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Director and CEO, UBA Plc, Mr. Phillips Oduoza has emerged the 2015 Ai Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) 30 CEO of the year at this year’s 8th annual Ai CEO Investment Summit.  he first won the award in 2013

He was named the winner from a long shortlist that included Nassef Sawiris, CEO, Orascom Construction Company, Sifiso Dabengwa, CEO, MTN Group, SA, Guillaume Roux, CEO, Lafarge Africa, Segun Agbaje, CEO, GT Bank, Graham Clark, GMD, Dangote Sugar and Ben Kruger/Sim Tshabalala, Co-CEOs, Standard Bank. The event took place in New York at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Africa investor (Ai), is a leading international investment and communications group based in South Africa. Every year it organises the institutional investment summit as a platform for public and private sector leaders in Africa to dialogue with global counterparts on ways to invest and grow businesses in Africa. As an integral part of the summit, Ai also hosts the investment and business leadership awards to reward exceptional business practices, economic achievements and investments across Africa, whilst recognising the institutions and individuals improving the continent’s investment climate.
At the summit and awards ceremony attended by over 250 of Africa’s most prominent and influential business, government and development finance leaders, as well as five African Heads of State, the UBA CEO won the Ai SRI CEO of the Year award in recognition of his exceptional achievements over the last year which according to the summit organisers, is an “inspiration for business and government leaders working to raise Africa’s investment profile”.
The judging panel considered excellent leadership skills, enhanced organisational image, innovation and originality as well as alignment with the millennium development goals (MDGs) in choosing the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) 30 CEO of the year.  Speaking on the award, Oduoza who has twice been recipient(the first time in 2013), said: ‘as Africa’s global bank, The United Bank for Africa, UBA, has operations in 19 African countries and 3 global financial centres –  New York, London and Paris, serving over 9 million customers. This award validates our efforts over the years in building a solid pan-African banking business that is profitable, sustainable and socially responsible. I dedicate it to all UBA people: customers, staff and other stakeholders in Africa and across the globe”

Other recognitions at the ceremony include: Venture Capital/Private Equity Award won by the Abraaj Group, whilst Institutional Investor of the Year and Investment Promotion Agency of the Year went to Public Investment Corporation of South Africa (PIC) and Centre de Promotion des Investissements en Côte d’Ivoire (CEPICI) respectively. The Leadership in Sustainable Investment in Africa Award went to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
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In achieving success, attitude is as important as aptitude. Attitude creates a gravitational force in the direction your business or career will go. The value of attitude is usually underestimated. It not only affects how you interact with others; it also affects how you perceive events and from which perspective.
Many success stories we have in history exist because the individuals had the right attitude.

If we consider the fact that the light bulb we know today was preceded by 1,000 failed attempts, which ultimately informed the successful conclusion, then we might understand that even failure can lead to success with the right attitude
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The African migrant crisis is in the global headlines and rightfully so. It is high time people were talking about this dire problem and searching for solutions.

The European Union has announced its 10 point plan, focused on tackling human smugglers and with a changed approach to the migrant vessels that traffic tens of thousands heading for Europe every year, often with tragic consequences.

While these are crucial steps, African leaders should also work with the EU to make progress on another track entirely: solving the problem at its roots – making fundamental changes to the factors that contribute to these migrations. Because the problem starts here in Africa.

As Africans, we must begin by looking inward. First, what has brought us to where we are now? Second, how can we fix it?

Why are people willing to risk their lives to escape our continent? Africa’s poverty rates are still the highest in the world. We are facing widening economic and social inequalities that have resulted from rapid, yet non-inclusive growth. Despite impressive economic progress over the past several years – currently five of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies are located here – the reality is that 44 per cent of Africans still live on less than $1.25 per day. Nothing is more important than putting an end to poverty and thereby creating a sense of hope here at home. Our economic success needs to be shared – with prosperity for all – creating a more equal, stable, and peaceful continent.

We have exceedingly high levels of unemployment, leading to social, political, and economic fragility, with 53 per cent of Africa’s nations described as fragile states. In addition to triggering migration, fragility also breeds terrorism. We need to tackle the fundamentals of joblessness and economic exclusion.

Every year, 30m youths enter the market. Jobs need to be created for them. We must urgently address the fact that the economic growth we have today is often jobless growth. It affects the few and excludes the many. Working with partners like the EU, Africa’s leaders and its key institutions – namely, the African Development Bank – can change that. We should collaborate with the EU to pioneer a strategic, continent-wide approach to job creation.

To enable the private sector to flourish we need to work with governments to lower the cost of doing business across Africa. We need to implement processes and systems that are transparent and business-friendly, attracting global and regional investment and retaining African entrepreneurs and the talented workers they will hire. Venture capital and other funds must be given the right kind of encouragement and assurances to direct their financing to Africa’s private sector.

To generate jobs at scale, we need to dedicate significant resources to providing incentives for financial intermediaries to lend more to small and medium-sized enterprises. SMEs form the bulk of our growing economies and helping them expand and prosper will result in millions of jobs.

We also must launch a major effort to address the skills mismatch in the labour market through greater focus on skills and vocational training, and entrepreneurship development.

And you can’t develop without women. Investing in women is not just the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do. Women are the primary source for growth in local economies. Yet today, 64m more women than men are unemployed in Africa. Women need access to education, technology, jobs and financing. This must be understood and prioritized by governments and the development community.

Africa has 65 per cent of all the arable land left to feed the 9bn global population expected by 2050. Of all possible interventions, transforming the agriculture sector will have the largest impact on growth on the continent, given that 70-80 per cent of the labour force is engaged in the sector but locked into poverty.

We must provide innovative financing instruments and direct private equity funds toward agri-business investment, particularly in the form of micro-finance. By reviving rural economies and empowering them with tools to connect their goods to viable markets, we will unlock incredible opportunities for growth and shared prosperity, as we lift millions out of poverty.

We need to diversify the economies in African countries that are rich in natural resources, to shield them from over-exposure to volatilities in global markets (as we saw recently with falling oil prices). Focusing on unlocking agriculture’s potential will go a long way toward diversification and building “soil wealth” rather than relying on oil and mineral wealth.

We also need to improve management of those natural resources. Africa is not poor, but its people are poor because money disappears into the wrong pockets. Africa has $85tn in natural resources, but it loses $60bn a year in illicit outflows. Imagine what $60bn could do for our people’s healthcare and education each year. We need to work at all levels to enforce transparency and accountability rigorously. Africa’s resources should not belong to the few, but should be for the benefit of all.

People should have no reason to flee a continent as rich as ours. While the EU’s 10 point plan could contribute significantly to addressing the issue of illegal migration, we must complete the strategy by confronting the problem at its core, at its origin. This will require bold actions, profound changes and a strong partnership between Africa and the EU. Let’s work together to create jobs, opportunity, and hope on the continent. Let’s create reasons to stay.

Akinwumi Adesina is the outgoing Nigerian minister for agriculture. He is a candidate for the presidency of the African Development Bank.

Article originally published by The Financial Times
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There are a lot of questions that fly across the globe everyday begging earnestly for answers. Asking questions has been proven to be one of the most neglected principles of success. What makes the rich truly rich? How do I know if I’m even rich? Why are a lot of people poor while only few are really rich? What can guarantee me access to lasting wealth? These are various questions that remain unanswerable in the minds of many. Let’s look at something interesting. Forbes Magazine defines a poor person as ‘one who earns less than $25,000 (approximately #4,725,000) a year.’

We therefore live in a world where the true test of wealth is defined by monies and material possessions. Ukrainian Security expert, Andriy Kuksenko says, what determines the discrepancy between the rich and the poor is not the VALUE OF THEIR WEALTH but the WEALTH OF THEIR VALUES. It therefore means that what makes the rich rich is VALUES not MONIES. Bill Gates was once asked if all his monies were lost, what would he do. He laughed calmly and said; ‘That’s no problem, I would recover the money back in the next two years. I can assure you of that.’ The lesson behind Bill Gate’s statement is that what makes him rich is not his money but the principles behind his money. Let me teach you some principles about money and some voodoo you must cast out from your frame of mind.

What makes the rich rich is the power of network. It is your network that determines your net worth. Most rich people you see today are into one single thing, it’s called network marketing! The rich network with the rich; the poor network with the poor. The rich understands certain money philosophies while the poor considers them as jargons; something too technical to keep or to be considered impracticable. Some of these philosophies are:

The rich knows how to spend money while the poor doesn’t. The rich spends money from his assets while the poor spends money from his income. They are two different things entirely. A poor person earns #1million and spends just like that without looking at his cash flow; the rich, on the other hand, uses the #1million to invest and gets a 18% compound interest per annum. In other words, the rich knows how to multiply money while the poor does not. The poor works assiduously for money while the rich makes money work for him. The rich thinks long-term while the sight of a poor man is limited to his short-term obligations. The rich does not spend money on luxuries except when necessary; the poor feels because he has money, he can spend it anyhow.

The rich is concerned about his real income, the poor is concerned about his nominal income. He does not know the impact of inflation on his income. The poor man is so concerned about the facial value of his income that he gets happy when he gets a raise in his pay check not minding if his real income has been increased or not. The poor therefore serve as an employee. The rich, on the other hand, understands that his life’s dreams are too big to be financed by a pay check. He is therefore an entrepreneur. The poor man acquires different degrees in the university to improve his employability skills, the rich acquires degree to increase his entrepreneurial skills.

There are basically four cash flow quadrants in the business world. They include: Self-employed (S), Employee (E), Investor (I) and Business Owner (B). The rich understands this cash flow analysis very well and is careful as to categorizing his personality in any of the quadrants. The poor belongs to the 1st two quadrants; E and S and he feels satisfied with that, the rich belongs to the last two quadrants, I and B, which are long-term generating quadrants. This implies that, money still comes in even after retiring from business. He therefore gets richer day after day while the poor keep getting poorer. The poor man is conveniently pleased with his job but the rich sees JOB as ‘Just Over Broke’. The rich engages in work and not job. Job is undertaken by instructions, work is undertaken by initiative. The rich plays the game smart while the poor plays the game with utmost care. The rich understand the keys to financial freedom but the poor sees that as absolutely unnecessary.

Conclusively, the real difference between the rich and the poor is not just money, it’s their precepts! The rich invest more in financial education but the poor is comfortable with his academic degrees.


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The demand pressure for foreign exchange (FOREX) continued to increase at the Bureau de Change (BDC) and black market as the value of the naira dropped to a low of N232 and N236.50 against the dollar respectively.

The value of the naira at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the interbank end of the FOREX market, however, remained stable as the green back sold for N196.95 and N198.58 respectively.

At the BDC, the value of the naira against the pound dropped to N350.

Pressure had mounted on the naira at the parallel and black market after the CBN, a fortnight ago, curbed access to the dollar on the official interbank market for importers buying a wide range of goods, shifting demand for hard currency to the black market.

The foreign external reserves which had been trending downwards since last year, rose slightly to $29.157 billion, as at July 2, according to latest figures made available by the CBN.

This is the highest figure since June 9, 2015, when it stood at $29.181 billion.
Meanwhile, the rate at which banks lend amongst themselves dropped as at the close of business yesterday.

Overnight rate dropped to a five-year low of 5.1250 per cent while one- and three-months rates dropped to 14.1547 and 15.5823 per cents respectively. Six-month rate, however, rose slightly to 16.3288 per cent.
Source: Leadership ng
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“Dreams do come true, but not without the help of others, A good Education, A strong Work Ethic and the courage to Lean in”

Name: Ursula M. Burns

Birth: September 20, 1958

Place of Birth: New York

Company Position: CEO and Chairman of XEROX

Salary and Bonus: $2.8million

Awards: 14th MOST powerful woman in the world in 2009- Forbes, first African-American female CEO of a Fortune 500 company, 9th highest paid CEO in U.S.A

About Ursula Burns: A Phenomenal woman

Ursula Burns, a renowned name in the world of business, the CEO and Chairman on Xerox.  According to Forbes, she was the fourteenth most powerful woman in the world in 2009 and ninth highest paid female CEO in the United States of America. She is a remarkable woman, who achieved her dreams by giving her best consistently. She is a self made millionaire, coming from a very humble background but her perseverance knew no bounds. Not only this, she is also an advocate and a philanthropist, striving towards making a better society.

Life and Education:

Ursula M. Burns was born on September 20, 1958. Her single mother raised and her two siblings in a low-income housing project in New York. Her mother worked several jobs so that she could provide her children with a good education. Her mother was a very big influence in her life, telling her “where you are does not define who you are”. She always encouraged and inspired Ursula to achieve greatness that she was destined to reach. From a young age, Ursula was good at math and this interest of her in numbers became a passion as she grew up. She obtained from New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering a bachelor of science in Mechanical Engineering (1980) and masters in the same field from Columbia University (1981).

Her climb on the ladder of Success

Burns joined Xerox as an intern in the summer of 1980. A year later she procured a job there playing various roles in product development and planning. She swiftly made her way up in the company despite of her unconventional ways of working. In 1990 she became the assistant executive and in 1999 she became the vice president of manufacturing. In 2000 she became the senior vice president, nine years later she was named the CEO of the company and in 2010 she became the chairman. Under her leadership the company has incurred a phenomenal growth even in an era where paper work is losing its role.

Contribution to the Growth of the company:

During the period of financial difficulty of the company in 2002, Burns was promoted to the position of first president of Xerox Business Group (first woman to hold this position). She had five divisions under her and under her management they fetched a profit of 80%. She streamlined the company, hired outside contractors to make products. In 2013, the earning per share shot up to $1.09 from $1.02 in 2012. The company’s revenue  in 2013 was $21.4 billion. Under Burns’ leadership, Xerox has displayed remarkable growth and has become a profitable organization.

Community Work:

Burns’ work is not just confined to her company, through President Obama’s initiative of “Change the Equation”, she is encouraging more females to pursue a career in science and math. Besides this she also gives leadership council to various educational, communal and non-profit organizations including MIT, University of Rochester, the U.S. Olympic Committee, National Academy Foundation, FIRST(For Information and Recognition Of Science and Technology) and various others. In 2009, she was appointed by President to help the White House national project on STEM(science, technology, engineering and math) and in 2010, Obama named her the vice chair person of the President’s Export Council.
Familial Life: Dedicated outside and inside the House

She married Lloyd Bean, a colleague at Xerox. Burns was always dedicated towards her work but her family always came first. She gave as much time she could to her family and is a proud mother of two talented children. Despite her workload she always took weekends off and when her children were young she worked after they slept or before they woke up. She never brought her work to home, not only she is a great business woman but also a phenomenal mother.
A Woman to Watch Out For

Ursula Burns is an extraordinary woman for whom the fairytale of from rags to riches came true but she worked her way up to earn all that she got. She is the first African-American woman to be appointed as CEO of a Fortune 500 company. She is a legend to watch out for, an outstanding woman who achieved great heights maintaining her unconventional outlook and abiding her own strict moral ethics. Read More
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While the European financial crisis continues, South Africa has provided an example of a stable financial environment. With the current list of most valuable brands in the country affirming that it is setting global standards in building telecoms and financial services brands, it is one that is ripe for investment.

10 Netcare – The group provides innovative, quality healthcare in South Africa and the UK. It operates the largest private hospital group, primary care network and emergency service in South Africa. It is also the biggest private trainer of emergency medical personnel and healthcare workers.

9 Investec – Is a distinctive Specialist Bank and Asset Manager providing a diverse range of financial products and services to its niche client base. It operates in three principal markets, South Africa, the UK and Australia as well as certain other countries. In July 2002, the Investec group implemented a dual listed company with listings on the London and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges.

8 Shoprite Retail - The brand is one of the leaders in South African food retailing and is according to market research the brand of choice of the highest percentage of South African consumers.  It started life as a small chain of supermarkets in 1979. It now boasts some 309 stores and across 16 African countries it has a further 71 stores.

7 First National Bank – is the oldest bank in South Africa and can be traced back to the Eastern Province Bank formed in Grahamstown in 1838. Today, FNB trades as a division of FirstRand Bank Limited. A landmark in the company’s history was in 1998 when the financial services interests of Rand Merchant Bank Holding and Anglo American were merged to form FirstRand.

6 Nedbank – is a bank holding company and one of the four largest banking groups in South Africa measured by assets with a strong deposit franchise. Its principal banking subsidiary is Nedbank Limited. The group provides retail banking services, insurance and asset management. Its headquarters are in Sandton and it has a 1,000-strong regional branch network.

5 SASOL – Based in South Africa, Sasol is an international integrated energy and chemical company that leverages the talent and expertise of its more than 34,000 people working in 38 countries. It develops and commercialises technologies, and builds and operates world-scale facilities to produce a range of product streams including liquid fuels, chemicals and electricity.

4 ABSA – The Group is listed on the JSE Limited and is one of South Africa’s largest financial services group. It is a subsidiary of Barclays Bank PLC (Barclays) which owns 55.5 percent. It offers a complete range of retail, business, corporate and investment banking insurance and wealth management products and services.

3 Standard Bank – Has a 150-year history in South Africa and started building a franchise in the rest of Africa in the early 1990s. It currently operates in 18 countries in the rest of the African continent, including South Africa, as well as in other selected emerging markets. The bank employs 52,000 people and has about 1,200 branches including loan centres and some 7,945 ATMs on the African continent.

2 Vodacom – is an African mobile communications company providing voice message, data and converged services to about 50 million active customers. From its roots in South Africa, the company has grown its operations to include networks in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Lesotho.  It is owned by Vodafone and has its headquarters in Johannesburg.

1 MTN has topped the list as the Most Valuable South African Brand with a global value of R43.3 billion and is also the only South African brand in the Brand Finance Global 500.  MTN South Africa is part of MTN group, a multi-national telecommunications that boasts over 152 million subscribers across its company with operations in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East.  Launched in South Africa in 1994, and provides voice data and telemetry offerings and solutions to its 20 million customers. The company is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and has the largest primary listing on th exchange. The company enjoys 37 percent of market share in South Africa and continues to expand its presence and brand across the African continent and now has a firm footing in the Middle East.

MTN’s vision is to be the leading telecommunications provider in emerging markets. It has 34,558 employees who communicate in five official languages and represent 55 nationalities.To improve its network capacity MTN invested R17,7 billion on developing network infrastructure across our footprint in 2011 and continues to explore innovative ways of improving its offerings.Group President and CEO Sifiso Dabengwa said: “Our key focus areas are improving our market position and enhancing our customer experience by driving innovation and efficiency.”
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1. Affiong Williams [29] Founder, Reelfruit
ReelFruit, founded, in March, 2012 is an emerging fruit processing company focused on packaging and branding and processing of locally, and quality fruit products.The first product is a range of dried fruit snacks and nuts.
The products are currently stocked in over 80 stores in Nigeria. ReelFruit is an award-winning brand, winning both an international Women In Business Competition in the Netherlands, as well as an SME exhibition (Creative Focus Africa) in Lagos, Nigeria.
Williams is trying to expand her nut business into the lucrative airline market. She is raising capital to build a factory on the outskirts of Lagos next year. “I hope to be on the cover of FORBES AFRICA in five years’ time,” she says.

2)Co-Founder, Founder2Be (28)
Finding your perfect match is never easy but Akano and his co-partner, Chinedu Onyeaso, have made it easier through Founder2Be. The cupids of commerce introduced a match-making service for business owners in Africa.
Like online dating, a deal is just a click away. These Nigerians are not strangers to entrepreneurship; the two cofounders also started Entarado, a web development company empowering small businesses with web and mobile solutions.

3)Abiola Olaniran [26] Founder, Gamsole

Olaniran, 26, is the founder and CEO of Nigerian gaming company Gamsole. Olaniran founded the company in 2012, and it has venture backing from 88mph, a Kenyan seed fund. The company’s games now have more than 9 million downloads.

4. Ola Orekunrin [29] Medical Doctor & Founder, The Flying Doctors

Orekunrin is founder and Managing Director of Flying Doctors Nigeria Ltd., an air ambulance service based in Lagos, Nigeria. Orekunrin’s company is the first air ambulance service in West Africa to provide urgent helicopter, airplane ambulance and evacuation services. “Tragedy led me to entrepreneurship,” she says.

“I believe that perhaps my sister, who died when she was just 12 years old, may have lived if this sort of service was available in Nigeria at the time,” she says. Born in London and raised in a working-class foster home in Lowestoft, a little fishing town in the East of England, Orekunrin enrolled for a medical degree at the University of York and qualified at 21 – one of the youngest ever to take the doctor’s Hippocratic Oath in Britain. She is a 2013 New Voices Fellow at the Aspen Institute and was named a Young Global Leader in 2013 by the World Economic Forum.

5. Bankole Cardoso [26] Co-founder, Easy Taxi Nigeria
Cardoso was the founding chief executive of online taxi hailing app, Easy Taxi Nigeria, a Rocket Internet-backed startup. While still affiliated with Easy Taxi, he is moving on to new projects. Easy Taxi, under Cardoso’s watch, grew to be one of the most used taxi hailing apps in Lagos and Abuja. It has been a tough year for Cardoso. His mother, Stella Ameyo Adadevoh, died of Ebola last year. Adadevoh was one of the doctors in Nigeria who helped treat the disease.

It’s exciting seeing ladies rising up the potential billionaire ladder and equally promising seeing tech entrepreneurs dominating the list. The future is exciting.

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The Business Conference is an annual gathering of business leaders, policy makers and entrepreneurs who are passionate about creating the right context that will enable private enterprises thrive in Africa while also uplifting the economic condition of its citizens.

This year, Rakeshi Wahi, the co-founder of Forbes Africa, CNBC Africa and Chairman/CEO, CMA Investment Africa, is one of the confirmed keynote speakers at the event. Other confirmed speakers include Tonye Cole (CEO, Sahara Group), Ibukun Awosika (Chairman, FBN Capital), Wale Tinubu (CEO, Oando Plc.), Rasheed Olaoluwa (CEO, Bank of Industry) and more.

Date: Friday 26th June 2015
Time: (Registration starts) 7:30 AM | (Conference starts) 9:00 AM
Venue: Lagos Business School, KM 22, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Ajah, Lagos, Nigeria
Contact: For more info and general enquiries, e-mail | Visit Read More
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The size of the business that you run, is dependent on your capacity to build and MANAGE, an organization. We can talk about vision, we can talk about entrepreneurship, we can talk about innovation...... we can talk about all those things, and more.
But if you cannot manage, it will come to nothing... At best you will start something, then someone else will see it, who really knows how to manage, and they will go off, and make a success of it, while you watch.
Sometimes, it will seem like you are destined to always be small....
Not true....

See those huge organizations, we were talking about, like Walmart, Toyota? .....They are big because they have highly skilled managers, who know how to build, and operate complex organizational structures.
Being an entrepreneur, full of great ideas, and innovations is not enough. You have to become a skilled builder and manager of an organization. You have to be able to attract skilled managers, who know how to execute the vision you have, in a competent and disciplined manner.
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