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Accenture, NBI to Enhance Business Operations & Sustainable Innovation

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The narrative for Africa has for eons remained that of the ‘dark continent’ forever in the grip of stagnation; so much so that in May 2000, The Economist ran a cover story on Africa, headlined “The Hopeless Continent”.

In a move similar to eating humble pie in December 2011, the continent was again on The Economist’s cover, this time under the headline “Africa Rising”. Another five years on, Africa’s attraction is no longer in question.

However, while there have been major improvements, the continent remains one of the world’s least developed, most indebted, most food-insecure and most marginalized.

By focusing on sustainability and shared value, African businesses are now poised to drive significant growth through innovative solutions that seek to address these market failures.

However, a step change is required to deliver progress at a larger scale and greater speed.

Accenture and the NBI (National Business Initiative), together with African and global business leaders from across the continent, have partnered to develop an innovative new study with the aim of helping businesses operating in Africa to identify and deliver key innovation opportunities to build a more sustainable future.

The study titled “Reimagining Africa’s Future: A Blueprint for Sustainable Business In Africa” conducted by leading global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company;

Accenture and a voluntary coalition of South African and multinational companies; the National Business Initiative (NBI), was released recently at the World Economic Forum (WEF) currently taking place in Cape Town, South Africa.

Three business leaders were selected as‘Champions’ to spearhead the initiative study based on their commitment and significant contribution towards sustainable business practices across Africa.

They are AigbojeAig-Imoukhuede, president of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE); Robert Collymore, Chief Executive Officer of Safaricom Limited and SizweNxasana; Chief Executive Officer of FirstRand Limited.

Accenture and the NBI together with African and global business leaders from across the continent, partnered to develop this innovative new study with the aim of helping businesses operating in Africa to identify and deliver key innovation opportunities to build a more sustainable future.

The report is based on consultations with over 70 CEOs and world business leaders from Africa’s leading companies, and suggests that scaling innovations in four categories – new consumption opportunities, collaborative operating models, resource efficiency, and trust through transparency – can help drive development across the continent.

Proffering new areas of innovation, the report highlighted the need to capture new consumption opportunities with the consciousness of the reality that Africa’s natural resources though important, are not enough to give the continent a permanent boost.

With an emerging cache of Africans with growing demand and the rising need for products and services that meet long-standing needs in new ways.

Companies can generate new revenue streams by developing new consumption opportunities for the rising African consumer class, either making incremental improvements or transformational changes to their current business models through new offerings that directly address pressing needs in areas like access to markets, health, education, energy and financial services.

Businesses on the continent and especially in Nigeria need to realize that collaborative operating models that expand economic opportunity, raising productivity and increasing growth are crucial, but not sufficient.

The quality of growth—its composition and equity—is just as important for alleviating systemic development challenges. It requires operations that directly integrate the low-income population as entrepreneurs, suppliers, distributors, retailers, employees and consumers, to create localized and inclusive value chains.

It also means ensuring well-managed operations (e.g. health and safety, labor standards, human rights, gender diversity and inclusiveness in the workforce, as well as environmental responsibility).

Other findings in the report emphasize the need to drive resource efficiency; due to rising global affluence, resource availability cannot keep up with demand.

The emerging trend in Africa is that the linear model of growth is no longer viable.

To reduce this impact, companies must do a few things as pure business necessity: Firstly, they can promote circular economy concepts using “lasting” resources only, to break the link between scarcity and economic activity.

Secondly, more resource “liquidity” can be created in markets by making products and assets more accessible and easy to convert between users and industries.

Thirdly, companies can focus on reducing the amount of scarce energy, water and transport they use in their daily operations.

The era of secrecy is over; trust earned through transparency is more fundamental to a healthy business than the belief held by consumers, the public, investors, regulators, suppliers and stakeholders that they are doing business with a trustworthy organization.

With the growing trade across Africa, issues of corruption and modern slavery pose particular risks to trust in Africa.

For those with poor operations visibility, the new era of transparency creates significant risks.

Companies can build trust and drive productivity gains by embedding high standards throughout their value chain and transparently sharing information.

This report offers a blueprint for unlocking these high-value opportunities, for Nigeria in this new era; a fact represented by the number of Nigerian CEOs who partook in the survey – from banking to manufacturing including Aliko Dangote, President and CEO Dangote Group; Stephen Onasanya, outgoing CEO First Bank of Nigeria Limited; Herbert Wigwe, CEO and Group Managing Director Access Bank Plc and Osagie Okunbor, Managing Director Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited.

As Nigeria stands in the hope of a paradigm shift – in business and politically – the rising consumer class presents enormous new opportunities.

Fast movers can get to the prize first with innovations that leverage scalable and cost-effective technologies and collaborative partnerships to improve quality of life locally while broadening their markets and contributing to the future success of this incredible continent.

    


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FG Launches Central Database for Stolen Asset Tracing

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Federal government has launched a Central Database under the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations (ARTM), 2019 and the Central Criminal Justice Information System (CCJIS) under the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) 2017 – 2011 to assist in the fight against corruption.

FG Launches Central Database for Stolen Asset Tracing

Mr Abubakar Malami, AGF

Mr Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF) and minister of Justice, at the launch in Abuja, said the database will ensure uniformity of process, access and information feeding to deepen transparency and accountability in the management of recovered assets.

To ensure compliance, he said his office is developing legislation for the full implementation and operation of the CCJIS.

“We will work together to establish and re-enact transparency and accountability in governance and management of our resources which we have committed to do by way of strengthening International Cooperation of our membership of Open Government Partnership,” he said.

In his speech, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the House of Representatives, represented by Mrs Ugonna Ozurigbo, chairman, House Committee on Justice, said the regulation on Asset Tracing, Recovery and proper management of proceeds of crime was signed on October 24, 2019, and took effect from November 1, 2019, replaced the proceeds of Crime Regulation of 2012.

The new regulation titled Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations 2019 empowers the AGF to take charge of the custody and management of all final forfeited assets, approval and appointment of asset managers and operating and maintaining a database for the records of all recovered assets within and outside Nigeria.

He said, the AGF’s office, under the new regulation, is also required to coordinate inter-agency investigations into recovery matters within and outside Nigeria from all law enforcement agencies whose law empowers them to undertake recoveries and maintaining a depository for all forfeiture orders issued by the Nigeria courts and courts outside Nigeria.

Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management, according to the Speaker, is a core value of good governance and its effective management will serve as a deterrent to would-be fraudulent minded individuals who may find themselves in public offices.

According to him, states resources must not be allowed to be stolen but if that happened by fraudulent individuals, efforts must be taken to trace the proceed, recover same and manage for the interest of the generality of the people.

“When the proceeds of crime are traced and recovered but again looted by government officials, I dare to say such act amounts to the crime of tertiary capacity and must be avoided.

“Assets not accounted for are assets lost; loss of assets undervalues the economic potential of a country and will negatively impact on the net worth of a country. Accordingly, Asset Tracing Recovery and Management is a panacea to rekindling of the value system of a nation,” the Speaker noted.

 


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Konga Bulk Debuts Monday

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Konga, Nigeria’s foremost ethical and innovative composite e-Commerce brand is set to unveil a revolutionary new solution – Konga Bulk – which the company says will represent the new normal for forward-thinking businesses and consumers in the Nigerian corporate space.

Equally important, Konga Bulk, the latest innovation from the e-Commerce giant, is set to go live on Monday, September 21, 2020.

Through this initiative, Konga is rolling out a mega platform which has been touted a potential game-changer, offering manufacturers, distributors, resellers as well as Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) an opportunity to take advantage of Konga’s world class assets including its secure regional warehouses, smart offices, cutting-edge technology, advanced logistics capabilities through an internally-owned subsidiary, Kxpress and its Central Bank of Nigeria-licensed payment platform known as KongaPay.

This is in addition to leveraging Konga’s e-Commerce engine and extensive marketing expertise in bringing their products and services to the consciousness of millions of Nigerians nationwide.

In other words, Konga is taking a huge burden off the shoulders of manufacturers and other business owners in Nigeria through this ambitious project.

By allocating physical office and warehouse spaces to partner businesses and placing its many other cutting-edge assets at their disposal, Konga is ushering many into the new normal by bringing succour to corporate entities, many of whom have been encumbered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Furthermore, Konga Bulk will play a very important role, bridging the gap to genuine products and services between manufacturers, distributors, resellers, bulk buyers and consumers.

Resellers and other bulk buyers can also take advantage of best prices available for genuine products exclusively through Konga Bulk.

Kalu Johnson, vice president, Strategic Business, said businesses who sign up on Konga Bulk have a lot to gain.

‘‘Konga Bulk is a very ambitious project which we have positioned as the new normal.

“It is a unique opportunity for manufacturers to take advantage of the huge assets and real estate, both physical and virtual, available at Konga.

‘‘We have invested significantly and strategically in various areas of our operations.

“Today, Konga owns arguably the largest single warehouse space in Lagos in addition to other similar massive infrastructure in other parts of the country such as Onitsha, Port Harcourt, Uyo, Abuja, Owerri and other locations.

‘‘As a manufacturer, distributor or business owner signed up on Konga Bulk, you no longer have to worry about owning your own office or warehouse space. Nor do you have to bother about the heavy investment in logistics, delivery, payment solution, technology, marketing or activations.
“You can rely on Konga’s world class competencies and assets in these areas.

‘‘Businesses must find a way to rebound from the difficulties occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Konga Bulk, which is focused on ushering in the new normal, is one of the innovations we have come up with to provide a way out,’’ he concluded.

Konga Bulk goes live online at www.konga.com and offline in every Konga retail store nationwide on Monday, September 21, 2020.


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Access Bank Reaffirms Support for An Innovative, Smart Lagos State

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Mr. Herbert Wigwe, managing director and chief executive officer of Access Bank Plc, has said that Access Bank Plc will not relent in supporting innovative programmes aimed at transforming Lagos into a 21st century State driven by technology innovations.

Wigwe spoke yesterday during the finals of the Lagos State Smart Meter Hackathon design held at the Bank’s Corporate Headquarters in Lagos.

An initiative of the Lagos State Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the Hackathon is aimed at providing affordable electricity meters to the populace by facilitating the design and production of meters that will accelerate efforts towards achieving improvement in energy distribution, monitoring and prevention of revenue leakage.

Wigwe who was represented by Mr Ade Bajomo, executive director, IT & Operations at Access Bank, said that supporting the Hackathon once more reinforces the Bank’s commitment to leveraging technology for the betterment of the society.

“Having Hackathon and innovative programmes like this, has always been part and parcel of our DNA in Access Bank. We are forever looking for new things to do to solve real problems in Africa and beyond; new things that would move the life of our people forward.

“We are always looking forward to doing things that would make more people financially independent, driving and enhancing the well-being of the entire society,” he said.

He noted that now the world is witnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and there are Africans working with the rest of the world and using technology to solve the problems of the people.

Wigwe stressed that Access Bank does not exclude the rest of the world when it comes to using technology innovations to address the problems of the people.

“That is why this Hackathon is very important because it’s our people solving our problems and leveraging global solutions to finding our answers to our own problems.

“And that is why at the Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF), which Access Bank is promoting, we want to have more innovators and innovations that will help in transforming our society for the better,” he said.

The Access Bank boss stated that to see this Hackathon come to light shows the commitment of the Lagos State Government to not only the project, but to the actualization of a smart Lagos, where electricity is accessible and affordable.

He pledged Access Bank’s continued support to the Lagos State Government’s efforts at building a smart state.

Mr. Olalere Odusote, convener of the Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon and the State’s Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, said that there were very many talented people who applied for the Hackathon, noting that there were 65 submissions in all, out of which its panel of experts reduced the number to the five finalists that participated at the finals of the Hackathon.

“We had the hardware yesterday and we were very impressed with what we saw. We are expecting no less from the software side. We are going to get engaged, look at what they have to offer and then integrate it into our future.

“We are trying to solve our own problems by ourselves. This is just the start; it is not a one-off project. At the end of the event, we will take the product to our prototype mode; we will take the product to a commercial development process,” he said.

The Commissioner said they were not just doing the Hackathon for the sake of it but are looking for solutions that will contribute to making Lagos a 21st Century economy.

He thanked Access Bank for its generosity, support and partnership with the State government. He also thanked other partners for joining in the journey of making Lagos a great state.

Five contenders each emerged from both categories of the competition, and the two winners are expected to share the prize money of seven million naira.

Finalists were shortlisted after a transparent, rigorous and competitive process.

The Hackathon attracted 274 registrations or entries, 127 of which bid in hardware category, while 147 competed in software group.

The five software finalists for the Hackathon on Thursday were Magnitronics, Vectorians, Zeena Platform, Chosen Soft Tech and Gideon. 

It would be recall that during the launch of the programme on July 30th, 2020, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu noted that the Smart Metre Hackathon Initiative marked a significant milestone in the implementation of the State Government’s plan towards improving access to electricity.

He said it aligned with the Sustainable Development Goal 7 of the United Nations, targeted at achieving universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030.

The Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon 2020 was convened by the Lagos State Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources, curated by Eko Innovation Centre, and sponsored by Access Bank Plc, Egbin Power, and Ikeja Electric Distribution Company.

Other sponsors include Mojec International, Eko Electric Distribution Company, MOMAS Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company, ElSewedy Electric, Royal Power & Energy, Venture Garden Group, InfraCredit, and Axxela Limited.

They were supported by the Lagos State Office of Innovation and Technology, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA), Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF), Oracle, IBM, General Electric, Business Day and Accelerate TV.

The Grand Finale of the Hackathon holds on Friday, September 18, 2020 at Eko Innovation Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos.


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