• Saturday, September 30, 2023
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BusinessDay hosts 2023 Africa Business Convention

Underinvestment, structural challenges crippling Africa’s growth, say African leaders

Day 2

Day 1

13:47pm: Question and Answer session

13:33pm: Adenike said that on policies needed to put in place to connect Africa the government needs to first put in place infrastructure that promotes Africa connections.
She said that there are some incoherence policies that do not promote free trade.

13:25pm Nwokolo from SPD says that people migrating through the legal route are with less security risk.
He speaks on revisiting the ECOWAS movement policies.

13:19pm Adenike while answering if there’s a surge of people traveling around the election season.

She said that on the trend of traveling before the election she has seen an earlier booking behavior since December, an increase in outbound traveling, also within Africa.

She also says that from an Africa perspective policies should be put in place to control intra Africa travel during election seasons especially with undocumented traveling means to mitigate insecurity during the elections.

13:17pm Sandy spoke on how to ensure the credibility of coming elections across African countries, if the northern parts will not hamper the results.
Lack of capacity to manage political transition is one of the factors affecting African countries.

13:10pm: Jonathan Sandy, Executive Chairperson, Regional Centre for Governance and Security Policy Initiative (RCGSPI), opening comment on how Africans can overcome the implication of risk and uncertainties from insecurity, politics in relations to migration.

13:06pm Ndubisi Nwokolo, CEO Nextier Security, Peace and Development said that migration has come to stay and the issue is how it is deployed.

He said that migration has allowed people that do not have natural resources now to benefit from human capital as a result of migration.

13:04pm : Africa Connected: Evolving trends in migration, security and travels and their implications for African economies.

Adenike Macaulay, Chief Executive Officer Wakanow

Breakout sessions

12:46pm  Tito Alia from Afreximbank said that for him he’s fake is that it’s important we don’t only focus on the logic but the emotions that drive these emotions. We as Africans need to celebrate our diversity while celebrating what brings us together.

12:40pm Stacey Links said that her key takeaway from the session is interegion communication.

12:38pm Phyllis Wakiaga, Senior private sector development advisor

The return that financing is important is that it can help SMEs and women to get loan capital to grow their businesses.

He said that the government can also create credit finance schemes to help women who are business people.

In Kenya, women are in manufacturing and we saw a lot of women with creative ideas but their greatest challenge is manufacturing. Also, people in diaspora can help with financing

12:25pm Titio Alia from Afreximbank, said that Nigeria exports crude and reimport the same thing as finished product and we have queues for it.Why can’t we build up refineries and this is a question of priorities.

12:15pm: Ivana I. Osagie Ivan on why a lot of investors are particular about impact investing.

“Impact investing is about investors investing for financial return and also concerned about solving the challenges the world faces. Shareholders often push and ask about how they solve social and environmental projects.

She said that ESG has become a big topic and a lot of businesses are to invest in.

“It has been a huge area and I think it will be a growing area. Businesses should be driven by purpose and not only profit. There are a lot more impact investment structures which are more than an ideology,” Osagie said.

12:12 Humphrey Geiseb, High Commissioner of the Republic of Namibia to Nigeria spoke on some of the lessons Namibia can learn from Nigeria businesses also inviting Nigerians to invest in Nigeria.

Geiseb said Namibia looks forward to collaboration between Nigeria and Namibia. We will sign an agreement that will pave the way.

He said Namibia is exporting salt to Nigeria of about 10 million per year.

“We are more than open to say, we are welcoming business from Nigeria,” he said.

It is using our raw material to process raw material and export from Namibia port to Europe. Nigeria business people are welcome to invest in Namibia and we will support you

12:08pm: Tito Alai representing Governor Afreximbank reiterated that the discussion at hand is not new.

“what we are trying to pursue now is to put it into practice and implement it, otherwise our credibility as a people will suffer,” Alai said

12:07pm Stacey Links, Assistant Professor, Leiden University joined virtually speaking on what Africans can do to optimize connections between Africa.

She said that Africa’s history of being divided speaks to how detrimental it is to speak in shared visions. Our visions need to align.

“We assume that Africa cannot achieve, because of structural problems but we need to work together and leverage on a common goal and vision,” Links said.

12:04 pm: Ivan’s I. Osagie MD/CEO PWR Advisory in addition to what Bana said
Osagie said that Africa needs to stop how we have engaged before and look at our need and strength. What we are willing to give and now we strengthen our heart.when we speak in one voice then we are strengthened when we speak.

Session 2 ( Africa connected: Optimizing the connections between Africa and the rest of the world for its growth and development)

11: 55am: Benson Alfred Bana, High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Nigeria said for the enhancement of Africa connectivities, Africa has been given different names, but it’s a continent that can feed the world, but the success of the continent has been undermined by a number of factors.
Africans are being exploited and sabotaged and who knows what is behind it.

He said that Africans must not overlook our cultural background. the key factor that underlies Africa’s effort to growth, but I will point to government structure.

“Unless we start thinking and implementing policies to harmonize the country then we are not starting to look forward,” he said.

11:40am Mohamad Darwish, CEO & Co-founder, IHS Nigeria 
If we don’t have ourselves Africans and support each other we will never grow

11:36 am Tito Alai

The exam is rigged among us because they say no matter how good your prospect is, there’s risk because we are African.

We need to solve our own problem, we have to step up and do the right thing

11:33 Dimieari Von Kemedi

It’s easier to travel in Africa without a passport but with a passport it’s more difficult.

Tourism is a big revenue for Africa, a country like Kenya and South Africa is big on tourism and we can do the same in Nigeria.

Money has to be mobilized and channeled into investment

We need money from every part of the world. The dollar is a coward and doesn’t like to go where it will yield.

We must invest every day, and building connection

11:26 Ibukun Awosika

We have to invest in women, in young Youth, we have a structural challenge between what we have and what we give to the society, we have a disconnect

We need to create a framework to allow the system to work.

We are our social security problem, by taking care of your families, there is a new trend of money that can make an impact.

We have to be smart about how we use globally available funds to drive the economy that we want.

11:30am Ghana to Nigeria is 8 hours, yet we ship by sea.
We are victims of systems that we have empowered to work on our behalf. We don’t have the power except we choose the right people in government. All the multinationals are surviving because the whole country don’t have access to get raw materials

11:22 am Akintoye Akindele, Chairman CEO Platform Africa
We must say things the way they are, I think poor management is the problem,

SMEs don’t need big money, our family and friends don’t support them,we rather keep in banks and inflation bites it.

Investment in people yields increase, Africans need to invest what we need today and tomorrow.

We have skills that we can transfer, comparative advantage. We are our own problem and what are you doing in your community to support people?
We are the government we have been given.

11:16am: Johel Blanchard, Partner Stratego
Europeans have always had a bad impression against Africa for some reasons, because of the perception we get it differently to get across to these people.

I believe in Africa, we have natural resources, we have smart people and we are beyond time
Why aren’t we on top? We have to focus on food security, energy. We need more African countries to help us realize this.

Regulated funds, security in Africa, then we choose where to invest, when they invest in entities, they are more relaxed.

Africa has the natural resources and talents but are still behind. But when you get to Luxembourg they don’t have much but are thriving.

We have to focus on food security and others. We are encouraging Europeans to help us. The bank should create regulated funds in certain areas in Africa, then we choose where to invest.

11:04am : Tito Alai, Director of communication AFREXIM

It is not from lack of policies that we find ourselves in this position, however we have got to recognize that we are in a fight from a global point of view.

A lot of the stuff is inherited, it has become clear that our solutions are not going to come from outside, it’s going to come from here.

11:10am: Our story telling is behind the couch, why can’t we find a way to tell our stories, because it’s important.

Afreximbank is supporting African integration, a continent of free trade wholeheartedly. Are we going to the EU to support us again?? Is it in their interest?

11:15am : Integration is a big thing, we support the private sector in a huge way especially those going across board, we try to mitigate some of the issues. We have a lot of facilities to support the integration.

10:50 am Ibukun Awosika Founder/ MD/CEO The Chair Centre Group

50 percent of your people are women and they have been undermined and we have to break all the cultural licenses that put a lock on the female gender because if we want to be a productive continent, every daughter that is yours, if the system puts a bar on them, then your investment will be undermined.

We have to all be activists when it comes to business issues and Continental issues.

The government is working with the Bill Gates Foundation to create a more enabling environment for women.

Inclusion and technology, if you educate the right minds,they will be able to do well.
Everytime there’s a new emerging system, there will always be war of ideas, technology change or development is going to change us and jump places.

Underestimating the capacity of the market, and now technology looks at the smartphone everyone has.

Sometimes we don’t need to follow what the rest of the world is saying if the technology saves our own purpose

Once anything gets to commercialization value change becomes the problem.

With Blockchain I only need 4 points and the transaction is complete. We have a physical problem, not to talk of trade movement .

The problems are not the issues, identifying the problem adds value to you.

Nobody is thinking about us to solve our problems, we need to look at ourselves, to solve our problems.

10.30am Dimieari Von Kemedi- CEO Arila

*We do not see many African companies represented here whereas this is an African event.

*The Africa free trade is critical for the development of the continent, it is all about scale.

*We believe that some problems are so large that you can only dislocate them through a bigger effort.

*Africa imports more than 40 billion dollars worth of food every year. England, Europe, Asia first master food product

*A poor country can be defined as a company that has over 60 percent of people involved in agriculture.

* If you have a big food import problem then your solutions have to be equal or higher in size than the size of your problems.

10.20am Tito Alai of Afriexim

Unless we trade with each other (African countries) we can not build market that can scale

Welcome  remarks – Frank Aigbogun, Publisher, BusinessDay

10.00am Frank Aigbogun, Publisher of BusinessDay Media, is giving his opening address and has taken the opportunity to share the progress made with the second edition of the Africa Business Convention. Over 700 people registered for this conference at the last count, a big surge from last year.

The goal and motivation if this year’s convention has not changed from the goal we have previously had. There

Africa will remain the continent of enormous benefit. This year we have started to make progress on the convention following from last year we have put in initiative. We have provided opportunities for 20 business startups to pitch.

All we are doing here is about Africa and about the development of our continent. I do hope you enjoy the rendition we have just shared with you and we have expanded the session this year and more than doubled. We are delighted that the China global convention had claimed to cover this event this year. We specially invite businesses in Africa to create this story of Africa connectedness.