BusinessDay

Ijeoma Adesanya, founder Kobikam Africa

Ijeoma’s life’s mission is to help as many women as possible thrive in their personal and professional life.

After a ten-year tenure in the private sector and the birth of her two children, she realised the glaring need for gender mainstreaming in the workplace. She founded Kobikam Africa to address this problem.

Kobikam Africa is a gender advisory and advocacy consultancy that specialises in providing companies with the tools necessary to foster a more gender-inclusive environment in the workplace. Their goal is to create bias-free workplaces across Africa, and a level playing field for women to excel by providing participatory gender audits, unconscious bias training for senior management, “back-to-work” training for mothers post-maternity leave, and other gender strategy services.

Before becoming a gender specialist and founding Kobikam Africa, she worked at General Electric (GE) as a Finance Leader. Her work in the cash management of the company resulted in a 30% growth in cash for the operating cash flow of Sub-Saharan Africa. She has experience working in various sectors including Power Infrastructure, Oil & Gas, and Healthcare.

Ijeoma holds a BA (Hons) in Accounting and Management from the University of Reading and an MSc in Business Analytics and Consulting from Warwick Business School. She is also a certified Participatory Gender Audit Facilitator from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and has a CPD in Public Policy Analysis from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

She is extremely passionate about equality and fairness for all women. It was this passion that led her to found Kobikam Africa. Her financial background and business education have given her the strong analytical skills needed in her commitment to gender mainstreaming in the workplace.

Adesanya led the liquidity strategy of the business at GE, working closely with external banks and the GE Capital Team to provide financing solutions to customers including factoring letter of credit and equity investments into infrastructure projects.

Ijeoma drove key cash metrics such as Paid on time % (POT%) from 3% at the end of 2019 to 56% in Q1’20.

She also implemented the global cash strategy, working closely with customers and operations team to negotiate better payment terms, escalation clauses and liquidation damages on contractual service agreements and engines leading to a reduction in past dues by 7% from 2019.

Still at GE, she analysed the balance sheet of the region, managing the cash flow from operating activities (CFOA), progress collections and deferred balances in order to optimise solutions for the business.

As the Commercial Finance Lead, she reviewed financial terms and conditions in commercial contracts valued at over $300M during negotiations with third parties and governments to optimise business value.

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