory tower of repute in the country. From a relatively unknown university, the
double doctorate degree holder has transformed the institution into a cynosure of all eyes in the region and the country. One does not become an Academic General in the ivory tower without any conscious effort and hard work. Several factors interweave to make this possible. They include: determination, sound morality, strength, fidelity, reliability, accountability, show of cerebral profundity, expertise and fear and love of God. Between 2002 and 2014; Samuel Edoumiekumo progressed through the ranks of Assistant Lecturer, to a Professor of Economics at the Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island Bayelsa State. From 2011
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More importantly, education that blends academic excellence and entrepreneurship will no doubt leapfrog the much-needed development in the continent.
to 2016, he served in various Boards within and outside the University such as Center for Education Services, Basic and Pre-degree Programmes, Directorate of Consultancy, Entrepreneurship Research and Development, and Linkage Assurance Plc. Professor Samuel Gowon Edoumiekumo has served in various administrative capacities. He was an Acting HOD of the Department of Economics, Deputy Director Entrepreneurship and Training, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Chairman, Senior Staff Disciplinary Committee, Chairman, Vendors Monitoring Committee, Chairman, Niger Delta University Housing Committee, Member Niger Delta University Governing Council, Member Senate Business Committee, Member Assessment and Graduation Requirements Committee, Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration, and in May 2017 he was appointed an Acting Vice-Chancellor and became substantive Vice-
The university’s entrepreneurship center has also become a citadel for training and equipping young students with the requisite skills to meet the 21st century entrepreneurship demand.
Chancellor in May, 2018. Prof. Edoumiekumo is a Fellow of the Historians of Education Development Society of Nigeria (HOEDSON), Fellow, Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria (FIEN), Fellow, Chartered Forensic Investigation Professionals (FCFIP), Member, Nigerian Economic Society, Fellow, Nigerian Institute of Management. He has earned several academic and professional awards. In 2017 he was awarded the Distinguished Economist Award alongside Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of Central Bank by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Others include: The Pan African Servant Leadership Award by the African Student Union Parliament, Award of Honour as the Most Innovative Vice-Chancellor in Niger Delta University, Award for the Exceptional Leadership in the University Administration, Trail blazer award by the Bayelsa Media Award organisation, amongst others. Prof. Edoumiekumo was recently presented with a Letter of Commendation and a Plague by the University Governing Council in recognition of his Administrative Excellence.
his watch, there has been an unprecedented increase in the IGR base of the University. NDU and Entrepreneurship In response to the rising case of unemployment in Nigeria, Niger Delta university moved to go beyond class room experience to teaching students and benefits and rewards of entrepreneurship and job creation. Today, the University run series of independent businesses, including: a paint manufacturing company; a bakery; potable water factory, among others. The university’s entrepreneurship center has also become a citadel for training and equipping young students with the requisite skills to meet the 21st century entrepreneurship demand.
High Points: Upon assumption of office as Vice-Chancellor, he has been able to transform the landscape of the University and achieved (i) a near 24-hour power and an uninterrupted water supply on Campus, (ii)100% full accreditation status of all programmes presented in the 2018 NUC/Professional accreditation exercise, (iii) Introduction of Online fees payment, course registration and result platforms, (iv) Establishment of NDU Table water, Detergent, Disinfectant, Bread, Paint and other products, (v) Establishment of NDU Radio, (vi) Infrastructural development, (vii) Increased student intake, (viii) Introduction of CCTV and other devices to aid security on Campus, (ix) Improved internet connectivity. Also under
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Africa is a Natural Home for UK Businesses Lord Dolar Popat
I believe more often than not that when faced with new challenges, the key to overcoming them is found within our past and with our most steadfast friends. It is for this reason I believe so passionately that the Commonwealth is the answer to so many of our questions, and specifically Africa.
What a difference a year makes. When embarking on a new year and a new decade it is natural to look to the past and reflect, and also to look ahead to the future and plan for the potential there. Many things are new about this New Year specifically. To name a few of the big ones, there is a new Conservative Government under Prime Minister Boris Johnson. There are new MPs and lots of them! There will need to be a new relationship with the EU when we leave at the end of this month, and there will need to be new relationships with all our worldwide trade and security
partners of old, and well, of new! January is an important month in any year, but to me, this January seems perhaps the most important in recent history. Which is why I couldn’t be more relieved and elated that on the 20th of this month the UK hosted the UK-Africa Investment Summit. At this historic Summit, our Prime Minister, Heads of State of Government, and business leaders met in London to work out a deservedly ambitious set of partnerships that have the potential to be transformative for both the UK
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and the countries of Africa. The Summit developed progress in protecting the environment, promoting the health and economic development of the people of Africa, it no doubt delivered more opportunities for investments and jobs, as well as showcased the world famous resources that the UK has to offer and preview to the rest of the world just what prosperity and progress can be possible when working shoulder to shoulder with UK plc. Few are unaware of the mountainous national and international hurdles which lay
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ahead of us all in business and politics. I believe more often than not that when faced with new challenges, the key to overcoming them is found within our past and with our most steadfast friends. It is for this reason I believe so passionately that the Commonwealth is the answer to so many of our questions, and specifically Africa. It is worth noting that since Britain joined the EU in 1972, the EU has recorded average annual economic growth of just over 2%. But during the same period the economies in the Commonwealth have expanded twice as fast; by 4.4% average each year. In 2018 the Commonwealth had a combined GDP of $10.5 trillion, accounting for almost 14% of the global economy. Furthermore, Africa makes up 19 of the 53 states in the Commonwealth and has been dubbed the ‘new economic frontier,’ for good reason. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that Africa is home to eight of the world’s 15 fastest growing economies and 4 of them are in the top 5. Furthermore the IMF observes that Africa has collectively tripled its GDP since 2000 at an annual rate of 4.6%. She has
some of the most innovative and largest cities, 60 of which have populations over 1 million and it is home to a third of the world’s natural resources. It is no wonder the likes of China, Turkey, France and even Japan have been rushing in to visit the continent during the last few years. These are just some of the many reasons why it is not only a pleasure to have hosted our African friends at this years’ UKAfrica Investment Summit, which held on the 20th January, but humbly a privilege. This year’s Summit focussed on a number of key areas. Firstly, how we can build our UK Africa commercial partnerships in areas such as agriculture, infrastructure, renewables and manufacturing, how we can make these partnerships even stronger by also learning and harnessing tech and innovation from leading UK and African businesses. Secondly, we want to showcase our world famous financial institutions, capital and expertise from the City of London, particularly in areas where we are at the forefront, such as green, early stage and local currency financing. And thirdly, it is really important we work to build a modern, strong,
stable and enduring partnership fit for the 21st Century based on long term mutual prosperity, recognising that both the UK and African countries have so
It is worth noting that since Britain joined the EU in 1972, the EU has recorded average annual economic growth of just over 2%. But during the same period the economies in the Commonwealth have expanded twice as fast; by 4.4% average each year.
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much to learn from each other’s expertise, including for example around energy transition. The Prime Minister Boris Johnson is acutely aware of the potential in Africa. In fact he broke two African records in the last couple of years. Firstly by making more visits to Africa than any other UK Government official in the last few administrations, and secondly, by being the first recorded British Foreign Secretary to visit The Gambia. I know the Prime Minister and this Government are dedicated to a powerful vision of an even closer special relationship with our African friends, founded on sustainable investment, job creation, innovation and prosperity throughout both the
United Kingdom and the African continent. I have always said that there is nowhere which is more of a natural business home for the UK outside of our own borders, than in Africa. So it seems only right we begin this New Year and new decade with this UK-Africa Investment Summit. Our mutual opportunities and combined potential are limitless, not only in relation to the advancement of our economies, but also in answering some of the world’s wider social and sustainability questions. It was indeed great meeting our Prime Minister and all our African friends at the Summit. We are now getting down to work on our successful futures which I know will endure not only for our lifetimes, but for generations to come.
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I know the Prime Minister and this Government are dedicated to a powerful vision of an even closer special relationship with our African friends, founded on sustainable investment, job creation, innovation and prosperity throughout both the United Kingdom and the African continent.
Forging Africa’s future with sanitation Dr. Canisius Kanangire, Executive Secretary of the African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW)
The creation of an enabling environment within the African Union is a clear goal, allowing the opportunity where some countries will learn from their peers.
Access to adequate sanitation is a fundamental human right. Yet, a third of African citizens are still living without access to adequate sanitation facilities. This not only has a detrimental impact on the health, prospects and quality of life of people all over the continent, but by failing to provide such facilities, Africa is neglecting to preserve human dignity. Too often, we have seen sanitation pushed aside, not receiving the attention it deserves. At the African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW), we’re seeking to change this. We believe that we have the responsibility to effectively and efficiently coordinate action between key
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water and sanitation players, facilitate the strengthening of regional cooperation and development, and build the capacity of relevant institutions and agencies. That may be quite the weight on our shoulders, however it is necessary to ensure that we protect Africa’s future. That is why we are calling on regional institutions and sanitation experts from across the continent to work with us. We may understand sanitation, but they understand their countries’ specific challenges. As a continent, Africa is developing quickly. Urbanization and rapid population growth can easily leave sanitation trailing behind, unable to cope with demand. When we speak about the problems surrounding Africa’s sanitation, there are many. In many instances, countries do not know where to begin, or how to implement an inclusive national policy. Yet, in order to grow and move with the continent, we must move fast. Shared resources and partnerships with regional institutions are just two of the key strategies to do this. Starting from scratch is not the answer when it comes to policy guidelines. Resources and budgets for sanitation policies may be scarce, making it even more important to work smarter. When AMCOW was created in 2002, the mandate was to provide political leadership and policy directions, and to carry out advocacy for sustainable development of water resources and sanitation in Africa. AMCOW is a specialized technical committee on water and sanitation. We have spent many years working in, and demanding change in, the WASH sector, and that is why the development of the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPG) is a monumental achievement, and an important step for Africa. Building effective sanitation policies in a changing environment is a daunting prospect, so the ASPG provides a starting point to be tailored and adjusted by national
governments with the support of regional institutions and sanitation experts. The ASPG required years of careful development, resulting in a comprehensive, equitable, participative and sustainable approach to sanitation policy. The spirit of collaboration is alive throughout the process of drafting the new guidelines, and it will continue throughout implementation. This is not something AMCOW could have dreamed of doing years ago. For the policy guidelines to be successful, we must be trusted not only by member states, but also by implementing partners across the continent, and development partners outside. When I became Executive Secretary of AMCOW in 2016, I made it my personal mission to ensure more ministers discussed water and sanitation openly. The creation of an enabling environment within the African Union is a clear goal, allowing the opportunity where some countries will learn from their peers. In Africa, like elsewhere in the world, there are countries who progress better than others, so a pan-African approach is required to enable us to learn from one another. Importantly, regional institutions, sanitation experts and other WASH organisations will be critical for engaging their national stakeholders on the importance of this approach. We are already seeing interest and engagement with the ASPG development process, and we hope that as others see the success, they too will reach out to us.
inwards to self-reflection and change. I propose the opposite. It’s time to look outwards at the very fabric of our countries, policies, and sanitation systems. Through policy development and adoption, we can shift Africa’s future to one that is sustainable and equitable. Between us all, we can forge Africa’s future with sanitation.
When we speak about the problems surrounding Africa’s sanitation, there are many. In many instances, countries do not know where to begin, or how to implement an inclusive national policy.
Improving access to safely managed sanitation in Africa does not just call for an increase in collaboration, it demands it. From sanitation experts to regional organisations, all should be involved in this process. Developing policy guidelines is only part of the solution - it means nothing without collaboration, support and openness from those across the sector. As we enter a new year, and a new decade, many look
PRINCE NED NWOKO According to world health organization, WHO, Africa region carries a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden. In 2018, the region was home to 93% of malaria cases and 94% of malaria deaths. One Man is on a mission to contribute towards changing this trend. Prince Ned Munir Nwoko is a renowned lawyer, businessman, former members of Nigeriaâ€™s House of Representatives and Philanthropist of repute. He recently returned from his Malaria Campaign to Antarctica and talks to African Leadership about the expedition, the outcome, and his philanthropic strides. Excerpts:
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African Governments should also focus on our tourism because it can generate billions of dollars which can aid infrastructure and provide social amenities.
You are well known as one of Nigeria's most distinguished philanthropist, what informs your giving? It's just to make our society better and impact humanity. Giving makes me feel good and whenever I have opportunity to give back to the society or to make people happy, I'm always excited. How extensive is your scope? It covers the whole of Africa, anything that has to do with Africa's development especially Nigeria. There are major areas of interest for the Prince Ned Nwoko foundation - sports development, education, health, Environment, culture and tourism. Should African continue to depend heavily on generosity and support from wellplaced individuals and first world countries? What can governments across Africa do? Well, we all know the challange of Leadership in Africa. But what we are saying is we can't solely depend on the government to do it. There are individuals who have done well for themselves. There are private firms who can donate
Prince Ned Nwoko The Man, & His Passion to Eradicate Malaria heavily to various causes; they should do so. What measures can African governments take to reduce poverty and underdevelopment? Government at all levels should create employment and make education affordable to all because when people are empowered mentally, such an individual will contribute to the society positively. African Governments should also focus on our tourism because it can generate billions of dollars which can aid infrastructure and provide social amenities. In Nigeria now, I have what is called PROJECT TOURISM, its a partnership with the federal government to promote our tourism sites and encourage average Nigerians to go on holiday and learn more about Nigeria's beautiful tourist destinations.
pledged $200,000 to UNESCO for the development of sports in Africa. I have a lot of people on scholarship who are not from my village. The Malaria Eradication Project I have embarked upon is for all Nigerians because it might interest you to know that there are no mosquitoes in my village.
There are various poverty eradication measures but I believe there should be a stern focus on the youths. Let Government support startups and young entrepreneurs so that they themselves can employ labor. That will be a major step towards eradicating poverty. Beside Idumuje-Ugboko in Aniocha North LGA of Delta State, what neighboring towns benefit from your altruistic actions? My projects and philanthropy are not limited to my village. Everyone benefits from it across Nigeria, and across Africa. The university we are building is for all Nigerians. We recently just
Late last year your foundation (Ned Nwoko Foundation) embarked on the ambitious program of eradicating malaria from the African continent, what has been the journey so far? It was an eye opener and to draw global attention to the scourge of malaria in Africa. My humble self and my team have put plans together to eradicate malaria in Africa. There are long and short approaches to end this deadly killer called Malaria. The long term approach is to fund a research grant of $750,000 for malaria vaccine in five universities across Africa; while the short term approach is to fumigate Nigeria. We are aware of your first sports university ambition in Africa. What informed your decision to do this? I realized there is a vaccum that needs to be filled. There are sports men and women who need structures like that to excel. Imagine playing basketball or football while you still get your degree or so. So it's a need to be addressed. Few years ago, you were reported to have played a key role in securing the Paris Club refund for Nigeria, how did you achieve this feat? Well, it was a feat a lot of people doubted we could achieve. But we fought for it and in a few
years we achieved it. The funds helped in reviving the economy of the Nation Africa is a continent that has so much potentials in the area of tourism. Aside Kenya, South Africa and a few others, most African countries have not been able to harness those potentials. In what ways do you think African countries can improve foreign earnings from tourism using Nigeria as a example? Well, I am glad you said using Nigeria as an example. What we are doing now is what we want most African countries to emulate. My company launched the project Tourism in partnership with the Nigerian Tourism Development Corp. The idea is to highlight the tourism potentials of Nigeria. Let foreigners know that there are lovely places to visit in Nigeria. That way, tourism will be promoted and there will be revenue from it.
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There are long and short approaches to end this deadly killer called Malaria. The long term approach is to fund a research grant of $750,000 for malaria vaccine in five universities across Africa; while the short term approach is to fumigate Nigeria.
Earlier this year you went on an expedition to the Antarctica to flag off the malaria eradication project of your foundation. Why did you choose Antarctica as your take-off point? I went to Antarctica with some scientist. Also in Antarctica, there were research based stations of different countries. I met with a Canadian company that does Ariel Fumigation of countries which is actually one of our key strategies to eliminate malaria in Africa. So you can see how symbolic it was. Also it might interest you to know that I am the first Black African to visit the South Pole in Antarctica. An extremely cold region with no trees, no animals, no fauna, nothing. So it's an expedition to create an awareness for the need to Eradicate Malaria in Africa.
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Africa's free-trade agreement needs supporting interventions Victor Williams
The economic benefits of the African Continental Free-Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which is set to come into effect in July, will be substantial if non-tariff trade barriers are dismantled and member states align themselves towards common goals and philosophies. Signed in Rwanda in early 2018, the highly anticipated AfCFTA initiative establishes a single continental market that will allow for the free movement of businesspeople, goods and investments. It covers all 54 member states of the African Union â€“ a market of 1.2-billion people with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of about $2.5 trillion. Victor Williams, Head of Corporate and Investment Banking for Africa Regions at Standard Bank Group, writes that the agreement will make the pie bigger and bolster economic growth in the continent.
The economic benefits of the African Continental Free-Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which is set to come into effect in July, will be substantial if non-tariff trade barriers are dismantled and member states align themselves towards common goals and philosophies.
a single continental market that will allow for the free movement of businesspeople, goods and investments. It covers all 54 member states of the African Union â€“ a market of 1.2-billion people with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of about $2.5 trillion.
Signed in Rwanda in early 2018, the highly anticipated AfCFTA initiative establishes
The agreement initially requires member states to remove tariffs from 90% of goods. This will
Category Special Report
boost intra-African trade, which remains exceptionally low at less than 20% of total trade. That compares to 59% and 69% of intra-regional trade in Asia and Europe respectively, according to Brookings Institution. While there naturally will be some substitution of offshore goods as African states trade more amongst themselves, AfCFTA will certainly lift the continent's overall trade base – in other words, the pie will get bigger and this will bolster economic growth. But tariff reductions alone will not yield substantial results, considering that countries in the same regional trade blocs – the Southern African Development Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, among others – already trade with low tariffs. That said, there is scope for meaningful tariff reductions between the continent's different trade blocs. The bigger opportunity is the reduction of non-tariff barriers. This refers to regulatory and tax discrepancies between member states, customs inefficiencies, inadequate road and rail
infrastructure, and high airfreight costs, among other trade impediments. Efforts to address these barriers would go a long way towards making AfCFTA a success. There also needs to be alignment on economic and political philosophies between African governments, and consensus on what AfCFTA aims to achieve. East African countries, for instance, are aligned that trade integration is beneficial to the region's economy, with the result being that intra-regional trade is higher than in other parts of the continent. Ideological harmony will be no easy feat in the midst of the global retreat from free trade, which has been sparked by concerns that it gives rise to both winners and losers. If steps are not taken to mitigate the negative impacts of free trade on certain African industries and countries, this issue could hamper the implementation of AfCFTA. Ultimately, the countries that embrace AfCFTA, and the underlying principle of free trade,
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The economic benefits of the African Continental FreeTrade Agreement (AfCFTA), which is set to come into effect in July, will be substantial if nontariff trade barriers are dismantled and member states align themselves towards common goals and philosophies.
Special Category Report
will see more immediate benefits from the initiative than those that do not. To prepare for trade bloc's imminent implementation, development finance institutions are working on mechanisms aimed at facilitating trade in local currencies, rather than hard currencies such as the US dollar. This is a positive step, and would be an enabler of trade across the continent. As Africa's largest bank by assets, Standard Bank will consider how it can participate. The group is also ramping up its trade capabilities in anticipation of higher levels of trade in coming years. Similarly, plans afoot in West Africa to adopt a single currency – the eco – are also a welcome development. Currently, eight countries in the region use the euro-pegged CFA franc, while seven have their own currencies. Free trade can stimulate local production The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) says cutting intraAfrican tariffs could bring $3.6 billion in welfare gains to the continent by boosting production and providing
cheaper goods. The UNCTAD also predicts that AfCFTA alone will boost the value of intra-African trade by between 15% and 25% by 2040, and says the gains will be significantly higher if the trade bloc is implemented alongside other trade facilitation measures. Meanwhile, AfCFTA also has the potential to stimulate foreign direct investment into Africa. The continent's integration will open up opportunities for companies in consumer-facing industries – such as retail, telecommunications and banking – for instance, and for those in infrastructure-related industries, resource-related sectors, and across the agricultural value chain. This could spur the development of African manufacturing hubs that service local and regional markets – a compelling proposition for both local and foreign investors. AfCFTA's implementation comes at a good time for the continent, whose economic growth rate is on an upward trajectory despite muted growth in powerhouses South Africa and Nigeria. The International Monetary Fund
(IMF) expects GDP growth in Sub-Saharan Africa of 3.6% in 2020 and 4.2% by 2024. Growth will be above 5% in many African states over the medium term, the IMF says. These impressive growth rates could be raised further if the right policies and interventions are made to support the roll out of AfCFTA.
But tariff reductions alone will not yield substantial results, considering that countries in the same regional trade blocs – the Southern African Development Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, among others – already trade with low tariffs
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Africa's Emerging CEOS
Why Africa’s Job Numbers aren’t Growing
ISMAEL CISSÉ, CEO SIRIUS CAPITAL
Sub-Saharan Africa is said to have the potential of becoming the food attic of the world with more than 60% of the global arable land, and count among its countries the #1 producers of several key agricultural commodities
Africa’s population has continued to grow rapidly in the last 20 years and currently stands at about 1.2 Billion according to worldometer.com. Current projections put the numbers at 2.5 Billion by 2020 – and of this number, about 60% are within the ages of 16-28, making the continent home to the world’s youngest population. However, Jobs appear not to be growing at a commensurate level. In this exclusive interview with African Leadership Magazine, Ismael Cisse, Chief Executive Officer, Sirius Capital, a leading investment Bank in the continent, talks about Job creation, Investment Banking and other important issues. Excerpts:
According to a report by the World Economic Forum in 2019, 6 of the fastest growing economies are in Africa. However, this has not positively influenced Job growth, as unemployment numbers continue to grow. What in your view can be done to change the trend? Most of Africa’s current economic growth is based on massive investments on infrastructure and exports of raw materials. As such, this growth rarely translates to lasting job creation for the local populations. One of the solutions would be to push for a massive industrialization, focused on labor intensive sectors where we can leverage Africa’s young and dynamic population as a competitive advantage.
A sector where we can further illustrate that assumption is Agriculture for example; SubSaharan Africa is said to have the potential of becoming the food attic of the world with more than 60% of the global arable land, and count among its countries the #1 producers of several key agricultural commodities(cocoa, cashew, …) however very little of that production is transformed locally thus very few jobs are created in that sector. Let’s remember that 70% Africa’s population is in the rural world and are relying on agricultural revenues for survival, massive investments into industrialization of this sector would not only generate more value for our economies but also create a large number of higher quality jobs for our populations. Nonetheless for those initiatives
Africa's Emerging CEOS
to be successful, we need to deeply rethink our educational systems in order to create a workforce with the skills that are needed to develop our countries and with the entrepreneurial mindset that will allow us to create a strong private sector which is an undeniable pillar of lasting job creation. Another reason why the growth of these economies doesn’t currently produce the results expected in terms of social inclusion, reduction in the poverty rate and job creation is that a big share of the wealth created is not reinvested in the local economies. We need to establish a more fluid capital market where the wealth created is used to support a stronger private sector and used to fund a more inclusive growth. You founded Sirius Capital an investment Bank committed to raising funds for high-impact projects in Africa. Can you share some of your successful ventures since inception? Sirius Capital is a very dynamic investment bank working closely not only with the private sector but also with the public sector. For the public sector, we have successfully arranged and raised fund by issuing bonds totaling more than 1 billion dollars for several West African countries like Mali and Côte d’Ivoire. We have also been active and raised funds internationally for several ventures in education and infrastructure. We have several references with the private sector in real estate, industry and financial services. We are however particularly proud of our work alongside the private and public sectors in rethinking the industrialization model for key agricultural resources like cashew nuts for example. Sub Saharan Africa is the #1 cashew producer in the world and we currently transforming less than 10% of our production. Although the project is still in its early phases, the “inclusive transformation” model we helped conceive and engineer is proving very
show exponential results, the growth in internet accesses and mobile penetration are unparalleled in the world Real Estate: the need for adequate housing a basic need for a large majority of Africa’s fast-growing population Consumer goods: we need to cater to the needs to Sub Saharan’s Africa’s soon to be 2 billion population with an emerging middle class Financial services: Financial inclusion is one of the biggest challenges we are currently facing with less than 10% of the population in the formal banking system.
Several other sectors offer strong fundamentals and should be considered by investors such as:
efficient in creating more value and thousand jobs for the local farmers. This project illustrates our DNA at Sirius Capital, we take pride in our ability to leverage our deep understanding of the local economies in order to find pragmatic solutions and structure transactions that bridge the gap between high impact ventures and the adequate level capital. As a leading investment banker in Africa, what are your top 10 picks of sectors of interest for would be investors in the continent? The top 5 sectors I would highlight as nursing the best growth opportunities are •
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Agroindustry: as discussed earlier this sector is one the strongest lever Africa can base its growth upon, more than 30 Billion dollars currently used to fund food imports in sub Saharan Africa when all the fundamentals for self-sufficiency are present. ICT: innovation and technology are birthing a wealth of new disruptive business models that can
• • • • •
Infrastructure Healthcare Energy Mining Telco
We are however particularly proud of our work alongside the private and public sectors in rethinking the industrialization model for key agricultural resources like cashew nuts for example.
Africa's Emerging CEOS
The African Continental Free Trade agreement aims to build one of the world’s most ambitious single market with about 27 billion people and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of$2.14 trillion. How would businesses like yours benefit from this initiative? This ambitious project yields huge opportunities for Investment Banks with a regional footprint like ours. It should translate in more south-south investment capital flows which we can catalyze to further bridge the financing deficit we are facing in our emerging economies. We need to see more investments by Africans for Africa, we share similar social, political and economic conditions, which should mitigate the perception of risks associated with projects in the continent and thus lead to significantly improved financing conditions for local promoters. Operating in a broader market will also bring its share of additional growth opportunities for local businesses. We should see more M&A and strategic partnerships in a push for increased competitivity, a context investment banks with our acumen and expertise thrive on.
You have a rich history of building businesses, with successful ventures in real estate, ICT among others. With Africa rated as one of the worst places for start-ups to survive, how have you been able to sustain these businesses? This situation a huge paradox considering the magnitude of business opportunities we have in the continent. The two main issues faced by local startups today are the adequate human capital and access to finance. We address the first issue with a lot of coaching and working alongside the promoters to structure their businesses in order to face the challenges and increased complexities of running a successful venture in a very competitive and quickly evolving global economy. It takes a significant amount of additional work but in the end the results are even more rewarding on the economic and social standpoints.
We need to see more investments by Africans for Africa, we share similar social, political and economic conditions, which should mitigate the perception of risks associated with projects in the continent and thus lead to significantly improved financing conditions for local promoters.
The second issue is at heart of Sirius Capital’s value proposition in the market: making sure the high potential projects are met with sufficient capital at market conditions that can help them grow in a sustainable manner.
PRINCESS VICKY HAASTRUP
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ENL: A One-Stop Shop for Logistics Solutions in Nigeria PRINCESS VICKY HAASTRUP With over 45,000 warehouses, 1,098 Human capacity, and over 152 equipment, ENL is arguably one of the continent’s one-stopshop for Logistics solutions. ENL, an indigenous company and operators of the Terminals C and D at the Lagos Port Complex, Nigeria, won an award for Terminal and Container Development in the 5th Edition of the Seatrade Maritime Award in 2015. The Consortium has continued to prioritize excellent service delivery and client’s satisfaction. The Executive Vice Chairman, Princess Vicky Haastrup in this interview with African Leadership Magazine, talks about, the company’s strides in the Logistics subsector in Nigeria, excerpts:
The ENL boasts of many years of service and qualitative involvement in Nigeria’s business sector. Of great importance is the revolution coming up in the form of the smart shipping solutions. How is the ENL positioned for this? Smart shipping means self-driven vessel. Vessels that are able to sail and operate completely by themselves. It’s considered to be the future of maritime industry, which has the potential to influence the shipping and port operation positively. It should be noted that smart shipping is far from becoming a reality because regulatory, technical and safety issues have not been addressed.
Current rules required vessels to be manned. This technology when put into operation in the future will be of great benefits to port operation as port value chain will be greatly enhanced. ENL has positioned itself to explore the opportunities the new technology will present in the future for improving operation and optimisation. This definitely will involve huge investment on the part of Terminal operators in new technology compatible with smart shipping revolution as well as training of personnel in this regard.
It has been very challenging giving the ugly gridlock that has bedevilled Lagos ports. However, we have made significant progress in cargo evacuation through the use of barges in the last two years of this novel idea. We’ve so far evacuated 60,073 metric tons of cargo equating about 2400 numbers of trucks.
In 2007, you entered into a strategic partnership with a Chinese logistics giant, Sinoma cargo international to evacuate cargo from the port using barges to solve the Apapa gridlock. How have you been able to eradicate this challenge seeing that it seems to be one that has defied all solution? The Apapa gridlock has become a chronic thorn in the flesh of private stakeholders, which has resulted to huge revenue loss to Shippers, shipping agents, freight forwards, trucks owners and terminal operators. The idea of evacuating cargo from the port using barges was to help alleviate the problem caused by traffic gridlock but not to solve the problem of gridlock, as there many factors responsible for Apapa gridlock, such as poor road network linking the hinterland, accidents, widespread infrastructure degradation and inadequate facilities. It has been very challenging giving the ugly gridlock that has bedevilled Lagos ports. However, we have made significant progress in cargo evacuation through the use of barges in the last two years of this novel idea. We’ve so far evacuated 60,073 metric tons of cargo equating about 2400 numbers of trucks. With these numbers we’ve taken off the road over 2400 trucks from compounding the already bad traffic situation.
Maritime security trust fund should be considered to assist in the provision of security equipment and facilities needed to effectively police Nigeria territorial water.
Because of the progress made in this regard, we have entered into partnership with two new companies using barges in cargo evacuation and bringing in empty and laden containers for export through ENL terminal. 2007 seemed to be quite a remarkable years for ENL Consortium, it was the Port and Container Terminal Development Award at the Seatrade International Award, as well as local award by the Independent Newspaper Association. What has added to this milestones that saw to these awards? ENL as the leader of multipurpose terminal in Nigeria has made remarkable achievements in cargo handling operation. These awards are in recognition of the unprecedented milestones achievements in port operation. Our records speak for itself in term of cargo throughput, quality of terminal services and social stability as it relates to dockworkers. To answer your question on what has added to our milestones achievements: 1 Differentiation of services – We now offer more services such as cargo evacuation through barges which has resulted to lowering port cost for ship agents and shippers. There so many challenges in the maritime sector, one of which is adequate maritime security. We understand that the government has called on private participants in addressing these issues; we think the private investors are doing enough with the challenges to battle with. Is this not an overstretch on the part of the private investors? Adequate maritime security is the joint responsibility of Nigeria Maritime and Safety Administration and Nigerian Navy. There is need to extensively review Nigeria ports security plan and system in view of the prevailing security challenges confronting the
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nation. These challenges have resulted to loss of vessel traffic to neighbouring countries and high freight cost to Nigeria ports, particularly the Eastern port because of the security challenges in Niger Delta region, Private participation should be informed of collaboration with government security agencies. Private stakeholders in the maritime sector can partner the government in providing fund needed to address these challenges. Maritime security trust fund should be considered to assist in the provision of security equipment and facilities needed to effectively police Nigeria territorial water. Your firm has recieved several recodnitions for business excellence. What does this mean to you with respect to the challenges highlighted so far? It’s recognition of ENL contributions to port operation in Nigeria and Africa at large with our eyes set for bigger achievements in spite of the challenges highlighted above. It is also recognition of ENL contribution to Nigeria economy giving the role ports play in the economy life of a nation. This will spur us to do more as we are not unmindful of port role as an essential link in global logistic chain and interface between marine and land transport, and as such, should facilitate movement of cargo through it. How can the maritime sector help mop up the population of young Africans faced with the unemployment crises? Unemployment is a serious problem that has plagued the African continent, which has forced many young Africans to embark on dangerous journeys across the Sahara desert and Mediterranean Sea in an attempt to seek greener pastures in western world; of which many of them ended up getting killed in the desert or drown in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s also the bane of many crimes involving
young Africans. The maritime sector can help address the problem of unemployment in Africa because of the huge employment opportunities locked in the sector. However, this depend on overcoming key challenges such as improving governance, consistent maritime policies tailored toward employment creation, investing in infrastructures and reducing barriers to trade as well as investment in human capital.
The maritime sector can help address the problem of unemployment in Africa because of the huge employment opportunities locked in the sector. However, this depend on overcoming key challenges
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Category Arts & Entertainment
Media and Entertainment in Africa A peep into the Future
connections start fading towards the end of the forecast period. Internet advertising will greatly exceed TV advertising in terms of growth, leading the way with a 13% CAGR over the forecast period to reach R9.4 billion and overtake TV advertising spend in 2022.
Africa’s entertainment and media industry has entered a dynamic new phase - a third wave of convergence.
dynamic. This is according to PwC’s ‘Entertainment and media outlook: 2018 – 2022: An African perspective’.
The borders that once separated the entertainment and media (E&M), technology and telecommunications industries are blurring in the battle for the attention of the consumer in a world that is rapidly digitizing.
By 2022, total E&M revenue in South Africa is expected to reach R177.2 billion, up from R129.2 billion in 2017. Internet (access and advertising) is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.3% over the forecast period to reach R91.2 billion, up from R53.4 billion in 2017.
As the mobile device cements itself as the pre-eminent source of the E&M experience, the most disruptive, forward-thinking companies are striving to create an integrated ecosystem suited to this consumer-driven
Overall E&M growth will be less reliant on Internet access revenue as organic growth opportunities in Internet
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The Outlook is a comprehensive source of analyses and fiveyear forecasts of consumer and advertising spending across five countries (South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania) and 14 segments: Internet, data consumption, television, cinema, video games, e-sports, virtual reality, newspaper publishing, magazine publishing, book publishing, business-to-business (b2b), music, out-of-home (OOH) and radio. Vicki Myburgh, Entertainment and Media Leader for PwC Southern Africa, says: “It’s clear we’re in a rapidly evolving media ecosystem that’s experiencing Convergence 3.0. In Convergence 3.0, the dynamics of competition are evolving while
Arts & Entertainment
By 2022, total E&M revenue in South Africa is expected to reach R177.2 billion, up from R129.2 billion in 2017.
a cohort of ever-expanding super competitors and more focused players strive to build relevance at the right scale. And business models are being reinvented so all players can tap into new revenue streams, by, for example, targeting fans and connecting more effectively with customers to develop a membership mindset. “The pace of change isn’t going to let up anytime soon. New and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality will continue to redefine the battleground. In an era when faith in many industries is at a historically low ebb and regulators are targeting media businesses’ use of data, the ability to build and sustain consumer trust is becoming a vital differentiator.” South Africa’s E&M industry faced a challenging year in 2017 amidst economic and sociopolitical uncertainty. Total E&M revenue rose at a comparatively low rate of 6.8% year-on-year to R129.2 billion. A bounce-back in 2018 sees an anticipated 7.6% year-on-year growth, while the
CAGR to 2022 is forecast at 6.5%. South Africa will see a strong CAGR of 7.6% for consumer revenue to 2022, moving from R93.9 billion in 2017 to R135.7 billion in 2022. Beyond revenue from the Internet segment (buoyed by apps revenue) there are many success stories, most notably that of video games, which will surpass books, magazines and B2B to become the third-highest contributing consumer segment. There is a striking difference in growth between digital and nondigital revenue, which have CAGRs of 11.4% and 1.8% respectively. Put another way, digital revenue will add R41.3 billion and nondigital revenue R6.7 billion in absolute terms to 2022. The nondigital elements of five different segments – books, magazines, newspapers, OOH and video games – will all decline to 2022. Within this overall increase, the fastest revenue growth will be in the digitally driven segments. Virtual reality will lead the way, albeit from a low base, at a fiveyear CAGR of 55% to reach R671 billion in 2022, from R75 billion in 2017. “The exceptional growth in VR reflects the excitement in this space. VR devices and experiences are in the early stages of being accepted by
the mainstream, as VR now emerges as a viable long-term platform for unique, immersive experiences, attracting major investment from media and technology companies eager to seize a share of this fast-growing market,” Myburgh adds. After a breakthrough year, South Africa’s total e-sports revenue is forecast to rise from R29 million in 2017 to R104 million in 2022, a CAGR of 29%. A host of highprofile events in 2017 helped to propel e-sport further towards the mainstream, and a number of similar events have been and are being held this year. A booming social/casual sector is driving strong growth in the video games segment. Total revenue is forecast to rise from R3.1 billion in 2017 to R6.2 billion in 2022, a CAGR of 15%. TV and video will continue to be a major driver of consumer spend. Following growth at 4.8% CAGR over the forecast period, the total TV market will be worth R40.8 billion by 2022. The shift from physical to digital media has been one of the core drivers of the global and local E&M market for many years. But different media segments have experienced strongly contrasting patterns of digitization. In some cases, consumers have been quick to drop physical formats and embrace digital alternatives at the first opportunity. Although the growth rate for physical books is moderate, it is notable that books are performing far better than any other non-digital sector. “Permanency and collectability may be the reason for this. Books are seen as collectibles often owned and displayed for many years, making the loss of their physical presence more significant,” explains Myburgh. Although books currently seem to have the best prospects of any physical media format, they are, like every other media segment, just one disruptive digital competitor away from major upheaval.
Arts & Entertainment
Newspapers and magazines will see revenues decline over the next five years. In 2017, total newspaper revenue fell by – 2.9% to R8.6 billion. The forecast for the years ahead is for decline at -4% CAGR. By 2022, South African total newspaper revenue is expected to drop to R7 billion. Despite 24/7 access to media and entertainment, the appeal of shared, live experiences still attracts audiences. Music events still draw large crowds, with ticket sales set to see an 8.0% CAGR to 2022, helped by major tours from popular crowd-pulling acts in 2018. Recovering admissions and rising ticket prices together with improved offerings will see box office revenue deliver modest growth at a 3.5% CAGR through 2022. South African audiences are prepared to pay a premium to watch big-budget films with surround sound, vibrating seats, temperature change, strobe lights and so on. Radio continues to have a solid listener base
in South Africa, and a weekly reach of 91%. Radio revenue is projected to rise 3.9% CAGR over the forecast period to surpass the R5 billion mark in 2022. Chat apps and social platforms have become an increasingly important part of day-to-day life for consumers, both in South Africa and worldwide. As usage and entertainment rise, key players from across the E&M industry have teamed up with these platforms, growing them into ‘one-stop shops’ for consumer needs. The report shows that advertising in the E&M industry was mostly affected by South Africa’s economic environment, with cautious growth of just 1.9% year on year. An improvement is expected to 2022, with a 3.3% CAGR bringing total advertising revenue to R41.5 billion, from R35.3 billion in 2017. New technologies and devices like artificial intelligence (AI), virtual and augmented reality, voice-based smart home devices and virtual assistants look set
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Recovering admissions and rising ticket prices together with improved offerings will see box office revenue deliver modest growth at a 3.5% CAGR through 2022.
to drive innovation in online advertising on a global scale in the coming years.
Nigeria Nigeria saw a huge 25.5% rise in E&M revenue in 2017 to US$3.8 billion, although US$605 million of this US$764 million rise was attributable to Internet access. A 21.5% CAGR rate is anticipated to 2022, with revenue reaching US$9.9 billion in that year. Again, Internet access revenue will account for 89.6% of this absolute growth.
Arts & Entertainment
Kenya Kenya’s E&M industry saw 17% year-on-year growth in 2017, again propelled by growth in the Internet sector. An 11.6% CAGR will take the country to US$2.9 billion in 2022, from US$1.7 billion in 2017. Outside of the Internet space, TV and video revenue dwarfs the other segments.
Ghana Ghana’s E&M industry has more than tripled in value since 2013. Total revenue reached US$752 million in 2017. It is forecast to surpass US$1 billion in 2019 and to total US$1.5 billion in 2022, increasing at a 14.2% CAGR. As with Nigeria and Kenya, Internet access spend accounts for much of this revenue and growth. Ghana is in a strong position for further E&M growth as revenue gains critical mass over the next five years.
“To succeed in the future that’s taking shape, companies must re-envision every aspect of what they do and how they do it. It’s about having, or having access to, the right technology and excellent content, which is delivered in a cost-effective manner to an engaged audience that trusts the brand. For those able to execute successfully, the opportunities are legion,” Myburgh concludes.
New technologies and devices like artificial intelligence (AI), virtual and augmented reality, voice-based smart home devices and virtual assistants look set to drive innovation.
Tanzania Total E&M revenue in Tanzania stood at US$496 million in 2017, having risen 28.2% year on year. Continued momentum at an 18.3% CAGR will see revenue reach US$1.2 billion in 2022, 2.3 times the size of the market in 2017. Tanzania’s E&M revenue make-up is ostensibly similar to that of Ghana, although here Internet revenue takes a slightly less dominant position. Between them, the five countries considered in the Outlook will, driven by Nigeria, add US$12.4 billion in revenue from 2017 to 2022, at a combined CAGR of 11.9%. Although much of this will fall into the hands of telcos, there are significant opportunities for content providers too. The engine of growth here will be organic, with increased populations and gradually increasing disposable income swelling the ranks of potential E&M consumers – and everincreasing Internet access greatly expanding the range of E&M opportunities available.
Op-Ed: Mthuli Ncube
This is how Zimbabwe’s economy will overcome its hurdles
Zimbabwe’s economy will overcome the numerous hurdles which lay before us on the path towards prosperity. These obstacles are patent, and in some cases potent. But with hard work, proper planning, and monetary and fiscal discipline, Zimbabwe will get out of the current economic rut. Some of these challenges are out of our control. Take Cyclone Idai in March of last year for example. The extreme weather phenomenon destroyed lives and livelihoods. This meteorological mess was followed by another, as drought struck across our lands. Food output has thus been severely hampered by these outside forces; and we have been left with no choice but to subsidise, import and rely on help from the international community to avoid total crisis. While there were some real achievements in 2019, including a balanced budget for the first time in living memory, we have a commitment to subsidise where necessary to make sure our nation is fed. As we move into the 2020s, we will continue to learn from these “unknown unknowns”. We are already investing in ‘climate proofing’ our agriculture, including new irrigation techniques, and drought resistant crops. We must now double up our efforts with our international partners – new and old – to protect our agriculture and food supply.
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Despite all the hurdles and all the barriers, Zimbabwe in 2019 leapt 15 places in the Global Ease of Doing Business rankings. As we look to improve this in 2020, privatisation is a big part of this story.
Country Category Focus
As we look forward to growing our economy, it is incumbent upon us to rein in inflation as quickly as possible. This is crucial for investment. This is vital for job creation. Month on month inflation is already stabilizing, down to approximately 16%. Of course, annual inflation remains high. We do not hide this, nor was this unexpected. That is what happens when you liberalise a currency. But this process of reforms is a long-term necessity for our economy. We are taking steps to prop up the currency, drip-feeding in cash injections in a non-inflationary manner. This has involved exchanging electronic currency for the physical currency. We will also be introducing higher denomination notes over the course of 2020 to make it easier for citizens to transact. We know the current environment is tough. But Zimbabwe’s economy needs tough reforms, not superficial ones.
In the current environment, both wages and purchasing power have taken a big hit. Government therefore has a responsibility to support consumers and the private sector as a whole. As part of the currency reform agenda, we have had inevitable wage compression. This is part of the liberalisation process. We have responded by propping up the wages of the civil servants, and we hope the private sector acts in kind. Dollarisation inertia unfortunately means that retailers are still pricing in USD and simply translating it to the local currency. This is squashing the purchasing power of current wages. We are closing that gap by allowing wages to rise. In order to finance these moves and reboot the Zimbabwean economy as a whole, it is crucial to reform state-owned companies. We have already passed the first hurdle, which was to decide which ones should be partially privatized, which ones should
be liquidated, and which ones should be departmentalized, and of course to highlight those which should not be touched. 2020 is now about implementing and enacting these moves. We will advance the partial privatisation of the telecom company (Netone) and motor-vehicle assembly company (Willovale Mazda Motor Industries), capitalise our Silo Foods Industries, privatise banking assets and more. We want to have a private sector-led economy in Zimbabwe. And for the private sector to lead, we must privatise! Despite all the hurdles and all the barriers, Zimbabwe in 2019 leapt 15 places in the Global Ease of Doing Business rankings. As we look to improve this in 2020, privatisation is a big part of this story. For the first time in living memory, Zimbabwe achieved a balanced budget. We have our fiscal and monetary fate
We are already investing in ‘climate proofing’ our agriculture, including new irrigation techniques, and drought resistant crops. We must now double up our efforts with our international partners – new and old – to protect our agriculture and food supply.
in our own hands. We have a talented, educated and devoted workforce, ready to get to work. And we have natural resources a-plenty, ready to drive our economy forward. The Zimbabwean future is, therefore, an exciting one. With patience and discipline, we will overcome all the hurdles that lay in our path and build a better future for all.
As we look forward to growing our economy, it is incumbent upon us to rein in inflation as quickly as possible. This is crucial for investment. This is vital for job creation. Month on month inflation is already stabilizing, down to approximately 16%.
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may 2019.indd 71
ADVERTORIAL Defense & Security
BURATAI: In Defence of Nigerias' Territorial Integrity
The best welfare a Commander can give his troop is training and retraining for high performance and efficiency. General Buratai holds training, professionalism and regimentation as the hallmark in realisation of his vision.
The 20th Nigerian Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai was appointed on 13 July 2015. The COAS on assumption of office unveiled his vision, which is “To Have a Professionally Responsive Nigerian Army in the Discharge of its Constitutional Roles”, an indication that he was ready to take the Nigerian Army to a greater height. Through personal discipline, show of valour, courage, and motivation, he rekindled the fighting spirit of the Nigerian
Army with various strategies and policies aimed at defeating the once dreaded Boko Haram Terrorists. His efforts resulted in the routing out and subsequent degrade of Boko Haram in an unprecedented record time in the history of the fight against terrorism and insurgency. The Nigerian Army under the leadership of Lieutenant General Buratai liberated all towns and villages under the Boko Haram terrorists prior to his appointment. To this end, troops are now consolidating, mopping
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up and clearing the remnants of the highly degraded Boko Haram terrorists. This was achieved in synergy with the Nigerian Air Force and other sister security services in the ongoing fight against terrorism and insurgency. The leadership of the Nigerian Army also encouraged indigenous production of arms and armament partly to reduce procurement cost and promote self-reliance. A typical example is the recent production of Ezugwu Mined Resistant Armoured Protected (Ezugwu MRAPs),
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Infantry Patrol Vehicles, Mine sweepers, among others that were launched into the theatre of operations in the North East and is yielding positive results. General Buratai’s frequent operational tours to the frontlines in the North East has restore confidence and boast the fighting spirit of the troops. His renewed impressive style of command and control of troops in combats, created new image and attracted commendations from Nigerians and indeed the international communities. In line with his desire to bequest befitting and comfortable office and residential accommodations for the personnel across Nigerian Army barracks in the country, General Buratai embarks on massive construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure and equipment. Similarly, Nigerian Army witnessed sustained procurement and distribution of logistics and materiel such as uniforms, boots, ballistics helmet, fragment
jackets, arms, ammunition and other equipment. The COAS has consistently reiterates his resolve to provide welfare packages and improved the wellbeing of troops and their families, through enhanced operational allowances, prompt medical evacuation and payment of entitlements to families of our fallen colleagues. He also introduced other progressive and developmental programmes for the troops’ families and the Barracks residents. The Barracks Investments Initiatives Programme is a scheme aim at economic empowerment and opportunities creation, which was introduced to develop the potentials of the troops’ families and barracks residents. The best welfare a Commander can give his troop is training and retraining for high performance and efficiency. General Buratai holds training, professionalism and regimentation as the hallmark in realisation of his vision. There are routine and
Through personal discipline, show of valour, courage, and motivation, he rekindled the fighting spirit of the Nigerian Army with various strategies and policies aimed at defeating the once dreaded Boko Haram Terrorists. His efforts resulted in the routing out and subsequent degrade of Boko Haram.
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periodic reviews of training manuals and packages to ensure that all officers and soldiers are optimally train in Military Professional Education as obtainable in other militaries worldwide. In addition to reequipping and remodeling of some training institutions, the COAS established Army War College Nigeria, Nigerian Army University and Nigerian Army Resource Centre with the sole aim to advance teaching and learning among the personnel. The period under review revealed significant improvement in capacity building and human resource development through courses in both local and international reputable institutions. General Buratai demonstrated penchant for promotion of research and innovation, a development that witnessed considerable breakthrough in improving combat efficiency and readiness of the troops. One unique feat and endearing decision by the COAS is the giant strides recorded in observance of Human Rights by troops during training exercises and operations by NA. Through the establishment of Human Rights Desks in all the formations, the issues of Human rights violations
have drastically reduced, thereby greatly improved the already existing excellent civil military relations. In recognition of his outstanding selfless services to humanity and display leadership qualities, the COAS is a proud recipient of several awards and honours presented to him by foreign military, Civil Society Organisations, reputable national and International media houses, traditional rulers and Non Governmental Organisations, among others. Notable among the awards and honours include; Order of Military Merit Brazil, (the highest military honour in the country), Millennium Hero Award by the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations, Record Breaker Award presented by Sublime Magazine. Other awards are Crystal Trophy Award Security Watch Africa, Doctor in Leadership and Peace by Kaduna State University, Leadership Award by African Leadership Magazine, Professorat-Large by Igbinedion University Okada, Grand Achiever’s Award on Peace and Security by Organisation of Environmental, Agricultural and Health Development by National NGO, Merit Award for Patriotic Service to Our Fatherland by Sarkin Bwari, Heroes Leadership and
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Recognition Award by Care for Heroes Organisation and Protector of Environment by Oil and Solid mineral Production Area Landlord Association of Nigeria. Lieutenant General Buratai, a dogged fighter, visionary and exemplary leader, enjoys intimate interactions with troops and their families in a bid to boost their morale and give them a sense of belonging. In fact, Lieutenant General TY Buratai must be commended in achieving this rare feat within the shortest time.
One unique feat and endearing decision by the COAS is the giant strides recorded in observance of Human Rights by troops during training exercises and operations by NA.
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Leveraging Sports for National Development John Kakonge
Despite the importance of sports, it is an area which is underdeveloped and underfunded, especially in Africa.
The importance of sports has not been sufficiently appreciated by African governments for it to be integrated into their national development plans. There is no doubt that sports could play a critical role in attaining peace, development and stability.
Africa. Moreover, the sector has suffered from scandal, corruption and marginalization. This article explores the factors that have hindered mainly amateur sports (football and athletics) from taking its rightful place on the national development agendas of African countries.
Sports is an area of human interaction where respect for rules, teamwork and fair play are the norm. Teamwork, cooperation, abiding by the rules, respect for opponents and similar concepts all feature in the principles of the Charter of the United Nations. Sports include all forms of physical exercise, whether local or imported, amateur or professional, casual or organized. Despite the importance of sports, it is an area which is underdeveloped and underfunded, especially in
1. Policy vacuum Some African countries have sports policies but the majority are fragmented and uncoordinated. Moreover, the ministries in charge of sports are often sandwiched in other ministries. The ministries or departments in charge of sports suffer from underfunding and are unable to support priority activities, let alone establish and enforce policies. For example, Steiner (2008) noted that the challenges of sports
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development in Ghana are a result of the fact that activities are limited since they are held but once a year. The athletes at the end of the competition go back to their region and village to wait a year or two for another regional event, making it difficult to develop new talent. In the case of the United Republic of Tanzania, a sports policy has been in place but it has suffered from a lack of implementation (Mwisukha and Mabagala, 2011). In Benin, a sports policy is in place, too, yet the government has no capacity to implement it. In Burkina Faso, there has been progress in implementing its sports policy (Keim and de Coning, 2014). In the case of Kenya, Keim and de Coning (2014) state that sports policies
and legislative arrangements are out of date, with poor strategic planning development by the government. The above study noted, however, that the Government of Kenya’s efforts are recognized in areas such as capacity-building and training as well as in providing an enabling environment in which civil society and the private sector could support sports activities. From the study of Keim and Coning (2014), it can be seen that a number of African countries should be assisted to implement their existing policies and a number should be helped to develop realistic and practical sports policies.
2. Poor governance Sports stands for good governance, respect for the rules, fair play, honesty and discipline. Yet sports ministries suffer from poor governance. According to Mwisukha and Mabagala (2011), personnel serving in the various national sports federations and organizations in East Africa as managers are not trained professionals in the areas of sports management and administration. In view of this and other factors, many African countries feature prominently on the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index;
mostly in football (Pannenborg, 2010). Most African journalists are of the opinion that corruption has ruined African football. There are substantial sums of money, coming from various sponsors and FIFA development projects, which have disappeared into people’s pockets and most African football facilities, are in an appalling condition. As Chiweshe (2014) stipulates, African football is in a bad state by all standards. Dealing with corrupt individuals has made it difficult to follow FIFA standing rules concerning non-interference in football matters by governments or state bodies. Even with a number of African players playing in major leagues abroad, performance of African teams at the World Cup continues to deteriorate; and at the national level the football clubs suffer from polarization, corruption and tribalism. In athletics, several revelations have been made that athletes from some African countries (Kenya, Ethiopia, etc.) are using performance-enhancing substances. Some of the athletes have been banned from participation for a few years, and for others, the verdict is awaited. Some athletes have accused their coaches, sports boards and
management of encouraging them to cheat in order to win good prize money. This problem is seen not only in Africa but also in developed countries such as the Russian Federation. Doping is now a threat to world athletics, Africa included. For example, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had given Kenya a deadline of 2 May 2016 by which to come up with an anti-doping law to ensure that the country is not banned from participating in
African football is in a bad state by all standards. Dealing with corrupt individuals has made it difficult to follow FIFA standing rules concerning noninterference in football matters by governments or state bodies
the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The new law came into effect on 22 April 2016 and establishes that any athlete found guilty will be heavily fined or jailed for a term which could be as long as three years for anyone found guilty of providing or administering a banned substance. Regardless of laws, to restore integrity in athletics, the athletes should be clean and compete by the book. Moreover, given that African athletes are young and some are naĂŻve, WADA and national sports associations and management should organize workshops and seminars to deepen the understanding of the threats of doping to their health and their career prospects. Hence, it is imperative for all stakeholders, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), FIFA, African governments and national sports associations, to work closely together to eradicate mismanagement and corruption by strengthening and improving national accountability and transparency mechanisms.
3. Inadequate investment
substantial sums of money to build and renovate stadiums to host the Africa Cup of Nations; however, the investments which have gone into expanding sports development in Africa have frequently been affected by mismanagement an d corruption. African people like football and when they have an external match, the stadiums are full; unfortunately, no one sees revenues from the high attendance helping to expand the sports sector. Likewise, Zimbalist (2015) argues that the investment returns from the London and Beijing Olympics were disappointing: most of the funds were mismanaged. In fact, Zimbalist suggests that IOC and FIFA should abandon their preferences for new construction and give a fair hearing to bids relying on existing facilities. This is because, after the games, facilities that cost billions of dollars to build have turned out to be white elephants, such as the Athens volleyball stadium which is now inhabited by squatters and a softball park which is overgrown with trees; in Beijing a cycling race track is infested with weeds and
Most existing facilities in Africa are in very poor condition and they will need extremely heavy investment to bring them back to international standards. Currently, with the devolved government system in Kenya, there is a lot of effort by county governments to upgrade the existing facilities in order to promote, among other things, sports tourism. In the case of South Africa, Bogopa (2001) mentions that the planning of South Africa townships does not allow or have spaces for recreational facilities. He adds that the schools within the townships and rural areas have no sports facilities, unlike those in the rich suburbs in major cities or towns in South Africa; the urban areas also have worldclass stadiums and facilities which benefited from investment in hosting the World Cup in 2010. According to Chiweshe (2010), other countries invested
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in Brazil a football pitch with 40,000 seats is now used by a second division team which draws around 1,500 fans a match (Zimbalist 2015). Given the heavy investment needed to upgrade existing or build new infrastructure, there is a need for both IOC and FIFA to reexamine Zimbalist's suggestion of taking the existing facilities into consideration in the hostselection process. Whichever the case, the committees in charge in both organizations--IOC and FIFA- for host-selection process should come up with a criteria which is cost-effective and sustainable.
4. Recognition of the role of sports in development The importance of sports has not been sufficiently appreciated by African governments for it to be integrated into their national development plans. There is no doubt that sports could play a critical role in attaining peace, development and stability. One of the areas to which sport can contribute is health.
In the words of the famous Roman poet Decimus Junius Juvenalis, “mens sana in corpore sano – a sound mind in a sound body”. In other words, sports activities can help improve our minds and self-esteem and engender a general sense of well-being. For example, regular exercise can brighten the mood, increase energy and improve sleep, and it can supplement treatment for depression, stress and anxiety. Thus, a physically active population significantly reduces national health expenditure, as fewer people get sick and people are more alert and productive. Furthermore, other than in Africa, sports is a booming industry internationally(such as the European football clubs and others) which employs large numbers of people and generates substantial revenues either directly in sports themselves or indirectly through associated activities, all of which contributes not only to the alleviation of poverty but also to raising the living standards. In addition, some large companies in Africa, including commercial banks, sponsor sporting events and recruit sports personalities to market their products and increase sales. Sports paraphernalia are among the hottest-selling items in the world’s leisure market, including scarves, shorts, hats, mugs and ashtrays. Other development areas in which sports has continued to make progress include youth development, environment, governance and international peace. For instance, friendship, understanding, tolerance and peace are all fostered through sports. Besides, social cohesion is also promoted through sports as people from all walks of life, from presidents to peasants, come together to rally behind their team in competition.
promotion of cultural values and national identity. These potential benefits have yet to be fully realized across Africa. Stronger partnership needs to be forged between sports associations and the private sector to promote sporting activities, particularly sports infrastructure. African countries need to change their attitude to sports to ensure that they have realistic and up-to-date policies that are strengthened by strong legal frameworks to combat corruption and mismanagement. For example, working as a manager or coach might be acceptable in Europe or North America, but in Africa, careers in sports are not seen as sustainable and rewarding. It is ironic that Africa has emerging economic powers who are able to perform very well on an international sporting stage but is lacking organizations and businesses to manufacture or produce sports equipment and sports construction materials for not only the intra-Africa market but also outside markets. By and large, integration of sports into the mainstream national development agenda will be essential and the first step to developing the sports industry, enabling it to serve as a catalyst for increased productivity and performance to improve the living standards of the African people. In the words of the late
President Nelson Mandela of South Africa, “Sports has the power to inspire—and it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does…sports can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers”. This is true: when Kenya recently won the World Rugby Sevens Series in Singapore, the team was given a VIP reception when they arrived home, and this occasion united Kenyans to celebrate a great national achievement.
Furthermore, other than in Africa, sports is a booming industry internationally(such as the European football clubs and others) which employs large numbers of people and generates substantial revenues
Conclusion Sporting activities have a wide range of benefits, from improved personal health, job creation and income-generation to the
Category Book Review
Liberia: Through the Eyes of Cletus Wotorson, from Tubman to Sirleaf
Journey of a Boy from Grand Cess to the Senate Pro Tempore Chair
Sir Cletus Wotorson, a statesman, former Senate Pro Tempore Chair and member of the African Leadership Magazine advisory board, recently joined other distinguished African Leaders to share a front row account of events as they happened while in active service to fatherland - Liberia. We presents short third party review and pictorials from the
And having mastered that world, risen to sit in the highest council of state as a cabinet minister ostensibly part of those indigenes being groomed to secure a proper transformation out of what he calls Liberia’s Apartheid.
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Book Category Review
launch. A new thing, much needed, is happening. First President Sirleaf, now Senator Wotorson, key actors are beginning to write their story and for the former Pro Tempore it spans from President Tubman when he sought education, travelled to Monrovia and ended with the senate gavel gives one an exhilarating view of what is largely shrouded in official garbage and thinly revealed by the Saye Guanu’s summaries of history series. The latest autobiography of a powerful legend takes its title to underscore the titanic struggles in a system designed to perpetually keep the indigenes below, the system of the settlers dominated era that brutally ended the wrong way on the night April 12, 1980. And having mastered that world, risen to sit in the highest council of state as a cabinet minister ostensibly part of those indigenes being groomed to secure a proper transformation out of what he calls “Liberia’s Apartheid”, this little Pandarkorian native would have been executed on the light pole along with the pitiful thirteen by the native soldiers and progressives had he not helped some soldiers when serving as the Minister of Mines.
Cletus brings his fearless Kruness in disclosing new insights about our history and leaders as never seen before with boldness befitting a senior statesman. True to the national cliché about the Kru – fearless, loudmouth, caustic and direct – he brings out new facts for our generation of leaders from the acrid Tubman ‘tail coat legacy’; to the gushing development intoxication of the Tolbert Mat to Mattresses ‘home grown development initiatives’; and to ‘the floundering and directionless violence of the ill-equipped noncommissioned officers and their untested progressives partners’ stewardship of Doe bloodbath era; and with his everlasting companion in government and opposition, partisan Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s ‘ World Bank IMF pandering dozen years’. Wow! What a salivating treasury trove one finds of Liberia politics and society when she picks up in his hands the book Acceptance! I asked a senior progressives at the book launch to buy more copies and he says this: “ I’ll buy and read first to see what he writes about me oh, that old man is another thing.” This confirms to me that he packs his thunder irrespective of persons and I got excited.
For Starters – Are You Ready for the Presidents’ Review? He is the first to condemn and dubbed the dehumanizing subjugation, violence and discrimination of the indigenous Liberians by the settlers and descendants from 1822 to 1980 as “Liberia’s Apartheid”. Such fresh uncontaminated historical airs needs to be deeply drawn by
In my opinion, Mr. Tolbert would have been the best thing to have come Liberia’s way. ….It is my conviction that had Mr. Tolbert been given the time.
Category Book Review
all living Liberians! One needs to pick a copy of the book if she intends to seriously know about Liberia politics and government; his chapter 37 boldness in his conclusions of all Liberian Presidents during his active years:
and how to use the International community to stay in power. For more than 12 years, the Bretton Woods official experimented with all sorts of programs with mind-boggling names, including Poverty Reduction that left Liberia poorer.”
President Tubman: “It was the time when the purchase of a luxury yacht and a cartoon of Cuba’s finest cigars took priority over the paving of significantly important motor routes . It was common knowledge that Mr. Tubman treated the national treasury as his personal bank account and presided over the country’s bankruptcy.”
Somehow he contrived to leave his man Amos Sawyer out of his assessment on chapter 37 and one would think but the scanting condensation of the interim regime and Sawyer modus operandi gives one a lesser view of the man who gave us the second racist constitution in our country. Scornful of the interim government he described the Ducor Palace , home of the Sawyer government as “raninfested” where he refused the President’s offer of residence. nd surely out of the rat infested palace that government came out not worthy of place in the Pandarkorian boy memoir’s
President Tolbert: “In my opinion, Mr. Tolbert would have been the best thing to have come Liberia’s way. ….It is my conviction that had Mr. Tolbert been given the time…… he definitely would have made a better manager than any of our leaders from Tubman to Ellen Sirleaf.” “Tolbert immediately initiated the building of social cohesion and capital. He designed work projects that are home-grown while trying to go slow on what some economists describe as the IMF / World Bank fit-all policies that sustain donor dependency.” President Doe: “ Doe’s greatest achievement was that he overthrew a despicable hegemony. Mr. Doe was not prepared for a leadership position. … a Master Sergeant had none of the basic ingredients for national leadership. “ I saw the last bastion of apartheid in my own country being dismantled, yet my joy was limited. The violence I witnessed was totally inhumane. Unfortunately, the euphoria for total emancipation was misapplied. It rapidly turned into despotisms, oppressive by a power obsessed and mostly corrupted hierarchy of military functionaries.” President Sirleaf: “…Ellen’s concern was how to get power
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Wow! What a salivating treasury trove one finds of Liberia politics and society when she picks up in his hands the book Acceptance! I asked a senior progressives at the book launch to buy more copies and he says this: “ I’ll buy and read first to see what he writes about me oh, that old man is another thing
Book Category Review
chapter 37. But Cletus Rise is also the Story of the Impact of the Catholic Church The devote catholic saw his highlight in life not as the numerous jobs he had, a minister in President Tolbert cabinet, key jobs in President Doe’s government and rising to wield the Liberian senate’s gavel but his meeting of Pope John Paul in Rome as part of the official Liberian Delegation on the Pope’s ascension to the papacy. And all is because the Catholic build schools that prioritized the education of indigenous boys as opposed to the top notched Methodist and Baptist schools that were solely for the settlers children like College of West Africa, Lott Carey, JJ Roberts, Ricks etc and that Catholic plan help gave us such a rare statesman through the St Patrick High. Two Roads Divulged….. The Tolbert Road that was not taken… One of the seismic explosion in the book is how President Tolbert’s recruited him to become a minister of lands and mines! All we have heard of the President Tolbert is settler hegemony supreme but to call a young Kru man and offered him first to establish the LPRC and later make him minister as well as to make Jackson Doe, James Gbarbea, Edward Kessely, Bernard Blamo all ministers proper to the dislike of the settlers top leaders is totally refreshing new light for me. President Tolbert was in broad day light showing the way but it was never seen, he took a road that was prudent and even promised not to seek re-elections in 1982 – the route to peaceful transition. And then I got it, know it was not the PRC, not Ellen, not even the youthful George Weah that started giving young men cabinet position, it was the President known as “Speedy”, think of William E. Dennis as
Minister of Commerce at mere twenty-seven – a record still unbeaten! But the road President Tolbert was paving and building which many Liberians including all the progressives did not see was to build a matured indigenous leadership to take the state from the minority settler descendants and his perfect plan was to give properly educated and brilliant indigenes opportunity at all levels in his government. He even made Buutuo in Nimba County his favorite destination in Liberia, build a presidential home there, as a matter of fact that was the last rural town he visited in March 1980 before his unfortunate brutal murder on April 12,1980 and horribly his plan was crushed when the bottom of the army struck. And then you will see that President Sirleaf’s ascension was fulfillment of the Tolbert’s plan; though unlike the author her father was adopted by the settlers which meant she was raised in the settlers circle and grew up as one she essentially is an indigenes on all sides of her bloodlines as per the Wotorson’s assertion. And may I digress to note that consistent with the Tolbert’s plan the progressives who were perceived as not ready to govern never tasted state power – they are all greybeards now and the times have changed. And A Must Read, A Wonderful Book It is a must read if you want to know of Liberian politics spanning from 1960s to 2015 but what is equally interesting is the story of a young man with no background who struggled and rose high on high scholarship and personal determination. As the writer himself reminded us frequently, the jigger-infested toes of his youth reminded him of how far he travelled in life, not the physical distance from Grandcess to Ducor but from a jigger-infested toes boy running in the sand of the Atlantic in
Kru country to palaces and cabinet rooms. And when all eyes were looking for a man to challenge the rebel leader Charles Taylor in the 1997 elections, the jigger-scarred toes man, one of President Tolbert’s gradualist indigenes eventually got the massive nod over the gilded 1970s progressives icons for a reason in the multi-party coalition dubbed Alliance for Peace and Democracy(APD) primary. Inarguably then, after all, when the Pandarkor boy wielded the senate gavel as the Senate Pro Tempore it was a crown of celebration because the road had been well traveled; surely, I must insist that such deep knowledge of our society, history of our country, and the rise of a jigger-infested toes youth, Acceptance is a book that pants to be read for it possesses tons of gold to enrich your Liberian journey. *The writer is a lawyer and statesman who worked with Senator Wotorson from 2006-2015 when he served as a Representative in the Liberian Legislature, he is former journalist and served as Secretary of the Liberia Association of Writers; currently a practicing lawyer and independent consultant.
The devote catholic saw his highlight in life not as the numerous jobs he had, a minister in President Tolbert cabinet, key jobs in President Doe’s government and rising to wield the Liberian senate’s gavel but his meeting of Pope John Paul in Rome
INNOCENT CHUKWUMA OFR According to world Facts, a UK based Think-Tank, SubSaharan Africa ranked lowest in the list of countries with the most opportunities to entrepreneurs. Similarly, Nigeria has been rated as one of the worst places to be an entrepreneur, owing to policy inconsistency; insecurity; lack of infrastructure; near absence of a strong legal framework among others. These taking together, explains why Chief Dr Innocent Chukwuma has remained an enigma in Nigeriaâ€™s business circle, especially because, he has chosen the field less travelled â€“ auto manufacturing.
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Innocent Chukwuma OFR: Resilience Meets Determination
Under the chairmanship of Dr Innocent Chukwuma OFR, Innoson Nigeria Ltd moved from trading and importation to manufacturing of motorcycle parts and automobiles
business (Innoson Nig Ltd) he started in 1981 after his education to a corporate organization of international recognition. He is a man endowed with high business acumen that dazed his contemporaries when he became the first private Nigerian to locally assemble and subsequently manufacture motorcycles as well as vehicles in Nigeria. Under the chairmanship of Dr Innocent Chukwuma OFR, Innoson Nigeria Ltd moved from trading and importation to manufacturing of motorcycle parts and also leading to the development and establishment of other companies namely; --
A gentle man with a humble mien, eager to solve problems, but, discreet and dissimulating. Chief Chukwuma was born Oct 1, 1961. He holds an Honorary Doctor of Management Science from Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Kaduna; Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration (DBA) from Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu and also was conferred Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) by University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN). He is a recipient of about Five (5) Honorary Doctorate Degrees from different Institutions. Dr Chukwuma is the founder and Group Chairman of IVM Innoson Group and an entrepreneur of high repute. Through his ingenuity he transformed the small trading
Innoson Tech. & Industries Co. Ltd Enugu, manufacturers of High Quality Household and Industrial Plastics, Health & Safety Accessories, Storage Containers, Fixtures & Fittings, Electrical Components & Accessories General Tyres & Tubes Co. Ltd Enugu, manufacturers of High Quality Tyres &Tubes Innoson Communications Ltd, manufacturers of set top boxes for digitalized television, etc. Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) Nnewi, manufacturers of quality High Capacity City Bus, safe and cost-effective Mini & Midi Buses, Pick-Up Trucks and Garbage Collecting Vehicles. Innoson Wood Industrial Ltd, producers of wood and processing for local as well as for exports.
Innoson Oil and Gas Ltd: Exploration and Distribution of hydrocarbon energy, products and services
Dr. Chukwuma’s commitment to job and wealth creation has earned him local and international recognition including: Nigeria Centenary Honour Award by Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, in recognition of his role as the first indigenous local vehicles manufacturer in Nigeria and employer of labour March 2014; Conferred him the National Honours of the Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) on November 2011 by His Excellency, President Goodluck Jonathan GCFR; Conferred him the National Honour of the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) in December, 2008 by President Umaru Musa Yar’dua, GCFR; Conferred him the prestigious National Honours of the National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM) in 2010 by His Excellency, President Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR; Distinguished Member, Vision 20:2020 Business Support Group by His Excellency former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2009, among others. Chief Dr Innocent Chukwum OFR is no doubt one of the continent’s chief promoters – showing the true African Spirit of resilience, hard work and dedication, in the face of obvious challenges.
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