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Elumelu Calls for Africapitalism for Africa’s Development

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Charity and aid have failed Africa and its leading entrepreneurs are now driving the continent’s development agenda.

This was the sentiment of Tony Elumelu’s speech, described by many as “powerful,” which was delivered at the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Annual Board of Governors meeting held in Marrakech, Morocco.

The speech was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Zeinab Badawi, BBC presenter with Ronald Lauder, founder of the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation.

Elumelu challenged the audience to consider a new approach to Africa’s development – one that involved the private sector and was capable of kick-starting the economic ecosystem that underpins all sustainable development.

He called this new approach Africapitalism, an economic philosophy which asserts that the private sector can solve Africa’s most pressing challenges through long term investments that create economic prosperity and social wealth.

In front of a global audience that included African finance ministers, central bank governors, CEOs, and executives of global development finance institutions, as well as African business leaders, including some past presidents, development partners, and African and global philanthropic institutions, Elumelu spoke of the failure of traditional development interventions which have previously characterized development in Africa.

Donald Kaberuka, president of the African Development Bank, described the speech as, “rich in human quality and compassion,” and recognized that it “set out the challenge for home-grown African wealth, whether of billionaires or small businessmen, to invest in Africa.”

Elumelu, who is Chairman of Heirs Holdings, a proprietary investment company and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, called for the private sector to take on the responsibility of development using his personal experience at the United Bank for Africa (UBA).

He made a compelling case for Africapitalism by telling the story of how a $5 million investment in UBA 17 years ago spawned a multinational, pan-African financial institution that has created 25,000 jobs, generated wealth in communities all across Africa, expanded finance for trade, created stronger financial infrastructure for investment and economic growth, paid taxes to national and local governments to support public services, and given millions of customers control over their financial lives.

He compared that investment to the annual flow of charitable aid into Africa – many times the $5 million investment that started UBA – to show that private sector involvement was a far superior, more effective way of dealing with Africa’s development challenges.

Elumelu’s investment company Heirs Holdings’ recent USD300 million investment in a power plant in Nigeria was another example of a long-term, profit driven investment that would bring development to Africa.

Elumelu mentioned other strategic visionaries who were also playing a significant role in driving the continent’s development through their business investments: Aliko Dangote and Mike Adenuga in Nigeria, Lucien Ebata in the DRC, Reginald Mengi in Tanzania, Patrice Motsepe in South Africa, Kofi Amoabeng in Ghana – these are entrepreneurs who are creating tens of thousands of jobs, empowering individuals, families and entire communities.

In a call to action for the continent’s entrepreneurs and business leaders who have not yet embraced Africapitalism, he pleaded with them to ‘step up’ and deliberately start investing in strategic sectors that would drive development.

“We need to do away with short-term thinking. We should be investing over time horizons measured in decades, rather than fiscal quarters. We must stop the practice of extracting wealth without reinvesting for growth. We should be strategically building domestic industries and manufacturing to support our national economies, and growing intra-African trade,” he said.

In concluding, Elumelu called on the philanthropic and charitable communities of Africa, the development banks and the private investors to embrace the philosophy of Africapitalism and recognize that the private sector’s role in driving economic prosperity is the solution for development.

“Economic prosperity is the most valuable and lasting gift we can give to a continent with our challenges. We need to support solutions that are catalytic and sustainable. That should be the ultimate goal of our “development” mission.


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FG Sacked IST Members over Fraud- Ahmed

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Mrs Zainab Ahmed, minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, has said the Federal Government sacked some past members of the Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST) as they indulged in corruption.

FG Sacked IST Members over Fraud- Ahmed

Inaugurating the new members, the minister charged the new members to eschew corruption and be forthright.

Bar. Azi Amos Isaac was appointed as Chairman for a five year term and Bar. Nosa Smart Osemwengie, was re-appointed as member for a second term of four years.

“The problem with the tribunal has been infighting amongst members, lack of industrial harmony and series of complaints bordering on maladministration.

“This has been the bane of the tribunal and a source of embarrassment not only for the Ministry of Finance but for the government in general,” Ahmed said.

The new chairman, Azi, assured the finance minister that, “the teething issue of restiveness has been addressed since he assumed duty,” adding that, “The place is calm and the staff have become very supportive.”

Azi said since 2003, the tribunal has “given judgment in the value of assets worth over N844 billion and that from 2017 to date, they have given decisions in monetary value totalling over N28bn.

“It has not failed in its adjudicatory responsibility.

“It has carried out its assignment with candour and integrity and intends to improve on what has been on ground.”

 


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CBN Bans Customer-to-Customer Forex Transfer

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has banned transfer of foreign exchange (forex) from one customer to another.

CBN Bans Customer-to-Customer Forex Transfer

According to the apex bank, forex cash lodgements into domiciliary accounts can only be done by the account owners henceforth.

An internal memo available in the media space explains that the new guidelines are necessary to review the utilisation of inflows into customers domiciliary accounts.

The circular states: “Forex inflows cannot be credited to customers until the legitimacy of funds is established.

“They can have unfettered access by telegraphic transfers up to a limit of $40,000 monthly for payment of medical bills, school fees, subscription to professional bodies subject to existing CBN guidelines.

“Transfers from one customer to another is prohibited. Transfer within related companies is allowed subject to a limit of $50,000 per month.”

It recommended that proceeds from non-oil exports should be sold to banks, used for repayment of dollar term loans, and self-utilisation for trade transactions for LC, bills and Form A.

Also oil export proceeds from E&P companies are to be used to pay contractors and service providers employed by the oil companies in addition to the recommended uses for non-oil FX proceeds.

Offshore forex inflows from other Nigerian banks and internal account to forex transfers sourced from offshore inflows are to be used for trade transactions subject to eligibility for E-Form M.

“Upon confirmation of the legitimacy of the inflows, customers can have unfettered access, subject to a maximum of $50,000,” the document read.

“Utilisation for trade transactions subject to processing of eligible trade transactions using E-Form M. Payment for services must be backed with demand note from offshore beneficiary and other regulatory documents.

“Related party transfers are allowed to the maximum of the inflow received. The transfer request should be backed by a signed instruction from the account holder.” Payment of government fees and levies are also allowed to the maritime, oil and gas, aviation. government parastatals and export processing zones.

 


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Stanbic IBTC, Standard Bank, Listed Among Top African Corporate Brands

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Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and its parent company, Standard Bank, have emerged amongst the top winners of the 2020 Tech Times’ Africa LinkedIn Corporate Brand Awards.

The Stanbic IBTC Group emerged the second position in the category, with total votes of 3,515, out of 24 firms nominated for the award. Standard Bank placed the fourth 2,494 votes.

Nominations for this award opened to the public on July 1, 2020 and closed on July 14.

Shortlisted nominees were announced on August 24 while voting commenced immediately and voting ended on September 8, 2020.

The Corporate Brand Awards was instituted by Tech Times’ Africa, an online platform for leading technology, innovation, and startup stories.

Expressing his delight on the awards, Dr Demola Sogunle, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, said that both Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and Standard Bank had been deliberate and consistent in making a remarkable impact in Africa’s financial sector.

“Our sincere appreciation goes to the organisers of the Africa Corporate Brands Awards and to every member of the public who voted. This is a reflection of the high level of trust and confidence that the public has reposed on us,” he added.

Dr Sogunle further said that Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC would remain relentless in portraying the organisation as one of the most influential corporate brands in Africa.

He stated: “Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and Standard Bank have relentlessly contributed to driving the growth and development of the African financial ecosystem. These awards affirm our efforts, and we are encouraged to raise the bar continually.”

The Africa Corporate Brand Award is designed to identify and recognise outstanding companies. It also projects their achievements and impacts on African society and the world at large.


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